Apps & Software You Need

Students should be comfortable with various internet technologies, media players, and collaboration tools. Our technical staff and faculty continue to adopt services and options that promote quality, flexibility, and interactivity. For most courses, you will only need an internet connection, Web browser, laptop or PC, and an active Purdue career account to get the most out of your course.

Following are the minimum hardware and software computer requirements for courses. Specific courses may have additional requirements, which you'll find in the individual course descriptions.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • Pentium 4 or an equivalent Mac 
  • 1 GB of RAM (system memory) 
  • On-board sound or card, speakers or headphones, and microphone functionality 
  • DirectX 9-class graphics card with 32 MB of graphics memory 
  • A high speed cable modem, DSL, or ISDN Internet connection 
  • Webcam, either built-in or external, for courses that use online exam proctoring
  • A printer

Minimum Software Requirements

  • An operating system no older than Windows XP (OS X 10.4 for Mac users) 
  • A suite of current office software (Microsoft Office) 
  • A current version of a Web browser: Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox preferred 
  • An e-mail application 
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • MPEG-4 compatible video player installed.
  • VOIP programs like Skype can also be very useful

Software Remote

Purdue offers free access to more than 200 software applications through Software Remote. Many of the commonly used applications for engineering courses that you would otherwise need to purchase, can be accessed from the convenience of your laptop or PC 24 hours a day, seven days a week with your Purdue career account. Included on the list are popular programs such as SPSS, Minitab, Mathematica and SAS.

Students can access Matlab for free via

Discounted Software

Purdue students can take advantage of negotiated pricing with vendors for hardware, software, and mobile service plans. Get started shopping.

Software, Services, and Tools Training

Watch on-demand tutorials for Blackboard, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, myMail, and more.

Optimizing your Personal Computer

These are some tips and recommendations to make sure you can access your classes and important resources.

  • Install an up-to-date antivirus program. Purdue student can access free security downloads.
  • Organize your documents in a dedicated Purdue folder on your local drive.
  • Back up files regularly. Microsoft OneDrive offers 1 terabyte of individual space.
  • Check your Purdue email account often. Log in to myMail or Office 365. Alternatively, you can forward messages to your personal email account. 
  • Use the GoldAnswers knowledge base for more helpful tips.