The MSU Building Construction Science Program requires all students to purchase a laptop (with related software and peripherals) when they enter the studio course sequence. It should be purchased and operational by November 1 of the fall semester.
When purchasing your computer, consider the expandability of the system. How big is the hard drive; can it be replaced? How much RAM (random access memory) does the computer have? What is the maximum amount that can be added? How good is the video card? Be advised that laptop video cards CANNOT be replaced. How many peripheral ports such as USB and Firewire are available? It is likely that you may need to upgrade the machine (in two years) and possibly replace it in 3-4 years. As new software versions become available, the computer may need to be more powerful and have more storage.
Software used in the building construction fields have minimum system requirements that must be addressed carefully. Most software used in the studio and supporting classes is upgraded yearly.
Please refer to the following LAPTOP guidelines and requirements:
||Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7
||Minimum 500GB (Recommended 750GB or above)
||Minimum 4GB (Recommended 8GB) w/ expansion capability
||Minimum Video Adapter 256MB Nvidia or ATI (Recommended 512MB DIrect X 10 Capable with Shader Model 3)
||CD/DVD/RW Required, 1-8 GB portable flash drive. (500GB or greater External Hard Drive Recommended)
|| 10/100 or 10/100/1000 built In
||8.5 x 11 Color Printer/Scanner
||10-15ft CAT5 Ethernet cable (required for network connections)
Operating System Requirements
New windows machines ship with Windows 7, which will work with the university's network. Building Construction Science students are required to use Windows 7.
Students in the Building Construction Science Program will utilize programs that are only compatible with the Windows Operating System.
NOTE: Vista Home Edition and Windows 7 Home Edition WILL NOT WORK WITH OUR NETWORK and are not supported by the School of Architecture or ITS (Information Technology Services).
Suggested Software*: Each studio level has specific software requirements. Lecture courses will also have specific requirements (not unlike textbook requirements). Required software for all courses will be documented in each course syllabus.
Microsoft Office (latest version) Students License Available $99
Acrobat X Pro (latest version) Standard Student License Available $70
AutoDesk products: Free download available to MSU students
Google SketchUp: Free Download: http://sketchup.google.com
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
AutoDesk Revit: Free download available to students
Microsoft Project: (latest version) Verify w/ class requirments
Other: Verify w/ studio requirements.
* Please note that the Building Construction Science considers software requirements analogous to textbook purchases.