Educational Computing

Medical Student Computer Requirement for Fall 2016

Overview of Computer Requirement

The UCSD School of Medicine (SOM) expects all incoming Medical Students to have a laptop (or notebook) computer with wireless access, a printer, various specific software applications and internet access.  It will be used for information access, instructional applications, and official communications - in class and at home.

UCSD does not require a specific brand of laptop computers.  However, students must pay attention to the requirements provided in order for their computer to be of sufficient processing power and resolution to meet their academic needs.  A range of laptop computer configurations (described as Minimal to Optimal) are acceptable.  Both Apple and PC computers are acceptable.
 

  • Minimum Configuration: This is the least expensive configuration that will meet the school's requirements. It may need some upgrading after a few years.  If you already have a computer that meets or exceeds this minimum, it will be adequate to begin medical school.

  • Optimum Configuration: This configuration more than meets the school's requirements and has capabilities that will be useful while at medical school. If you can afford to purchase a computer with this configuration or better, it should serve your needs throughout medical school.
     
  • Please note: iPads, Chromebooks and non-Pro versions of Surface tablets are NOT recommended as they cannot be used for certain required SOM-based applications

The Office of Educational Computing is available to answer questions about these recommendations and show you how to configure your laptop computers for connection to the UCSD wireless network.

Apple LAPTOP Configurations
iPads are NOT recommended since Adobe Flash is not supported on those devices.

Hardware Minimum Optimum
Processor Type Dual-Core i5 MacBook Pro Quad-Core i7 MacBook Pro
Speed 2.5 GHz 2.7 GHz
Operating System Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

Memory / RAM 8 GB 16 GB
Network Adapter Ethernet AND Wireless Ethernet AND Wireless
Monitor Size 13.3" LCD 15.4" LCD
Monitor Resolution Retina Display Retina Display
Optional Drives CD-RW / DVD ROM Drive CD-RW / DVD ROM Drive
Screen Sharing Requirement VGA or HDMI Ready VGA or HDMI Ready

 

SOFTWARE for Apple Computers

  Description Comments
OS Application Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or above OS updates should be run AT LEAST once per week.
General Productivity

Microsoft Office 365 OR
Microsoft Office 2016 for OS X
 (Non-student version - recommended if you want to use Outlook)

Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc. Check the UCSD Bookstore Computer Center for academic prices. Information on Office 365 and other UCSD licenced software for students, can be found on the campus ETS website External Site / New Window.
Email WebMail provided free by UCSD Students can also use MacMail, Entourage (Web Services Edition), or other email client packages that support Microsoft Exchange.
Web Browser

Chrome External Site / New Window, Firefox External Site / New Window, Safari External Site / New Window

Download the latest version compatible with your computer's OS.
 

Security Software Sophos Anti-Virus for MAC Home Edition

http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/ External Site / New Window
Virus definition updates should be set to auto-update daily and system scans should be run AT LEAST once per week.

Firewall Required by UCSD Incorporated into Mac OS X - must be enabled.
Plug-ins

Adobe Acrobat Reader (required for online exams*) External Site / New Window, Adobe Flash PlayerExternal Site / New Window, JavaExternal Site / New Window, VLCExternal Site / New Window

* Acrobat Reader is required for use with the online exam application - the built-in PDF reader will not function correctly.

Free applications available for download.
Carefully read the install screens as some of these Plug-ins will try to install unnecessary software/toolbars (e.g Ask toolbar) if you don't uncheck the appropriate boxes.

File Compression / Decompression Built-in with Mac OS X File Compression / Decompression included in the latest Mac OS X
Reference Management RefWorks, ZoteroExternal Site / New Window , Mendeley External Site / New Window For more information, see: https://ucsd.libguides.com/refworks External Site / New Window. If a more robust application is required, consider purchasing EndNote External Site / New Window.
Curricular Calendar Synchronization Using your mobile device
(iOS & Android Supported)
Students should consider purchasing a mobile device to access curricular resources while away from their computer. Check the UCSD Bookstore Computer Center External Site / New Window for academic prices.

PC LAPTOP Configurations  (Including tablet PCs)
Chromebooks and non-Pro versions of Surface tablets are NOT recommended as they cannot be used for certain required SOM-based applications.

Hardware Minimum Optimum
Processor Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7
Speed 2.5 GHz 2.9 GHz
Operating System Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Windows 10 (64-Bit)
RAM 4 GB 8 GB
Network Interface Card Ethernet AND Wireless Ethernet AND Wireless
Monitor Size 13" 13-17"
Monitor Resolution 1280 x 800 1920 x 1200
Additional Optional Drives CD-RW / DVD ROM Drive CD-RW / DVD ROM Drive
Screen Sharing Requirement VGA or HDMI Ready VGA or HDMI Ready



SOFTWARE for PC Computers

  Description Comments
OS Application Windows 8.1 64-bit OS updates should be run AT LEAST once per week.
General Productivity

Microsoft Office 365 OR
Microsoft Office 2016 Professional
(Non-Home or Non-Student Edition - recommended if you want to use Outlook)

Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc. Check the UCSD Bookstore Computer Center External Site / New Window for academic prices. Information on Office 365 and other UCSD licenced software for students, can be found on the campus ETS website External Site / New Window .
Email WebMail provided free by UCSD Students can also use Outlook (see above) or other email client packages that support Microsoft Exchange.
Web Browser

Chrome External Site / New Window, Firefox, External Site / New WindowMicrosoft Edge External Site / New Window

Download the latest version compatible with your computer's OS.
 

Security Software Microsoft Security Essentials

http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ External Site / New Window
Virus definition updates should be set to auto-update daily and system scans should be run AT LEAST once per week.

Firewall Required by UCSD Incorporated into Windows 8.1 - must be enabled.
Plug-ins

Adobe Acrobat Reader (required for online exams*)External Site / New Window, Adobe Flash Player External Site / New Window, Java External Site / New Window, Windows Media Player External Site / New Window, VLC External Site / New Window

* Acrobat Reader is required for use with the online exam application - the built-in PDF reader will not function correctly.

Free applications available for download.
Carefully read the install screens as some of these Plug-ins will try to install unnecessary software/toolbars (e.g Ask toolbar) if you don't uncheck the appropriate boxes.

File Compression / Decompression Built into Windows File Compression / Decompression included in Windows 8.1 or 10.
Reference Management RefWorks, Zotero External Site / New Window , Mendeley External Site / New Window For more information, see:  https://ucsd.libguides.com/refworksExternal Site / New Window. If a more robust application is required, consider purchasing EndNote External Site / New Window.
Curricular Calendar Synchronization Using your mobile device
(iOS & Android Supported)
Students should consider purchasing a mobile device to access curricular resources while away from their computer. Check the UCSD Bookstore Computer Center External Site / New Window for academic prices.

Peripheral Devices

  Description Comments
Printer Required Printing from UCSD computers requires a UCSD Imprints card (cost $0.10/page). Additional information on printing throughout UCSD campus External Site / New Window . Thus, printing at home is the most cost effective option for students. When selecting a printer, students should not only consider the initial purchase price, but also the cost of ink cartridge replacements.
Portable Mass Storage 8GB USB Flash Drive Strongly recommended for transport of files to / from home and school.
Back-Up HIGHLY recommended Students should consider strategies for backing up important files such as writing to a CD or external hard drive. On a Mac, there is a built-in utility called Time Machine External Site / New Window . In Windows 8, there is a utility called Backup and Restore External Site / New Window .
Mobile Device HIGHLY recommended Students should consider purchasing a mobile device to access curricular resources while away from their computer. Check the UCSD Bookstore Computer Center  External Site / New Window for academic prices.

Internet Access

  Campus Housing Off-Campus Housing
Connection Method Ethernet via a wired/wireless Network Interface Card (NIC).
(Not supplied by UCSD)
Cable modem or DSL
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) UCSD ResNet External Site / New Window
(Cost included in housing fees)
High Speed Services
Cox High Speed Internet External Site / New Window
AT&T High Speed DSL External Site / New Window
Time Warner External Site / New Window
Various ISP's in your area External Site / New Window
Note:
Remote access to UCSD Library resources (including the electronic reserve system used in the core curriculum) requires that users be authenticated as official UCSD students, faculty, or staff. Use of UCSD's ResNet or UCSD's wireless access on campus (UCSD Protected network) automatically authenticates the user. If you select a non-UCSD entity as your ISP, a free VPN External Site / New Window client must also be installed on your computer in order to enable library access from off campus.

Computer Requirements FAQ

You can begin school with your current laptop computer and see if it is adequate to meet your needs. If access to and display of complex media (such as images or video) are a problem, you may need to rethink purchase of a new system.
Both platforms are supported by UCSD School of Medicine's Division of Medical Education.
Yes, unfortunately, simply having a tablet device does not meet the laptop requirement at this time. Due to the nature of the online exam and quiz program, it is recommended to use laptops for this application.
The UCSD Bookstore Computer Center offers a large selection of computers that meet the recommendations provided in this website. There are also "special promotions" aimed at our students.
Why Buy a Computer From the UCSD Bookstore External Site / New Window

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