Undergraduate Laptop Requirement

All undergraduate students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering are required to have a laptop. Some courses may require that you bring your laptop to every class or lab.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her laptop meets the following requirements. Many options are available to meet these requirements, and we strongly recommend you read all information on this page to ensure your laptop is compliant. Download a printable PDF of the requirements.

Hardware Requirements

  Hardware & OS           



 Operating System  

 Windows 7 

 Windows 10



 Intel Core i5

 Intel Core i7





 Hard Drive


 500-1000GB SSD


 Network Card

 Integrated  Wireless

 Integrated Wireless


 Integrated Video

 Discrete Graphics


 1 USB port

 2–3 USB ports



 Built-in Camera


 Factory Warranty

 Extended Warranty (in-home service)

Operating System Requirements

Students are required to install specific software packages on their laptops for certain classes. Where possible, the university and BME try to provide students with the opportunity to obtain Mac OS/X versions of required software packages. However, some of the software packages used in our program are only available on the Microsoft Windows Platform. Due to this need, all students are required to have Windows.

Mac OS/X and Linux

Students with Mac OS/X and/or Linux operating systems will need to obtain and install an additional copy of Windows for their system. BME recommends that students use virtualization environments that permit both operating systems to run simultaneously.

Virtualization Tools

Virtualization software operates two distinct computer environments on the same laptop. The original Mac OS/X still continues to be the primary operating system, while Windows can be installed and run as a guest operating system inside a "virtual machine."

Two recommended options are:

Students must have a Windows license in order to run Windows in a virtualization environment. Installation DVDs and 64 bit Windows licenses are available at the UT Campus Computer Store at a student discount. These are upgrade licenses but are compatible with installation as a guest operating system for virtualization.

Dual-Boot Options

As an alternative to virtualization tools, dual-boot solutions will also work, such as Apple's Boot Camp software. For those who prefer boot camp over virtualization, compatibility information for specific models is available. 

Minimum Software Requirements


 Where to get it

 MS Office 2016

 UT Campus Computer Store for a student discount



For personally owned computers, the free online Immunet anti-virus software is recommended.

 MS Updates

 Available for auto-download through MS Update Center


 ITS Printing

 Download from UT Information Technology Services 

Software packages used in classes, such as LabVIEW and Mathematica, are provided to engineering students at no cost by the Cockrell School of Engineering. Matlab is also available to all students


It is highly recommended that your laptop be encrypted using your operating system’s native encryption utility (e.g. BitLocker, FileVault 2, etc.). The encryption method chosen may depend on the hardware and operating system supported by the encryption utility. Laptops are highly vulnerable assets that contain a huge amount of personal information that is easily accessible by thieves unless encryption is enabled.

Financial Aid

Students receiving financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid to have their aid adjusted to include the cost of a laptop.

BME Virtual Desktop

BME students can access Virtual Desktops with the following software. These Virtual Desktops are accessible from any computer on-campus or off-campus via a web browser.

  • Matlab
  • LabVIEW
  • MS Office
  • Solidworks
  • Visual Studio
  • Xming

To Access your Virtual Desktop

  1. Enable your UT account for access to ENGR computing resources at https://apps.engr.utexas.edu/dnapps/EnableAccount/ (UT EID login required).
  2. Go to https://appd.engr.utexas.edu using Internet Explorer or Safari (UT EID login required).
  3. If this is your first time using the virtual desktop, you must download and install the client for your Operating System from the downloads tab. For Macs, ONLY install the "Web Access Connector."
  4. Once the client is installed you will be able to launch desktops and applications that are assigned to your major (BME) from the applications tab.
  5. To access your data outside of a Virtual Desktop visit http://www.engr.utexas.edu/itg/data.