The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business (LSB) will require a Windows PC for use in all business classes starting in the Fall of 2021.*
Students in the Classes of 2021 and 2022 are strongly encouraged to obtain a Windows PC for use in their remaining business courses.
We will implement a phased transition (over the next 6-18 months) to a Windows PC environment for all BS (Accounting), BSBA (Business Analytics, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Project Management, Supply Chain Management), MSA (Accounting), MSBA (Business Analytics), and MBA students. We strongly encourage students graduating in the near term to obtain a Windows PC but will allow these students the option to continue using their present computing platform (with the caveat that, increasingly, many software applications in use in business courses will not run on a Mac); we will require that new students/new majors obtain/use a Windows PC starting in the fall of 2021.*
Students pursuing the BS (Accounting), BSBA (Business Analytics, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Project Management, Supply Chain Management), MSA (Accounting), MSBA (Business Analytics), and MBA take classes that use specialized software. In many cases, Apple’s macOS (particularly for new/newer Apple devices) will not support/run this specialized software, even with the installment of a parallel/crossover system.
Software/OS compatibility issues distract from the instructional environment, needlessly consume technology support resources, and waste instructor/student time.
The vast majority of business organizations use Windows-based computer operating systems; learning to operate in a Windows computing environment will enhance your employability and help you transition to full-time work upon graduation.
We recommend the following PC specifications:
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor Speed: Core i5 or i7 Processor
- Memory: 8 GB RAM or higher
- Hard Drive: 250-500 GB
- Graphics Card: 512 MB Video memory or higher
*We understand students may have a strong preference towards using a Mac and/or may have a second major outside the business school that does not have a computer policy. If students do not have a personal PC, they are welcome to use the computer labs on campus to do their course work that requires the use of specialized software.
Computer Policy FAQ
Why is the LSB implementing this policy?
Faculty in the LSB have increasingly documented macOS compatibility issues/problems within the business core, in majors’ classes, and in classes in our graduate programs (MSA, MSBA, MBA). These macOS compatibility issues cause problems with instruction continuity (e.g., interruptions during class), problems with computer lab assignment/space, problems that require intervention/resolution by campus technology support, and problems with student execution of assignments. Some instructors, given the software in use in their classes, notice very little disruption, while other instructors document continued and significant disruptions due to software/OS incompatibility.
Additionally, Apple recently announced that their new Mac laptops will now use Apple’s custom M1 processor (some are already being offered for sale). Currently, there are limited work-arounds available to run Windows software on the new Macs. Apple Bootcamp, Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion do not have upgrade options available, and there is no firm word on when these options will be available in the future. In addition, third-party software vendors will need to re-write their software to run on the new Macs. This is typically a slow and difficult process, meaning non-Apple software on the new Macs will likely suffer performance and compatibility issues for the next few years. Among other reasons, we believe this change makes the movement to a Windows-mandated environment necessary and believe that students should be advised that the new Mac laptops will be problematic for business coursework in the LSB.
Do other business schools have similar policies?
While there is no universal agreement on computing platforms within our peer and aspirant business school groups, some business schools require a Windows PC, some strongly recommend a Windows PC (and are on a path toward making it a requirement), and others do not have a PC requirement (but document similar compatibility issues between students using macOS and their required software). We believe that the changes to the new Mac offerings and macOS will necessitate a move to a common computing platform among our peer/aspirant schools – in this change, we believe we are ahead of the curve.
May I use computers in labs on campus?
Yes, there are labs in the Koury Business Center (KoBC), Sankey Hall and across campus with Windows-equipped computers/software for use in business classes.
Do BA in Economics majors need to comply?
No, the policy is directed to business students pursuing BS, BSBA, MSA, MSBA, and MBA programs in the LSB. However, coursework in some classes in economics (e.g., ECO 203) may benefit from the use of a Windows computer.
Do business minors need to comply?
No, this requirement is for business majors only.
I cannot afford a new computer. What do I do?
There are many computer resources available in labs in the KoBC, Sankey Hall and across campus for students who need access to a Windows machine.
If I intend to purchase a computer this fall/winter, what models/specifications should I look for?
We recommend the following PC specifications:
Operating System: Windows 10
Processor Speed: Core i5 or i7 Processor
Memory: 8 GB RAM or higher
Hard Drive: 250-500 GB
Graphics Card: 512 MB Video memory or higher