Computer Recommendations - Studio Art and Art Education

Given current professional visual practices, the Department of Visual and Media Arts strongly recommends that majors in Studio Art (Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illustration, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Visual Studies) and Art Education bring a laptop computer with them when they begin classes in the department. Apple Macintosh computers are used primarily in Studio Art classes. The same software the department uses is available for both Mac and PC computers, but instruction in the department is primarily on Apple Macintosh. Portable computers allow use in multiple locations: at home, in the Calder Art Center, in the library, and in other non-art courses.

Hardware Recommendations

Any Mac laptop with an Intel processor that has at least 8 GB of RAM. A wireless network card (airport) should be included, along with purchase of the extended warranty. More memory and internal hard drive space are other options to consider.

Additional hardware recommendations

  • Flash Drive, or External Hard Drive: external hard drives come in two case sizes, portable and larger sizes, and use either USB or FireWire cables. Both cables systems may be used in the Visual and Media Arts Department computers. Flash drives and iPods may be used for convenience and temporary storage.
  • Digital Camera (minimum 8 megapixels; easily accessible manual camera controls for aperture, shutter speed, and white balance are beneficial);

Software Recommendations

For students to be able to utilize their laptop most effectively, the department recommends purchase of the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps (learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps here. All apps special are offered for students at a discount available from the Adobe website.

Additional equipment and software may be needed for specific and advanced functions and classes.

Educational discounts are available for hardware and software. This includes online vendors, such as:

  • Apple (GVSU's Custom Apple Store),
  • GVSU Laker Store, which also has educational discounts on software.
  • Other retail Stores

Additional Documents

To obtain a printed version of this information, please download this pdf document.



Page last modified June 12, 2023