SoA Technology Guide


As a NEW STUDENT entering UNC Charlotte in Fall 2020, you will need a personal laptop computer to support your college experience, particularly as classes adapt to include more virtual options. You can bring a laptop you already have or choose to buy a new laptop from any vendor. The requirements below combine the UNC Charlotte Niner Ready Laptop Initiative information as well as more specific requirements for the School of Architecture.


The recommended hardware specs below ensure your device has the power, speed, and memory to be Niner Ready in Fall 2020.

NOTE: Chromebooks, iPads, and mobile devices DO NOT meet the laptop requirement.


Processor                                      Core i7 Processor of higher

Memory                                        16 GB RAM or higher

Hard Drive                                    512 GB or higher

Add-Ons                                        Camera, Microphone, Speakers (included

Warranty                                      4-year parts and labor

OEM Windows                             Students who prefer Macs and are enrolled in the School of Architecture are responsible for purchasing and installing the Windows operating system.


External Hard Drive                      1 TB or greater to back up work and facilitate file transfers. Ensure compatibility with your laptop before purchasing.

External Mouse                            A multi-button wired or wireless external mouse.

Drawing Tablet                             UNDERGRADUATES STARTING IN THE FIRST YEAR STUDIOS are required to purchase a drawing tablet. Assignments will be designed for the Wacom Intuos . This is not required for graduate students, though they may find it useful for online and hybrid coursework.


All SoA students are required to have the following software on their laptop computers:

Microsoft Office                           Available to download FREE at

Virus Protection                           Available to download FREE at

Adobe Creative Cloud                  Student subscriptions are available at  

In the same way a textbook purchase would be required for a class, additional software purchases may be requested by individual professors or desired by students. By waiting to purchase software until it is needed, you will be able to purchase the most up-to-date version and not carry the burden of upgrading software you as a student may not have used.  Some software you will likely need in your first semester, but do not need to download in advance as more information about access options will be provided in your fall studios. This includes:

Autodesk Suite                             AutoCad, 3DS Max, and Revit are available at .

Rhino 3D Modeling                      A limited number of licenses available for students to checkout on their personal laptops while enrolled in the SoA. Student subscriptions are also available for purchase at .


If you need a new laptop, you can choose to purchase one from any vendor or choose a Niner Ready Bundle from the NinerTech Store. Niner Ready Bundles meet all of the recommended hardware specs and provide streamlined access to on-campus services and support from the NinerTech Store. Bundles include education discounts and will be available for purchase through the NinerTech Store in Summer 2020.

Niner Ready Dell Bundle

The Dell Niner Ready Bundle includes the Dell 15-inch Inspiron 5000 laptop + 4-year Dell ProSupport Plus warranty, including accidental damage on-campus support by the NinerTech Store, and 24/7 Dell tech support. A $100 mail-in rebate is available from Dell, for a total of $899 + tax.


The Mac Niner Ready Bundle includes the 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop with Touch Bar in Space Gray + 4-year NinerCare warranty with accidental damage, one year of theft protection, and on-campus support and service by the NinerTech Store. This bundle includes the Mac education discount.




For summer 2020, complete this form if you intend to purchase a Niner Ready Bundle. The NinerTech Store will contact you mid-June to complete the transaction.


The SoA has computer labs that complement, but do not suffice as a substitute, for students' laptops. There number of computers in these labs may be reduced in Fall 2020 to accommodate physical distancing requirements recommended by the Centers for Disease control and adopted by UNC Charlotte.

The following are applications available in the SoA computing labs and may be required by courses:

Software on SoA Computers


If you need to borrow a laptop, the UNC Charlotte main library, Atkins, offers short-term loaner laptops.

Laptops circulate for a 24-hour period. AC adapters are also available. Only one laptop can be checked out per patron at any given time and there is four hour wait before a patron can check a laptop out again.

Laptops are available for currently enrolled UNC Charlotte students only. UNC Charlotte ID must be presented for checkout (temporary IDs are not acceptable) and a student’s library account must be in good standing (no fines or overdue items).