SOJC Student Technology Purchase Recommendations


We are often asked Do I need a computer for classes?In short, yes.

Student computer ownership on campus is around 97% and the School of Journalism and Communication’s official computer policy states: 

Course work will be assigned with the assumption that students have access to a laptop computer. Some instructors will require in-class use of laptops.


What do we recommend? A laptop, for one.

There are little or no concessions these days when using a laptop versus a desktop computer. While the School is heavily Macintosh, much of the coursework can be completed using whatever newer (3 years old or less) model laptop is available to you. If you’re in the market for a new computer, here is what we recommend based on value and reliability:

Current hardware recommendations (Jan 2020):

16″ MacBook Pro

  • 2.6GHz six-core Intel Core i7
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
  • 16GB memory
  • 512GB or higher SSD
  • Radeon Pro 5300 with 4GB memory

13" Inch MacBook Air:

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 16GB memory (*not user upgradeable, you can get by with 8GB if you cannot afford)
  • 256GB or higher SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics 617

External hard drive recommendation

Students in the Gateway introductory courses are asked to purchase an external hard drive to store audio, video and other course-related files. We recommend the LaCie Rugged 500 GB SSD drive, available at the Duck Store.

Software purchase recommendations

We recommend students have some kind of word processing application that’s capable of reading and writing Microsoft Word files. The UO provides Microsoft Office 365 to all students and faculty at no charge. There are a variety of free and/or inexpensive options beyond Microsoft Office including Google DocsApple’s Pages, and OpenOffice/Libre Office/NeoOffice.

Additionally, students will likely need other software packages, such as Adobe Creative Suite later in their studies, but we recommend students delay the purchase of software until it is needed for coursework. The SOJC Digital Commons labs have this software and are available to students enrolled in courses that require the use of specific software packages.

Where to buy

You may buy these systems from the vendor of your choice however some offer educational discounts. Below are sources who offer at educational pricing:

Reminder: Hardware and software purchased within or delivered to Oregon addresses are not subject to sales tax!


Article ID: 31146
Thu 6/1/17 1:50 PM
Mon 12/5/22 3:05 PM