Get Started: Students: Technology to Bring

In general, computer systems with higher processing power and greater quantities of RAM will improve performance and extend the usable life of the system. Students majoring in computer intensive academic programs of study, such as Mass Communication, Graphic Design, Engineering, and others, are encouraged to consult with their department before purchasing a computer. These types of academic programs may require computers with higher end specifications to support the software used.
Desktop computers are generally less expensive than laptops or tablets of comparable computing power. However, portability and wireless connectivity can make laptops or tablets a preferred choice as a desktop replacement or second computer. Thoughtful consideration of your study habits in and outside of the classroom will help you choose the right type.

CMU offers students numerous locations around campus with printing capabilities.  MAVPrint, CMU’s campus 'pay to print' system, provides printing in residence hall labs, computer labs, the Library, and the University Center using campus computers or personal computers.

Students can also bring personal printers for their dorm room if they wish.  These can be either USB connected printers or WiFi printers.

For black and white printing, laser printers are more cost effective compared to ink-jet printers in terms of the per page cost to print. They are also easier to maintain. Generally, ink jet printers are an acceptable choice for low volume color printing.

Students may be required to purchase specific software for specific courses. In some cases, students will purchase software along with the textbook used for a given class at a nominal cost. Students should not purchase software until advised by instructors.

Do I need to purchase my own Microsoft Office license or a subscription to Microsoft Office 365?  The answer is no.  As a CMU student, you are automatically licensed to use Microsoft Office 365.  This license gives you 1TB of cloud storage via OneDrive, and access to the web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, and Teams, among others.  These are fully functioning versions of these software applications, and only require an Internet connection; no software needs to installed on your device.  In all there are 23 Microsoft web-based applications provided with Office 365. 

As an additional benefit of your student license, you are able to download and install the full Microsoft Office suite on up to 5 personal devices.  For Windows based computers, the Microsoft Office Suite includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Skype for Business, and Teams. For Apple computers, the Microsoft Office Suite includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, and Teams.

Once admitted as a student and you have established your MAVzone account, you can logon to MAVzone and access the Office 365 app.

Consumer based WiFi devices are everywhere today with more and more types being created. Popular devices include streaming media devices (Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast), gaming consoles (Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation), and smart TVs, etc.  These types of devices will vary as to how they connect to the CMU network.  Some will offer hard-wired Ethernet connections only, or WiFi connections only, while others will offer both connection types.  All dorm rooms offer both hard-wired Ethernet ports as well as WiFi access to support these types of devices.

Considering a TV or Smart TV for your dorm room?  There is one very important feature to consider when purchasing a TV or Smart TV.  Make sure that the TV or Smart TV you purchase is equipped with a QAM Digital tuner.  The tuner is what delivers the channels of programming to your TV.  When you connect your TV to the coax cable in your dorm room, you will need to program your TV to locate all of the channels made available by the cable provider.  If your TV does not have a QAM digital tuner, it will not be able to discover these channels.  Check with the vendor that makes the TV you are considering and confirm it has this type of digital tuner.

Dorm rooms have both Ethernet connections as well as WiFi access.  Smart TVs will come with one or both of these connection methods to provide Internet access needed to access additional content providers such as Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video for example.