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Laptop Requirement

The Department of Art and Art History requires all incoming students in Art History, Studio Art, and UTeach Art (Visual Art Studies) to have a laptop computer and a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Classroom instruction, course assignments and research in and out of class hours will require the use of a personal computer.

The department uses Apple hardware and the most current software in its labs and digital facilities. To ensure compatibility between the department’s digital infrastructure and student assignments, it is highly recommended that students purchase an Apple laptop running the latest operating system. Additionally, we recommend a minimum of 16GB RAM to ensure ease when running Adobe Creative Cloud.

Recommended Laptop Specs

  • 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • 16GB memory
  • 256GB PCIe-based SSD
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics

$1,799.00 (discounted educational pricing, pre-tax)

The laptop can be purchased through Apple’s Education Store or UT Austin’s Campus Computer Store (Log in with your UT EID).

Adobe Creative Cloud

Students should subscribe to the Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition, which is available through the Campus Computer Store for the discounted price of $74.99/year. You must be logged into their website with your UT EID in order to see the discounted pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a laptop? Can’t I just have a desktop in my room instead?


Many courses at UT require students to use online course management systems such as Canvas to submit assignments, check grades, take in-class quizzes, and so on.

Why do you recommend Apple products? What’s wrong with Windows, Linux, and Chromebook machines?


We recommend Apple’s MacBook Pro because it is the industry standard in the arts. Most art and design software (with the exception of some 3D modeling programs) is optimized for Apple operating systems.

Do I have to buy the recommended laptop? What if I already have a different kind of laptop?


If you already own a MacBook Air or a Windows or Linux laptop, it will probably suffice for at least the first couple of years of your program, and depending on your major and interests, it may serve you perfectly well for all four years. However, the recommended laptop has sufficient memory and speed to run industry-standard software (and handle large image, video, and animation files), whereas older and slower machines tend to crash more frequently. The point is to avoid having your hardware limit the kinds of work you can create.

Other Questions?

Jed Lawnsby
Computer Labs Manager
artlabs@austin.utexas.edu
512/ 232-5479

Financial Aid for Laptop Purchase

Do you qualify for financial aid? You may be able to apply aid to the purchase of your laptop.

  1. Contact the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) and request a budget adjustment for the required laptop.

  2. You will need to indicate that you are a Department of Art and Art History student majoring in Art History, Studio Art, or Visual Art Studies.

  3. An escalation will be created and an OFA counselor will complete the aid revision.