IS&T is here to provide you with advice and support on IT issues during your time at the Institute. Below are minimum computer hardware configurations for incoming MIT students.

NOTE: These are general recommendations for MIT students. Incoming students should check with their academic departments and subjects of interest for additional or more specific hardware requirements.

If at any point you have questions or need help, contact the IS&T Service Desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Order 3-6 months in advance

Due to the ongoing computer chipset shortage and other global supply chain issues, IS&T strongly encourages incoming students to order their new computer as early as possible, preferably 3-6 months in advance, in order to ensure you will have your device in hand before arriving on campus.

Device type

IS&T strongly recommends that each student bring their own laptop computer running the Windows or macOS operating system (OS) to MIT. Laptops provide the maximum flexibility that students will need to work anywhere on campus.

IS&T does not recommend tablets, including iPads, or Chromebooks as primary computing devices since they do not provide the computing resources required to run software MIT students often use. They are, however, good secondary devices for note taking, email, or other simple tasks.

Requirements

In general, when buying a computer, IS&T recommends that you purchase hardware that supports the latest operating systems and includes the fastest processor speed and as much memory as your budget will allow. Choose carefully since your laptop will most likely be your primary device during your time as an MIT student.

Minimum laptop requirements for MIT students
Laptop attribute Minimum requirements
Operating system Windows 11
macOS 12 (Monterey)
Processor Intel Core i7
AMD Ryzen 7
Apple M1
Memory 16GB RAM
Storage 500GB hard/solid disk drive
Warranty 4-year extended warranty with accident coverage with walk-in repairs

Other considerations

Other aspects to consider when choosing a laptop are:

  • Size and weight: You’ll want something that isn’t a burden to carry around.
  • Number and types of ports: You should have enough to support the type and number of peripherals you will be using.
  • Battery life: Make sure the battery can be expected to hold its charge long enough for you to use it during classes.
  • Camera placement: You should be able to work on your computer while participating in remote learning or work.

Protect your laptop

As mentioned above, IS&T strongly recommends purchasing a 4-year extended warranty to cover manufacturer defects and accidental damage (spilled liquids, drops, etc.) that allow for walk-in repairs. Some warranties only allow mail-in repairs, which could mean being without your laptop for a longer period of time.

Once you've received your new laptop, take additional steps to protect it from theft.

Student discounts

Students can take advantage of these discounts by purchasing through the vendors’ online education stores:

Financial assistance

If you need financial assistance to buy a new laptop, MIT Student Financial Services details several options available to undergraduates and graduate students.