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Hardware and Software Information

This is where people can find out more about what sort of computer is recommended for usage at MICA, in addition to information about different what software resources are available to students during their time at MICA.

Hardware:

The College recommends a laptop as the best type of computer for use by students while at MICA. Laptops take up the least amount of space in students' apartments, can be carried to class and provide mobile computing on the college's wireless network. All current laptops have wireless network adapters but if you think you will have reason to plug into MICA's network directly, you will want to buy a laptop with an ethernet adapter or purchase a USB/Ethernet external adapter (about $20) so that it can be plugged directly into the network jack in your room. It is advised that students bring along an ethernet cable of at least 15 feet. You should be able to purchase a cable from Best Buy or some other store for less than $15.  If students are unable to procure an ethernet cord on their own, they should contact the Help Desk at Help@MICA.edu / (410) 225 - 2201 to see if an extra ethernet cable is available.

As part of MICA's undergraduate education, students will be working across analog and digital modes.  Here are the minimum laptop recommendations for Mac and PC.

Mac:

• Intel Core i5 (6th or 7th Generation or better)
• 8 GB memory
• 256 GB SSD
• 13-inch screen or larger

PC:

• 5th Generation Intel Core i5 or 6th Generation Core M7 or better
• 8 GB memory
• 256 GB SSD
• 13-inch screen or larger
• At least one USB 2.0/3.0

If you are planning to purchase a new machine, we would suggest the following models as a minimum standard:

13-inch MacBook Pro $1999.00
• Touch Bar and Touch ID
• 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
• 8GB 2133MHz memory / 16GB 2133MHz memory (+$180.00)
• 512GB PCIe-based SSD
• Intel Iris Graphics 550

Dell XPS 13 9360 Non Touch - $1,799.99
• 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7560U (4MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
• Windows 10 Pro
• 8GB LPDDR3 1866MHz memory / 16GB LPDDR3 1866MHz memory (+100)
• 512GB PCIe Solid State Drive
• Intel HD Graphics
• 13.3" QHD+ (3200X1800) InfinityEdge touch display

Many students find larger screens and more computing power helpful, especially for programs like Animation, Film and Video, Game Design, and Product Design.  MICA does not supply laptops to students and strongly suggests that students purchase support plans from their retailer.  Questions may be referred to Help@mica.edu.  

Please note:  Architectural Design and Animation are majors which use software that runs only on PCs.  If you're planning on majoring in those studies, we highly recommend purchasing a PC and not a Mac.

Software:

The Adobe Creative Cloud will be provided for you as part of your Technology Fee. You will be given instructions on how to acquire your copy of the suite once you arrive at MICA. This bundle includes Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, Premiere Po and many other important software titles. These will be upgraded for you as versions change during your time at MICA.  For information on how to access to this software bundle, please click here.

Google Apps is part of the web-based software package you will have access to as a MICA student.  This includes Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts, Google Docs, Google Books, Google Drive (for storing files), Picassa (for storing images), and a host of other applications.

Microsoft Office is available to students, faculty and staff.  To obtain your license for this software, contact the Help Desk:  Help@MICA.edu / (410) 225 - 2201.

Canvas will be your Learning Management System and will be used by all classes to communicate with you concerning class documents, book lists, assignments, etc.  Canvas can be accessed through the MyMICA portal.

Lynda.Com - Lynda is a web-based training package to help you learn all of the important software that you will be using at MICA. This includes most software in all disciplines. You can create your own account and track your progress, receive certificates for completion of lessons and communicate your success to your instructors.

Anti-virus software - You should definitely install anti-virus software on your computer. This is VERY important since you will be connecting to a large network at MICA where the chances of coming in contact with a destructive virus are much greater than you might be used to working at home. Software such as MalwareBytes and Avast! are recommended by MICA's department of technology (TSS) for ensuring the security of one's computer.

Theft Prevention - There are multiple ways you can safeguard your laptop or mobile device while at MICA. I your have an Apple product, use iCloud to create a Track my iPod/iPad/Laptop account. This will give you real-time information about the location of your device if it becomes lost or stolen. If you need help in setting this up, please come to the Tech Desk. You can also use the free Front Door Software application that can be downloaded for your Mac or PC from this web page

This page was last updated on 10/10/2017.

Buying a Laptop?

  1. The Apple Store


    MacBook Pro with 13-inch Retina display. Get special student pricing and fast, free shipping.