Western Carolina University strives to ensure that students have access to the highest
quality education, taking maximum advantage of the changes in information and communications
technologies. All newly admitted degree-seeking undergraduate students along with
all readmitted students are required to have an appropriate, networkable laptop. The
laptop requirement includes a software and hardware component.
Western Carolina University requires all incoming freshmen to have a laptop equipped
with both Microsoft Office and an up to date anti-virus. If WCU students do not already
have these programs, they can download the most recent Microsoft Office and our student
antivirus for free from the university. The hardware configurations that are the industry
standard for the current year for newly purchased computers are online .
More information on student computing is available online, or by calling the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487 or toll free 866-928-7487.
The WCU bookstore also stocks a number of accessories to help students meet the current
laptop requirement. Please check the WCU bookstore for academic pricing on other software
and component hardware. The phone number for the bookstore is (828) 227-7346. Their
web address is http://books.wcu.edu/.
Purchase of Computers
Western Carolina University has designated Dell and Apple as the primary vendors for
the purchase of computers. Students may purchase computers and required software from
any vendor, however, it is recommended that students purchase from our selected vendors
through the university-endorsed vendor websites. These computers will be pre-configured
for easy connection to the university's network and will include all required hardware.
Other benefits of purchasing through the university include discounted educational
pricing and free hardware warranty repair on recommended configurations.
For more information on our recommended Apple and Dell laptops, stop by the Technology Commons on the ground floor of the Hunter Library. Here you can see the latest models from
Apple and Dell, try them out first hand, and purchase your new laptop immediately
Student and Personal Computer Purchases
Learn more about how Financial Aid may be able to assist with the cost of a student computer.
Students who already own a laptop
Students who already own a laptop may not need to purchase one. Most computers running
a current version of Windows or Macintosh computers running system OS X or higher
should connect to the university's network with an appropriate network interface card
or wireless access. Systems must be capable of connecting to Western's network and
utilize a WCU-supported OS and a supported version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft
Office is available to all students as a free download
. Systems having less than our recommended minimum specification will not
perform satisfactorily or meet WCU's computer requirement. Due to limitations, Windows
XP Home Edition is NOT supported.
Network & Internet connectivity
Students living on campus access the Internet via WCU's high-speed network by using
the Ethernet ports in their room. Parts of the campus also have wireless capabilities
for internet access. Students living off-campus are required to obtain appropriate
connectivity through an external Internet Service Provider (ISP) to access the various
university computing resources. In our area, broadband access is available from Morris
Broadband via cable TV, and DSL is available from Frontier Communications. If these
are not available, a satellite provider such as HughesNet, WildBlue, Dish Network
or Starband should be able to get broadband to your area.
If you would like additional information about WCU's computer requirement or on student
computing at WCU, please visit our website, http://doit.wcu.edu
, or call the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487 (toll free 866-928-7487). The computer
requirement is an integral part of the educational experience at Western Carolina
University. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in sanctions to the
student up to and including expulsion from the university.
Last Updated: June 5, 2017