Equipment Guidelines and Recommendations

As a Rush University student, you are responsible for purchasing your own computer and any other devices and services you need for studying and learning. We have assembled the resources below to help—from purchase discounts, to a specification guide for reference while buying your computer.

Discounts and financial support
  • Rush offers discounted laptops and desktop computers through our partnership with Dell. However, students are free to purchase their devices from any site or retailer.
  • Students who demonstrate a financial need as a result of COVID-19 can apply for a one-time funding grant of up to $2000 per student. Emergency funding due to COVID-19 may be awarded in addition to your current cost of attendance.
Computer specifications

When choosing the right computer to support your learning, here’s what to look for:

Laptop Computers

For the… Standard User Power User
  For users needing to use the computer for basic productivity, running multiple applications such as e-mail, web browsing and word processing For users running resource intensive programs for audio/video editing, graphic design, running multiple operating systems, storing large multimedia files and playing games.
Windows-Based Laptops
Processor Intel® Core™ i5 Processor Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
Memory 8GB 16 GB
Storage 256GB Solid State hard disk (SSD) 512GB Solid State hard disk (SSD)
Optical drive Optional Optional
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics Integrated graphics 1GB Dedicated Video Card
Ports USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DiplayPort 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port
Battery 4-cell Li-ion battery 6-cell Li-ion battery
Operating system Windows 10 64-bit Professional Windows 10 64-bit Professional
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day 3 year onsite next business day
Apple Laptops
Model 13” MacBook Air 16” MacBook Pro
Processor 1.6GHz dual-core Intel i5 2.2GHz quad-core or faster Intel i7
Memory 8GB RAM 16GB DDR3 SDRAM
Storage 256GB PCI-e based flash storage 512GB PCI-e based flash storage
Graphics Supports 1920x1080 or higher resolution Supports 1920x1080 or higher resolution
Network 802.1ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Ethernet (sold separately) 802.1ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Ethernet (sold separately)
Operating system Mac OS X 10.15 Mojave or higher Mac OS X 10.15 Mojave or higher
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan AppleCare Protection Plan

Desktop Computers

For the… Standard User Power User
  For users needing to use the computer for basic productivity, running multiple applications such as e-mail, web browsing and word processing For users running resource intensive programs for audio/video editing, graphic design, running multiple operating systems, storing large multimedia files and playing games.
Windows-Based Desktops
Processor 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
Memory 8GB 16GB
Hard drive 1TB SATA hard disk (7200 RPM) 1TB Hybrid disk (HDD & SSD)
CD/DVD drive Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive (Optional) Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive (Optional)
Network Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Monitor 24” LCD display @60 Hz Refresh Rate with EnergyStar rating 27” LED display @120 Hz with EnergyStar rating
Video card/VRAM Integrated graphics 2 GB Dedicated Graphics Card
Ports USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI
Operating system Windows 10 64-bit Professional Windows 10 64-bit Professional
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day warranty 3 year onsite next business day warranty
Apple Desktops
Model Mac Mini iMac 27” with Retina 5K
Processor 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1,600MHz LPDDR SDRAM 16GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Storage 256GB Solid state disk (SSD) 1TB Solid state disk (SSD)
Graphics Intel Iris graphics AMD Radeon R9 M290 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan AppleCare Protection Plan
Accessories
  • Rush IS recommends that your computer should include a webcam and microphone for participating in remote learning. If it does not, you can add a USB webcam and/or earbuds with integrated microphone.
  • For privacy, we recommend a headset or earbuds.
Software
  • Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
    • If you do not already have Microsoft Office software installed on your computer, you can access it through Rush’s Office 365 subscription:
      • Go to www.office.com
      • Log in with your Rush University ID and password.
      • On the main screen, above the application icons, select “Install Office”.
      • Choose “Other install options.”Guide for installing Microsoft Office
      • A new window will open and you will be able to download Microsoft Office.
  • Internet browsers
    • You should have access to more than one browser, such as Chrome, FirefoxSafari or Edge (preferred when using Office 365). All browsers should be the most up-to-date version available. 
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • My Apps
    • It is recommended that students use My Apps, a virtual desktop where Microsoft Office software, Rush Email and secure storage are provided and where you can log into the RULearning (Blackboard) remote classroom environment. Visit rushuportal.learning.rush.edu/faq for more information about the My Apps virtual environment, or get started by logging in at myapps.rush.edu.
Internet
  • Rush IS suggests 50mb/s for the speed of your at-home internet, whether wireless or wired connection.
  • If you don’t have at-home internet, ask a relative, neighbor or visit your local library.
  • You may also be able to use your mobile phone to create a wifi hotspot to your computer. Your wifi hotspot will depend on your mobile service plan and data allowance. Learn how to use your phone as a wifi hotspot.