HSA Computer Policy

Policies for professional program students

Laptop Computer REQUIRED upon entry to the professional program. 
Students may petition to be excused from this requirement. 

Students in upper level design studios are expected to use 3D rendering and 2D presentation software for their coursework.  An introduction to these software types is given in Arch 225 in the spring semester of 2nd-year, just prior to acceptance into the professional program.  A limited number of machines are provided in the Architecture building and in Springfield Hall for student use.  However, each student, unless they petition not to do so, is required to supply his or her own laptop for studio work. 


  • PC System (Dell, etc) OR Mac Book Pro System (Apple)
    • Operating System:  Windows 7 64 Bit Professional or Ultimate, or OS X for the Mac Book Pro
  • 2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 8 GB RAM minimum
  • 500+ GB HDD minimum (7200 RPM SATA II recommended)
  • DVD-R/RW
  • Wireless (802.11g 54 Mbps)
  • USB Ports AND PCMCIA Slot
  • Security lock/cable
  • A nVidia or ATI video card with 1GB of dedicated memory. NOTE:  Avoid integrated cards with shared memory, they will not run 3d applications effectively!
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel

Recommended Accessories:

  • Drawing tablet (Wacom)
  • 1 Terabyte Backup drive (external hard drive)
  • Additional power supply
  • Flash drive
  • Wide angle digital camera
  • Flash card reader

Recommended Software:

All operating systems and programs are expected to be legal licenses of valid programs. There are educational versions of most professional graphics programs that are available at substantial discounts through sites like CreationEngine.com, AcademicSuperstore.com, JourneyEd.com, Amazon.com, and some local bookstores. For the more technically savvy, there are even open source alternatives that approach the quality of professional grade programs (GIMP, SketchUp, Wings 3D, Blender, GhostView, etc.). Software programmers deserve to have their work respected in the same way you as a practicing architect would expect your work/design to be protected. 

  • Windows 7 64 Bit Professional or Ultimate (required for Apple users if running VIZ, AutoCAD, Revit  Building or other PC-only based software)
  • BootCamp is a PC emulating software for the Mac OS (required for Apple users if running VIZ, AutoCAD, Revit  Building or other PC-only based software within OS X). 
  • Google SketchUp 8 (free version)
  • Adobe Creative Suite CS5 (contains Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro)
  • Microsoft Office 2011 or OpenOffice. Open office is an open source office suite that contains the same types of software as MSOffice for free, albeit with limited support.
  • Form Z, 3d Studio Max 3D, 3d Studio Design 2012 (used for 3D modeling work – free from from Autodesk.com as a student version).               
  • AutoCAD Revit Architecture 2012 (used for architectural modeling/drafting – free from Autodesk.com as a student version).
  • AntiVirus Software.  If you live on campus, the University will provide antivirus protection software that must be used by each student.  One option is free virus protection software which can be found avg.com


Computers and software unfortunately are finicky beasts that sometimes refuse to do what we want them to do. Given the large number of students, configurations, and limited resources the Department of Architecture cannot supply support for your machine. It is important that you purchase from a source that will provide good service.

However, Instruction will be given at the beginning of each semester in order to access Drury’s WiFi network for internet access and printing.  Certain software may be required for specific classes similar to the way a particular course will have required text. 

The responsible party for student-owned PCs is the student. Drury cannot be responsible for replacing or installing components or software in student systems since the college cannot assume liability for your PC should any damage or failures occur in the process. Contact the manufacturer for warranty support or local vendors for walk-in service.


Drury recommends you purchase a machine from Asus, Sony, Dell, Lenovo (IBM), HP or Apple. Each of these companies offers computers that have been above average in reliability and service and have represented the most common choice for our students. Each of these companies offers educational discounts.

Apple offers an education store to purchase a computer at an educational discount.  Go to http://www.apple.com/education/