Buying a computer for law school

We suggest you buy a new laptop computer that meets our Option One specifications (below) before coming to campus. But if you already own a laptop, review Option Two — if it works for you now, it should work for some part of your time here.

Financial aid implications

Before we dive into those details, our director of financial aid wants you to know that the cost of a computer is not included in your direct costs. You may request that the cost of a new computer (up to $2,000) be added to your financial aid budget (increasing the amount you may borrow). Because most students can live comfortably on less than our standard law school budget, there is often sufficient funding already in the budget for a computer.

If you do decide to request an increased budget to include computer costs, our director of financial aid will begin accepting those appeals in early September.

The laptop computer you'll need

Option one: new laptop

  • New Windows laptop
    • Processor: 2.5Ghz or better quad core AMD or Intel processor
    • Memory (RAM): at least 8GB (more is better)
    • Operating system: 64 bit Windows 10
  • New Mac laptop
    • Any currently shipping Apple MacBook (MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air)
    • Operating system: macOS 10.12 (Sierra)

Option two: minimum laptop

  • Minimum Windows requirements
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz or better dual core AMD or Intel processor
    • Memory (RAM): at least 4GB (more is better)
    • Operating system: Windows 7, 8.1, or 10*
  • Minimum Mac requirements
    • Any Apple MacBook manufactured in 2015 or later
    • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later**

Unsupported devices

While recent Windows Surface tablets are supported, tablets running iOS (iPads), Android, or Windows RT are not supported for exams and are not appropriate laptop computers.

Additionally, computers running Chrome OS, Linux and Windows 10 S are not supported and will not work with the exam software.

Printing wirelessly from a Mac

Use your IU user name (excluding or as your Mac user name. Otherwise, you will have trouble printing or sharing files on the IU network.


* Windows 10 is the preferred Windows operating system at IU. You may download a Windows 10 upgrade for free from IUWare. Windows 7 and 8.1 are still supported, but older versions are insecure, so are not supported.

** Mac OS X version 10.11 (El Capitan) or newer is preferred. Older versions are insecure and incompatible with some university resources.