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Bachelor of Design Laptop Requirement

Operations and teaching are online. Current and prospective students: please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages. Faculty and staff are available via email.

All sophomore design students are required to have a laptop by the start of Fall Quarter 2019. For students who are purchasing a laptop for the first time, we strongly recommend an Apple laptop over a PC machine. Members of the professional design community work almost exclusively on Apple machines.

Apple often updates their computers in the Fall so it may be beneficial to hold off on any new purchase if possible, until late September or October in case new models are introduced.

Students may use any Apple or PC model, but the laptop must have wireless capability and be capable of running a contemporary version of the Adobe Creative Cloud software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator).

For students interested in Industrial Design, the laptop should be capable of running Rhino (a 3-d modeling program) and Solidworks - many users choose Apple laptops and run windows in a Bootcamp partition. The recommended MacBook with at a minimum, Intel dual-core i5 or higher processor and 8gb Ram (preferably 16gb), is capable of running Windows software using either Apple’s bootcamp configuration or by using a virtual machine environment provided by software such as Parallels or VMWare.


Software Requirements for 2019–2020 School Year

For students entering the Design major we recommend using Adobe Creative Cloud service. This subscription includes many of the programs design students need: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Muse, Acrobat Pro and others. This software is available via subscription service only directly through Adobe and academic pricing is available here:

Design students should use a font management program such as Font Book (free, built into OSX), Linotype FontExplorer X or Extensis Suitcase. This must also be  installed before Winter quarter 2020 starts. 

Microsoft Office is available for all UW students for free as part of the UW STF program. Details are available at: