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School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Laptop Requirements

EECS Laptop/Netbook Requirements for All Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Revision Date: 3-1-2015

 Student laptops have become the standard at many universities. Modern laptops provide anywhere, anytime connectivity and computing for homework and projects, and provide a more interactive educational environment both inside and outside of the classroom. For financial aid information, please go to The details of the EECS laptop recommendations are as follows.

  1. Effective Date:
    The EECS laptop policy has been in place continuously since Fall semester 2009.  All incoming EECS undergraduate and graduate students are required to have laptops consistent with the specifications below. The specifications in this document will be updated periodically, but students who purchase or already own a laptop consistent with the laptop specifications in this document at the time they first enroll in an EECS degree program will not be required to update their laptop hardware if they remain enrolled continuously in an EECS degree program.
  1. Laptop/Netbook recommended specifications:
    • Operating System: Windows 7 or higher, OSX or higher.
    • Processor: processing power comparable to that of a Intel Core i5 processor or higher.
    •  Memory: at least 4 Gigabytes.
    •  Hard Drive: at least 500 Gigabytes.
    • External Storage:  If write capability not available on the DVD, then an external storage device (external DVD drive with write capability, or USB thumb drive) is recommended for students to backup their laptop. All students have cloud storage-OneDrive with their WSU email account.
    • Display: Must support resolution of 1280×800 or higher.
    • Networking: Either Cable or wireless Ethernet connectivity.
    • Standard Software:
      • All students with their WSU account have access to MS Office 365.
      • Anti-virus software
      • Adobe reader
    • A three-year service contract is recommended.
    • USB ports: At least two USB ports.
  1. Course-Specific Software
    • CS will maintain a server for download of Linux OS, for courses that require this. There are a variety of ways to run Linux on a Windows laptop; the Information Systems Group (ISG) will provide help where needed.
    • Many EE courses use MATLAB. The student version of MATLAB is priced at $99, and contains the following toolboxes: Simulink, Control Systems, Signal Processing (Toolbox and Blockset), Optimization, Image Processing, and Symbolic Math functions. This package will be sufficient for almost all EE courses. EE451 requires the Communication Systems Toolbox which is available to students for $59.  There are several freeware programs that will also work in place of MATLAB, i.e. GNU Octave. Check with the instructor for compatibility.
    • Some EE courses use PSPICE circuit simulation software. Freeware versions of PSPICE will be recommended by EE instructors.
  1. Management Policies
    • Incoming students are strongly encouraged to contact the Information Systems Group (ISG) upon their arrival at WSU, to ensure that their laptops are compatible with the EECS systems environment, and with the various software packages used in EECS courses.  The ISG can be contacted through the EECS helpdesk (509-335-6773), or by sending email to
    • The ISG will maintain a FERPA-compliant server on which TAs will store their course records. TAs will have the option of connecting to this server through their laptop, or through an ISG-supplied thin-client in their office.

For exclusive savings on recommended laptops for EECS students (member ID: 57341495) go to or call 1-888-973-3355.