All students are strongly encouraged to have a laptop computer. Students are also recommended to purchase additional warranty and coverage for accidental damage, external storage for secure backups of classwork and personal information, and a security lock.

Adobe Creative Cloud at VPA: Adobe Creative Cloud is available for free on shared computers in ITS labs across campus. VPA students enrolled in specific classes will have access on their personal device during the semester they are enrolled in a participating class. Students in the Department of Film and Media Arts (FMA) receive a personal device license while enrolled in FMA courses.

Below you will find additional recommendations for specific VPA departments, schools and programs.

Additional Requirements for Specific Schools, Departments, and Programs


Laptops capable of running Adobe Creative Suite are recommended.

Students in Communication and Rhetorical Studies are required to own a personal computer with specifications sufficient to conduct research on the web, check email, write papers, and perform related tasks. Syracuse University provides all students with licenses for both Microsoft 365, which includes the Microsoft Office suite of applications, and Google's G-Suite.

Printable School of Design Computer Recommendations [Word]

A laptop computer is expected for all students in the School of Design. The School recommends laptops for their easy portability between a residence and studio space. This computing flexibility is paired with access to the Warehouse computer lab for major-specific computer courses.

During the first year, students will be required and expected to have access to Adobe Creative Cloud and Trimble SketchUp Free. We recommend subscribing to Creative Cloud Student Edition. Syracuse University provides students with Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite. These services are ideal for backup, group work and file sharing.

Design Studies

Students in the Design Studies program should follow the computing requirements for Communications Design; please see below.

Communications Design

The Communications Design major— much like the Communications Design industry— uses Apple Macintosh computers as their primary tool platform for getting work done. Based on our experience we offer the following guidelines as a set of minimum requirements for student computers.

Minimum Guidelines

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription (Academic Pricing)
  • Apple MacBook Pro with 13” – 16” Display
  • Minimum 16GB RAM
  • Minimum 512GB Hard Drive (Internal)

Additional Smart Computing Tools

  • AppleCare+Extended Warranty and Support / Buying through SU Bookstore offers extended warranty with longer coverage than AppleCare
  • (2) USB 3.0 Flash drive — 64GB Min
  • USB C to USB Dongle
  • Dedicated, external hard drive for regular, local backups, 5TB

Optional Accessories

  • External Mouse
  • Protective Case

Fashion Design

In the fashion design industry, Apple Macintosh computers are used as a primary tool platform for getting work done. We offer these guidelines for minimum requirements for fashion design student computers.

Minimum Guidelines

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription (Academic Pricing)
  • Apple MacBook Pro with 13” – 16” Display
  • Minimum 16GB RAM
  • Minimum 512GB Hard Drive (Internal)

Additional Smart Computing Tools

  • AppleCare+Extended Warranty and Support / Buying through SU Bookstore offers extended warranty with longer coverage than AppleCare
  • (2) USB 3.0 Flash drive — 64GB Min
  • USB C to USB Dongle
  • Dedicated, external hard drive for regular, local backups, 5TB

A laptop computer is expected for all students in the School of Design. The School recommends laptops for their easy portability between a residence and studio space. This computing flexibility is paired with access to the Warehouse computer lab for major-specific computer courses.

During the first year, students will be required and expected to have access to Adobe Creative Cloud and Trimble SketchUp Free. We recommend subscribing to Creative Cloud Student Edition. Syracuse University provides students with Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite. These services are ideal for backup, group work and file sharing.

Environmental & Interior Design

Students in the EDI program will need the computing capacity to run Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk AutoCAD, McNeel Rhino 3D (Windows OS), Trimble Sketchup, Autodesk Revit, and rendering plug-ins such as Enscape or Keyshot.

The EDI program and Warehouse Lab are set up to principally support computers with a Microsoft Windows operating system. Although in the past it has been possible to run Windows on Macbooks, Apple’s ARM-based Macs (M1) will not support Boot Camp to install and run Windows 10 on the machines. All incoming EDI freshmen should be equipped with computers with a Microsoft Windows operating system to run Windows apps required by the program. 

We DO NOT suggest a Macbook for EDI students, this will impact your work with performance and graphic issues.

Minimum Technical Guidelines

  • Laptop Windows 10
  • Intel Core i7 (or better preferred)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 500 GB+ SSD
  • Nvidia or AMD, 4 GB+ memory, discrete not shared or integrated. Avoid Intel graphics
  • 15” Display (Display resolution 2560 x 1440 or higher)
  • External optical mouse 

Additional Smart Computing Tools

  • 3 year on-site/at home warranty 
  • External 1 TB+ USB SSD or hard drive for extra storage and backup
  • Video adapters, VGA or HDMI connection

Optional Accessories

  • Protective Case
  • External 24”+ monitor with HDMI port (plus HDMI cable and USB-C to HDMI converter)
  • 128 GB+ USB flash drive
  • Video adapters, VGA or HDMI connection

Industrial & Interaction Design

Students in the IID program typically use computers for various tasks, for example: to research project topics, to work collaboratively, to create posters sharing information, to digitally sketch and render, to model in 3D (CAD-Computer Aided Design) and to visualize renderings and animations.

Supporting these design processes needs computing capacity to run applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk products, SolidWorks, Rhino 3D, Gravity Sketch VR and KeyShot.

For digital sketching, it is recommended that students purchase either a Wacom or Huion digital pen tablet to use with their laptop or an iPad. For students that desire a comprehensive all-in-one solution without VR capability, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro is an option.

Minimum Guidelines

  • Laptop Running Microsoft Windows 10
  • 15” Display or larger (Display resolution 2560 x 1440 or higher)
  • VR ready (Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia RTX)
  • 512 GB SSD
  • External Three Button Mouse for CAD
  • Protective Case

Department of Drama, All Majors:

  • Computer (laptop or tablet) with good wireless and video conferencing capabilities. Audio and video recording and editing capability strongly recommended.
  • Headphones, earbuds, or AirPods

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If you have questions, please contact your Program Coordinator or Assistant Program Coordinator.

 

Acting

Katie McGerr kemcgerr@syr.edu

Thom Miller tmiller@syr.edu


Musical Theater

Brian Cimmet bcimmet@syr.edu

Kathleen Wrinn kawrinn@syr.edu


Stage Management

Don Buschmann dgbuschm@syr.edu


Theater Management

Jim Clark jaclark@syr.edu

Jill Anderson jianders@syr.edu

 

Theater Design & Technology

Carmen Martinez cmarti46@syr.edu

Rob Andrusko randrusk@syr.edu 



Students in the Setnor School of Music are required to own a personal laptop computer to access course materials, research music concepts, strengthen music theory and aural skills, collaborate with classmates, and communicate with faculty. Student computers should be capable of word processing, e-mail, internet browsing, music notation, and audio/midi/video editing. While the School supports student use of both Apple Mac and Windows PC platforms, it is strongly recommended that students consider purchasing an Apple MacBook Pro. The School also strongly recommends students purchase Avid Sibelius music notation software for use on their computer. Sibelius is available to students as a download direct from Avid online for $99 for a one-year subscription paid upfront or $9.99 monthly. Syracuse University provides all students with a license to Microsoft 365 at no cost, which includes the Office suite, and students should have the Office software installed on their personal laptop.

All Film and Media Arts majors receive a personal-device license of AdobeCreative Cloud to install and use the Creative Cloud software on a personally-owned computer while enrolled in FMA courses. Based on the current licensing agreement with Adobe, which is subject to change, enrolled students have year-round subscriptions. 

After the first year, some additional software purchases may be required based on course of study and are included in course syllabi. Apple and Adobe products are available at academic discounts from the SU Bookstore

The following are the minimum required computer specifications.

Art Photography Majors

  • Required computer (minimum): Apple 14” or 16” MacBook Pro, 8 or 10-Core CPU
  • Recommended external hard drive: 1 TB 

Computer Art and Animation Majors

  • Required computer (minimum): Dell Alienware, G-Series or other PC gaming laptop with 16GB RAM, 1 TB internal storage, and NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics as minimum specs. 
  • Autodesk Maya. Autodesk offers free software downloads to members of their Education Community.

Film Majors

  • Required computer (minimum): Apple 14” or 16” MacBook Pro 8 or 10-Core CPU
  • Recommended External Hard Drives: Rugged 1 TB Type-C interface
  • Recommended Editing Hard Drive: 1 TB 7200 RPM Type-C interface 
  • Additional Recommended Software: DaVinci Resolve (free download)