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Laptop Computers Required for Some Graphic Design Courses

Laptop computers are required personal equipment for BFA Graphic Design students and BA Studio Art students with a Graphic Design emphasis who enroll in any of the following courses:

  • ART 223  Introduction to Typography
  • ART 318  TYPE II: Intermediate Typography
  • ART 321  Graphic Design I: Introduction to Graphic Design
  • ART 327  Graphic Design II: Intermediate Graphic Design
  • ART 334  Graphic Design III: Exploration & Experimentation
  • ART 335  Advertising II: Intermediate Concept Development and Art Direction
  • ART 336  Graphic Design IV: Development and Analysis
  • ART 337  Graphic Design V: Packaging Design
  • ART 423  Graphic Design VI: Advanced Topics
  • ART 424  Advertising III: Advanced Topics

Required Hardware Specifications

Apple MacBook Pro. Minimum - Core i5, 4GB RAM, AppleCare; Recommended - Core i7, 8GB 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, Extensis Suitcase Fusion, Microsoft Office


The University Bookstore makes this equipment available to CSULB students at special 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)
Extensis Suitcase Fusion$60 (academic price)
Microsoft OfficeFree - Microsoft Student Advantage

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 Bookstore (562) 985-7946.

Financial Aid Students

Those who qualify for financial aid can pick up a flyer at the School of Art Advising 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 Laptop computer ownership guarantees that students have the tools to complete assignments without worrying about out-of-date hardware or software, or when the labs are open, and ensures that students have a capable computer for continuing work after graduation.

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