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Technology Guidelines for Incoming Students

While the College of Creative Arts is a Mac-based environment, West Virginia University supports both Mac and Windows platforms. Visit the WVU IT Services website for general guidelines and information about discounts and software available to students on behalf of the university. 


Below are special recommendations for hardware and software that are applicable to all incoming College of Creative Arts students. Some majors, noted below, will require a high-performance hardware system and additional software.


All School of Art & Design students, except for Art History and Art Therapy majors, are required to use either the basic or high-performance MacBook Pro system requirements listed below. Art History majors may select the basic MacBook system or choose to use the basic Windows platform. 

Basic Systems 

Mac Hardware

MacBook Air or MacBook Pro (2018 or newer) installed with current macOS

  • Intel Core i5 Processor or Apple M1 Processor 
  • 8GB RAM (minimum)

Windows Hardware

  • Windows operating system 10 or newer
  • 8 GB RAM 
  • Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 processors

High Performance Systems 

Graphic Design, Intermedia/Photography, Interactive Design for Media, and Music Composition majors are required to use Mac hardware with the following specs. Theatre Design and Technology majors and those taking electronic media or music technology courses may choose between Mac or Windows hardware.


Mac Hardware

MacBook Pro (2018 or newer) or MacBook Air 15” or 16” (2018-2019) installed with current macOS

  • Intel Core i7 or i9 Processor
  • 16GB RAM 

Windows Hardware

Laptop, minimum specs:

  • Windows 10 OS or later
  • Intel Core i7 or i9, AMD Ryzen 7 or 9 processors
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 250 GB of hard drive space
  • Graphics cards with 4GB RAM


Microsoft Office (free for WVU students)


For all majors in the School of Art & Design and Theatre Design and Technology Sophomores-Seniors:

Theatre Design and Technology students:


  • Microsoft Office (for all years)
  • Quicktime

SOPHOMORE through SENIOR year:

  • Sketchup 
  • Vectorworks/AutoCAD (Student version available for free. Confirm with CAD instructor for version needed.)

Graphic Design Sophomores - Seniors:

  • Adobe Font Folio 11 (Education Essentials Student and Teacher Edition) 

For all majors in the School of Music:

  • (Fonts that include music symbols, such as Maestro Times, Opus, or CSTwo/CSThree.)
  • Music Notation (MuseScore, Notion, Finale, Sibelius, or Dorrico acceptable)
  • NOTE: Music Notation program required for all composition students.
  • MacGAMUT (Ear Training)
  • A recording program with the ability to adequately record lessons, practice sessions, student teaching practice sessions, etc.  

For Jazz majors:

  • All Jazz students: Band-in-a-Box (PC) or iRealb (Mac)
  • Upper-class Jazz students: Sibelius

For use in Music Recording courses:

  • ProTools (purchase or monthly subscription)

Additional Components 

A full-spectrum pair of headphones (on-ear or over-the-ear) is required for School of Music students, due to the nature of course assignments.

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