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Laptop Computers Required for Some Art Education Courses

Laptop computers are required personal equipment for upper-division Art Education students who are enrolled in:

  • ART 305  Art Disciplines and New Technology
  • ART 301  Cross Cultural Perspectives in Art Education
  • ART 407  Art Practicum
  • ART 408  Historical Perspectives in Contemporary Art Education
  • ART 412  Aesthetic Theories and Art Education
  • ART 415  On-Site Studies in Art Education

Required Hardware Specifications

Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro: 2.5 GHz Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, AppleCare.

Students who already own a laptop should be sure it meets minimum system requirements for the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud. If you have questions ask School of Art Technology Coordinator Patrick Mullen about it.

Required Software

Adobe Creative Cloud, iMovie, Photos, Garageband, Keynote, Microsoft Office


The University Bookstore makes the following equipment available to CSULB students at student prices:

MacBook Pro 15" with AppleCarefrom $2,000
MacBook Pro 13" with AppleCarefrom $1,350
Adobe Creative Cloud (monthly subscription)$20 (student monthly subscription price)
Microsoft OfficeFree - Microsoft Student Advantage

iMovie, Photos, Garageband and Keynote are available on the Apple App Store

It is recommended that you purchase your laptop by the end of the semester before you take the first of these courses so you will have time to familiarize yourself with it. University Computer Store: (562) 985-7946.

Financial Aid Students

Those who qualify for financial aid can pick up a flyer at the School of Art Student Services Office. Take this flyer to the Financial Aid Office in Brotman Hall to inquire about the possibility of getting help with this purchase.

The Laptop Initiative

In 2004 the School of Art launched the University's first-ever Laptop Initiative. Laptop computer ownership guarantees that students have the tools to complete assignments without worrying about out-of-date hardware or software, or when the labs are open, and ensures that students have a capable computer for continuing work after graduation. The laptop requirement was adopted by the Art Education program in 2010.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have an older Mac laptop that barely meets the Adobe Creative Cloud system requirements. Can I use that instead of buying a new one?

Yes, but you may find yourself at a disadvantage. Minimum requirements mean you'll be able to run the software, but it will probably run slowly and you won't be able to have more than one Creative Cloud application running at once, since doing so will slow things down considerably. The rule of thumb is if your system exactly meets the minimum requirements and can't be upgraded then you should buy a new laptop ASAP.

I would like to upgrade my laptop so it will run Creative Cloud more effectively. What should I do?

In general, it is a good idea to have as much RAM as you can afford or your computer can support. For best performance in Creative Cloud your laptop should have 8GB RAM. If your laptop has a maximum RAM capacity of 4GB then you should purchase a newer model. Though 4GB RAM would run the Creative Cloud applications, you probably won't be able to effectively run more than one of them at a time.

I have a newer Windows laptop that exceeds the minimum system requirements. Can I use that?

Yes, but Macs are listed as required because our teachers use Macs and in some cases use software that is only available on Mac OS. Photos, iMovie, and Garageband (which come free on every new Mac) are sometimes used in class. In such cases Windows users are on their own to find equivalent software that will read and save in the required file formats, then follow along as best they can in class.

Updated September 2016