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Laptop Requirements

CS majors and students who take CS courses are able to use the computer labs in Forcina Hall and the STEM Building to complete coursework outside of class time.

Some students may prefer to use their own laptops.  The CS Department does not have a specific laptop requirement or recommendation for Computer Science majors since faculty and students have a variety of preferences. For software development purposes, it is useful to have a Unix-based operating system, and either MacOS or Linux will work well. If students plan to do any mobile development, MacOS would be a better option since it can support both Android and iOS development.

Students who are comfortable with Macbooks will find that they are a good choice and are probably the most versatile machines to support classwork and development. The midrange Macbook Pro generally works well. The basic Macbook should also be fine but students may find a performance drop-off in a year or two as apps get updated and use more resources. A machine with Windows OS will need a few tools installed to create a good software development environment. A Windows/Linux dual-boot machine would work better than just Windows, as long as the laptop has sufficient RAM and processing power. Chromebooks are not sufficient to support CS coursework.

After the first couple of semesters, students will find it beneficial to use an IDE such as Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, or XCode for development. Most are available to install for free.

TCNJ email accounts are part of Google Suite and students have access to the various Google apps for word processing and other tasks.  Students also have access to Microsoft Office, virus scan software, and other software needed to complete coursework through the TCNJ-hosted web portal, Virtual Lab, which is accessible on; log in using your TCNJ credentials (login id and password).

Students are encouraged to explore discounts available through the Office of Information Technology site:

Please also review Information Technology’s page at for more information on laptop specifications.