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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 an available network jack. 

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 is a major which uses software that runs only on PCs.  If you're planning on majoring in this study, we highly recommend purchasing a PC and not a Mac.

Software:

The Adobe Creative Cloud will be provided to undergraduate and graduate students as part of the school's Technology Fee.  This bundle includes Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, Premiere Pro and many other important software titles.  As part of our licensing agreement with Adobe, students get access to software updates released during their time at the college (such as Photoshop 2017, Photoshop 2018).  For information on how to access to this software bundle, please click here.

Google Apps is part of the web-based software package provided along with a MICA account.  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 undergraduate students, and graduate students.  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 or this direct login page.

Lynda.Com - Lynda is a web-based training service 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.  Lynda.com can be accessed through the links listed within a student's portal content.

Anti-virus software - Anti-Virus software is recommended but not required. Use caution when installing these as some services can block ports that are needed by certain applications. Apple products typically are not susceptible to viruses but of course anything can happen, so use caution when online. PC’s have a higher risk and should use some type of virus protection, such as Symantec's Norton AntiVirus Basic.

Theft Prevention - There are multiple ways you can safeguard your laptop or mobile device while at MICA. If you have an Apple product, use Find My Mac/iPhone, which is part of iCloud. This will help you track your lost or stolen Apple device, read more about how it works here. If you need help in setting this up, you can find information here or contact the Help Desk. You can also use the free Front Door Software application that can be downloaded for your Mac or PC from this web page. There are other services offered for PC’s and Mac’s that can be found online or at a store that sells electronics.

This page was last updated on 06/19/2018.

Buying a Laptop?

  1. The Apple Store


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