BUSM Laptop Requirement
Boston University School of Medicine requires incoming MD students to have a laptop computer. Students are advised against purchasing Tablet PC's as some required software (such as ExamSoft) is not supported. Laptops are valuable collaborative tools, allowing for productive interactions with classmates and faculty. Student laptops are required for the BUSM I Histology course (virtual microscopy), course examinations, and testing by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Course materials are supplied in electronic form. Wireless and cable internet connections, and power outlets support laptop use in the Alumni Medical Library, large lecture halls, and common spaces and study spaces throughout the medical campus. Wireless printing is also available in the Library and in the L-Basement.
This laptop requirement allows students to include the cost of the laptop (or necessary upgrade) in the student loan package. The loan will not cover peripheral equipment such as printers and speakers. Students must present appropriate receipts to the Financial Aid officer to qualify for coverage. Contact the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) with questions by e-mail email@example.com or by telephone (617) 638-5130 or toll free at 1-877-776-6243.
Student laptops must meet the minimum requirements listed below. Additional suggested options for consideration are likewise included below. Please visit the BU Sourcing & Procurement website for recommendations. You may also visit BU Information Services & Technology (IS&T) Shop Online site for links to Lenovo BU, Dell BU, and Apple BU (Apple requires BU login) as well as Adobe and Microsoft software.
Students may register their laptops with the Boston University Police Department to aid in theft deterrent and enable the return of stolen or lost laptops. Registration for students is free-of-charge.
Once students have obtained a BU login name and Kerberos password, McAfee anti-virus software can be downloaded and installed free-of-charge and should be set to automatically run and update at least once weekly. This includes the spyware portion and all future updates. Other anti-virus software must be removed before installing McAfee.
Minimum Requirements for BUSM Laptop Computers:
**Non-Tablet PC** (Apple's IOS and Android devices do not meet minimum requirements)
2.0 GHz processor (PCs with Intel Core or equivalent x86 processor, Macs with Intel only processor)
2 GB RAM (*see RAM upgrade recommendation below)
120 GB hard drive
1280 x 800 resolution
At least 4 hours of actual battery life. (Batteries are consumable products and their performance degrades over time. You may need to replace your batteries when run time is no longer sufficient.)
Windows 7 Home Edition or Windows 8.1 Home Edition for PCs (**see Windows 7/8.1 upgrade recommendations below), Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 for Macs.
Updated Virus and Spyware Protection (free-of-charge McAfee anti-virus software)
Recommended browsers include Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (PCs only) and Safari. Do not use beta versions of these browsers. Please check with your faculty and instructors for preferred browser(s) for a particular class or exam.
Optional Considerations Prior to Laptop Purchase:
Upgrade to faster processor to improve performance.
Upgrade to 128 or 256 Solid State Drive (SSD) on laptops offering SSD to improve performance, especially during startup. Upgrade to larger, high-speed (7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm) hard drive for improved performance by allowing faster access to applications and documents.
*Upgrade to 4 GB RAM. Some systems offer this as a standard. Increasing RAM will improve performance of computer, but in some cases RAM cannot be upgraded.
Upgrade to larger battery if weight is not a concern to increase the time laptop can be used without having to plug into a power outlet for recharge. Be aware that batteries degrade over time and must be replaced when run time is no longer sufficient.
Purchase screen size approximately 12" to 13". A larger screen generally provides higher resolution and therefore more information on the screen at one time. If scrolling is a problem, particularly during an exam, then consider a computer with a larger screen. A full size keyboard is suggested, but going beyond a 15" screen is not recommended due to added weight.
**Upgrade to Windows 7.0 (64 bit)/8.1 Professional and Mac OSX Maverick 10.9. Certain software packages used by some students may require the Windows OS and if used on a Mac would require the additional purchase of the appropriate Windows OS and a virtualization software like VirtualBox (preferred, free), VMware, or Parallels Desktop.
Consider purchasing a "no fault" protection plan.
Be aware that certain models of Macbook and PC notebooks do not have a Kensington Security Slot nor will user be able to do any upgrades, including changing the battery.
The Alumni Medical Library's Computing Services Help Desk staff, based in L-1109, will provide assistance with student laptops after matriculation, including providing a laptop loaner service for students whose computers are being serviced by BU or outside repair shops. For more information about school or department related software, please contact your school's administrator. Please contact Selim Hascelik, Assistant Director of Library Computing & Systems by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (617) 638-6696 for additional information.