USNH Computer Software and Hardware Recommendations

Purpose: Developed to provide minimum and recommended hardware specifications as well as software needs as dictated by specific institution, school, college, or department.

Intended Audience:  faculty, staff, students, and parents
Environment:  All USNH institutions, schools, or colleges

Scope of Article: Institutional and personal computer purchases for members of the USNH community.


The following guidelines were developed for typical student/office use. In most cases, this includes word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, Web browsing and web-based systems.  Some programs of study have more rigorous requirements or recommendations as indicated in the table below.  Please note: Tablets, iPads, and in some programs of study, Chromebooks are not recommended as primary computing devices. Check with professors on classroom tablet policies for note-taking and other functions.

Further Readings:

USNH Computer Purchasing Program - USNH partners with Apple, Dell, and Lenovo for recommended hardware.

USNH Endpoint Hardware Recommendations 2023-2024

Minimum Hardware Specifications

  • Intel Core i5 Processor 
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Solid State Hard Drives
  • Integrated sound and video, webcam
  • Wireless: 802.1ac (Wi-Fi 5).  802.11ax 
  • Standard manufacturer warranty

Recommended Hardware Specifications

  • Intel Core i7 Processor, Apple M1
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512+ GB Solid State Hard Drives
  • Integrated sound and video, webcam
  • Wireless: 802.1ac (Wi-Fi 5).  802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) is preferred
  • Standard manufacturer warranty.  Accident protection is highly recommended

USNH Endpoint Software Recommendations 2023-2024

Minimum Software Specifications

  • Windows 10 OR  MacOS 12: Monterey
  • Microsoft 365 Apps, including OneDrive for cloud storage/backup (formerly Office 365) - free for USNH users
  • Anti-virus Software

Recommended Software Specifications

  • Windows 11 OR  MacOS 13: Ventura
  • Microsoft 365 Apps, including OneDrive for cloud storage/backup (formerly Office 365) - free for USNH users
  • Anti-virus Software 


Keene State College

All departments*

See Minimum or Recommended Hardware Standards

*If you are entering a major such as Graphic DesignArchitecture or another major that might have other system requirements, please contact that department directly. If you are not sure, contact them to verify.


Plymouth State College

Program of Study

Minimum Hardware Specs


Business Administration

See Minimum or Recommended Hardware Standards

See Minimum Software Standards

Windows OS is recommended

Graphic Design

Macs are recommended

Graphic Design:  32GB RAM

See Minimum Software Standards

Apple Mac OS is recommended


University of New Hampshire and UNH-Manchester


Recommended Hardware Configuration


College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS)

See Recommended Hardware Standards

Mechanical Engineering: 32GB RAM

See Standard Recommendations

Apple users: For Windows 10 virtualization, one of the following tools is recommended:

Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, Virtual Box

For Linux virtualization:


UNH CS, IT, and AD&S programs do NOT require Parallels for macOS

College of Health and Human Services (CHHS)

See Recommended Hardware Standards

Chromebooks & iPads are not recommended

See Standard Recommendations

College of Liberal Arts (COLA)

See Recommended Hardware Standards

See Standard Recommendations.

For Art Design, Communication: Media Option, and Art Digital Photography:  Mac is encouraged

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA)

See Recommended Hardware Standards

Chromebooks & iPads are not recommended

See Standard Recommendations.

Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics (Paul College)

See Recommended Hardware Standards;

Apple/macOS: Not recommended.

All students: Microsoft 365 Apps for Windows (formerly Microsoft Office) Free for students

Apple users: Windows 10 operating system via Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, or virtual Box required


University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law

Franklin Pierce School of Law (Law)

See Minimum Recommendations

See Standard Recommendations




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Article ID: 1118
Fri 7/19/19 5:51 PM
Wed 7/26/23 10:34 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office