Bringing A Computer to Hampshire

The College strongly encourages you to bring a computer to campus with you. Laptops are recommended for flexibility and convenience, and can be used in your residence and in classrooms.

Computer Purchasing

As a Hampshire student, you can purchase computers and software at an academic discount. Log in with your Hampshire username and password and follow the links to the Dell or Apple websites for educational personal purchases. While we don't recommend any particular laptop model, we do recommend getting a lock, a case, and an extended warranty. For questions about computer purchases, please contact Rae Ann Wentworth.

Anti-Virus Software

The College requires that you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer. We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows and ClamAV for Mac, which can be installed for free.

Planning to Work in Video, Sound, Animation, Digital Photography or Design?

Most media classes at Hampshire run on Macintosh computers. You can use a PC, but you will probably experience some problems moving back and forth. Another thing to consider is that, in our experience, a student's first year is usually not the best time to purchase a high-end computer for media work. Technology and our own desires change too fast to make the machine you purchase now truly useful to you for your Division III work later. It may make more sense to use something basic your first year and save your money for later. We do recommend you have your own external firewire (not USB) hard drive, but that, too, can wait until during your first semester. Read more about the Jerome Liebling Center equipment and contact John Gunther with any questions. And again, this is only applicable to students planning to work in film, video, etc.

What Else Should You Bring With Your Computer?

  • If you are bringing a laptop, we strongly recommend that you acquire and use a laptop lock.
  • Be sure to bring your original operating system and software discs with you. If you encounter a problem and we need to help you reinstall your system, we'll need the legal copies to do so.


The Student Diagnostic Center provides support for student computer systems. Support includes assisting with troubleshooting and resolving software- or hardware-related problems and providing basic instruction on use. At this time, there is no official support for Linux, but there are local Linux users groups that provide support.

Recommended Computer Configuration

Intel® Core™ i5 or higher
Memory: 8 GB or higher
Hard drive: 500 GB or higher
802.11 b/g/n wireless card
Windows 7 or better
Mac OS 10.9 or better
3 year extended warranty

Laptop case and lock

Supported Software and Web Browsers

Adobe Acrobat Reader
Microsoft Office Suite
Libre Office
Hampshire Webmail

Stay In Touch
With Information Technology Staff
Snail Mail
Information Technology
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.5419