BUSM Laptop Requirement
Boston University School of Medicine requires incoming MD students to have a laptop computer. 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.
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:
2.0 GHz processor
2 GB RAM (*see RAM upgrade recommendation below)
120 GB hard drive
1280 x 800 resolution
Wi-Fi (802.11n capable preferred)
4 hours of battery life
Windows 7 or Windows 8 Home Edition
for PCs (**see Windows 7 upgrade recommendations below),
Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6, Mac OS X Lion 10.7 or Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 for Macs.
Windows XP Professional (32-bit) or Windows Vista are also acceptable.
Note: Certain software packages used in BUSM courses may require the Windows OS. Students who prefer to purchase a Mac should be aware that this would require the additional purchase of the appropriate Windows OS and a virtualization software like VirtualBox (preferred, free), VMware, or Parallels Desktop in order to use these programs on their laptops.
Updated Virus and Spyware Protection (free-of-charge McAfee anti-virus software)
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.
**Purchase the most updated and patched OS for your laptop. This is currently Windows 7.0/8.0 (Professional or Ultimate versions preferred) and Mac OSX Mountain Lion 10.8. 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.
Purchase a protection plan such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Protection plan or the DELL Complete-care Accidental Damage protection plan.
If you purchase a Mac Book Air, be aware that Apple provides no way of securing (Kensington Security Slot) this model nor will user be able to do any upgrades, including changing the battery. All repairs must be done by Apple.
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. 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.Sept/2013