Computer Recommendations

Every semester, faculty and students use programs that are more sophisticated than those used in previous years. These more sophisticated applications require faster computers. In general, the newer the computer, the better your experience will be.

Which computer should I purchase?

Before you purchase a system, we’d urge you to examine how you will use that computer. Your work habits, possible fields of study and interests should shape your decision. Decide between a Mac or a Windows system. The platform should match your interests. In general both will work on PCOM’s Network. Many of the major vendors, such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo and HP offer discounts to students.

Tablets such as iPads may not support every system or program so we recommend using them as a supplement, rather than a replacement, for a traditional computer.

Hardware Recommendations

If you are planning on buying a computer to use for the next three or more years, we would recommend the computer you select meet the following specifications:


Intel Core i3 or newer

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
or Mac OS X Yosemite or El Capitan
(Until further notice do not update Mac OS X
above El Capitan - ExamSoft SofTest® currently
is not compatible with Sierra)

Office Suite

Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows
or Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, or newer

Memory (RAM)

4 GB of RAM, or higher


128 GB Hard Disk, or higher

Program Specific Requirements

Physician Assistant Studies

All students in the Physician Assistant Program must have a personal laptop computer that runs a regular Windows 7 (or newer) operating system. Those who wish to use a Mac laptop may run Boot Camp, with Windows as one of the bootable operating systems; no other Windows-compatible Mac platform may be used.

ExamSoft Requirements

Students in programs that use ExamSoft® for testing purposes must have a personal laptop computer. The ExamSoft SofTest® application may have specific hardware or software requirements in addition to the above recommendations. Additional information is available on our ExamSoft page.

Software Information 

Discounted software is available to students via

Please note that Office 365 is made available to all PCOM students free of charge.