MCAD's Laptop Computer Requirement

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In keeping with our mission of educational excellence and service to students, MCAD requires all incoming students to own a laptop computer. We're confident this will help prepare students for a future increasingly defined by digital technology and team-based workspaces.

All new undergraduate students will need to purchase* a custom-configured, fully supported MacBook laptop that will be used in MCAD's classrooms. In addition, students will use these computers—networked through college-wide wireless access—to conduct research, carry out assignments, enter class discussion groups, and communicate with both teachers and administrators.

The laptops are being offered for sale by MCAD at a significantly discounted price.



Do I need a laptop to attend MCAD?

Yes. All incoming undergraduate, degree-seeking MCAD students are required to own a laptop computer.

Why does MCAD require laptops for new students?

The laptops are part of a comprehensive academic program at MCAD called the Core Four curriculum. One focus of this curriculum is to prepare students for the changing local and global job market, which is increasingly defined by digital technology and team-based workspaces. Students will need these computers to participate in classrooms, complete assignments, and engage in critiques. Students will also conduct research, enter class discussion groups, and communicate with both teachers and administrators through a digital infrastructure. Nearly all of the courses that students will take during their first two years at MCAD will require the use of a laptop in some manner.

Where do I buy the laptop?

Because the laptops are a custom build designed specifically for the MCAD curriculum, students are required to purchase them through MCAD. The cost will simply show up on the student's tuition statement. Students pick up their laptops during orientation.

What kind of computer is offered in the MCAD laptop bundle?

MCAD offers MacBook laptops fully loaded with industry-standard software needed to complete course assignments for a student's first two years at MCAD. High-power computers are also available for more advanced, specialized computing in MCAD's computer labs.

Do I own it or is this a lease?

Students fully own the computer from the time that they pick it up at orientation.

Can I buy one at the Apple Store or another retailer?

There is no good reason to buy the computer at a retail outlet. The cost would be significantly higher—perhaps as much as $1,000 more for the software applications alone. The laptop that MCAD provides is custom-built for the curriculum and students' needs and has been tested to work with our network, classrooms, library, and other infrastructure.

Is there a warranty?

Yes. Your laptop includes a customized AppleCare Protection Plan, which provides a minimum of two years of service and support directly with Apple.

Is there technical support on campus for my computer?

Yes. MCAD has on-site support and training for students who purchase the MCAD laptop bundle.

What if I want to use a different make, model or size?

The computers that we offer are specifically built for the curriculum and classes. If a student uses a computer not custom designed by MCAD, we cannot guarantee that it will work within our technology landscape. In addition, there are a number of required software applications a student will have to buy and install just to complete classroom assignments. We estimate that these software programs alone may cost a student well over $1,000 during their first two years at MCAD. Although we will assist students with laptops not purchased through MCAD, we cannot provide maintenance and troubleshooting for these machines. Nonetheless, if you decide not to participate in the laptop program, a waiver form must be signed. Please contact the Admissions Office at to receive a copy of the laptop waiver form.

I want to use a Windows laptop for class work. What are my options?

At this time, MCAD does not support Windows laptops within the classroom environment.


More questions?

Contact for laptop assistance.

*Students who apply by the Early Action Application deadline are eligible for the MCAD Laptop Scholarship, which provides admitted BFA and BSc students with a free Apple laptop when they enroll at the college.