Graphic Design—Minimum Computing Requirements

The Required Computer System: The Apple Macintosh remains the industry standard computer in the print design, publishing, and multimedia design industries. We require the MacBook Pro Laptop with Apple M1 Pro with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, 32GB unified memory, 1TB SSD storage for all Graphic Design majors. The system we recommend is based on the newest technology, and the software that we require for our courses follows industry standards. 

Graphic Design students should purchase the current version of Adobe Creative Cloud which should include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Dimension, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe XD, Adobe Spark, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Acrobat.

Operating System – Mac® OS X® 10.13.6 “High Sierra” or higher

  • Processor – Apple M1 Pro with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 
  • Memory – 32GB unified memory / RAM, **Recommended: 64GB unified Memory / RAM 
  • Disk Space – Minimum: 1T SSD storage 
  • Video Display – Liquid Retina XDR display 
  • Graphics Card – Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory 
  • Ports – Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port 
  • Connectivity – Wired and Wireless LAN (802.11). Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services 
  • External Portable Hard Drive – LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive (LAC9000633)  


  • Tablet- Recommended: iPad Pro 1T with Apple Pencil or Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet 
  • Camera – Recommended: Access to a high-quality camera (Nikon DSLR) or high-quality smart phone camera. 
  • Adapters – Recommended: 2 x USB-C to USB Adapter 

These requirements are for the 2022-2023 academic year.

BFA, Graphic Design – Required by Sophomore year.
BA, Design Studies  – Required by Junior year

All Interior Design Majors will be required to purchase a PC laptop, by the beginning of their sophomore year. Specifications will be updated and listed for devices every spring, due to the pace at which technology changes. It is recommended that all Visual Merchandising Design minors buy an equivalent laptop, please verify with instructors before purchasing. Macintosh laptop computers will not meet the minimum requirements. Fashion Merchandising majors may need a similar laptop, please verify with your instructors before purchasing. If you have questions about this requirement, please contact Brandon Jones, Technical Coordinator at

System requirements for PC laptop – 2022 / 2023 (updated June 2022)

  • Operating System– Microsoft® Windows® 10 PRO or higher is required.
  • Processor– Multi-core processor (6 or more Cores are Required), i7 or i9- Series or higher or AMD equivalent is required. It is recommended, that you purchase the highest and most affordable CPU speed available.
  • Memory– 32GB is required (must be able to upgrade to at least 32GB of RAM or more, 64GB is recommended)
  • Disk Space–1TB or higher Solid-State Drive is required. 5 or more GB of free disk space for each software installation is required,
  • Video Display– Ultra-High Definition Monitor at least 1680 x 1050 with true color or equivalent – (this is an approximation, monitors with close specs will work as well) a Touch screen with compatible Stylus pen will replace the need for a digital pen tablet, described below.
  • Web Cam– An onboard or attached camera with audio and visual controls is required (HD is recommended)
  • Digital Pen Tablet – 4 x 6 digital pen tablet Wacom® Intuos S or equivalent is required.
  • Graphics card– DirectX® 11 capable graphics card with Shader Model 5 or higher. The video card is required to have its own dedicated RAM, 6GB or more is required. This is required for Adobe® and Autodesk® products to work at maximum output capabilities.
  • Web Browser– The latest version of Chrome® and/or equivalent is required.
  • Internet Connectivity – The latest version and fastest speed of a Wired and Wireless LAN (802.11) is required. Internet connection and registration are necessary for software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to other Online services.
  • Bluetooth Compatible Connectivity is Required
  • Pointer device– 3 button, Microsoft -compliant, mouse with scroll wheel required. An ergonomic mouse is highly recommended.
  • Portable Solid-State Hard Drive– 2 TB or higher Western Digital® Passport/Elements or equivalent is required, more than one may be purchased if necessary.
  • A set of reliable headphones


Autodesk® and Enscape® provides free, student version software. HPU has provided a free license for Adobe® CC in the recent past, but Adobe® also provided a license at a discounted price for students. A pro version of SketchUp® software is provided for students at a discounted price. Instructions, for all required software, will be provided at the beginning of the sophomore year. A 3 button, Microsoft® -compliant, mouse is required to operate software on all laptops. 2 IN 1 laptop/tablets, may not meet all the above specifications, so please verify with the instructor/professor before purchasing, as they may not be upgradeable and/or too costly.