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Laptop Support

All first year medical students are required to have their laptops prior to orientation.

The Ohio State University College of Medicine is committed to preparing our students for the medical, technological, social, and business challenges of the world they will be entering. Two core competencies of the practice of medicine are 1) patient care and 2) practice-based learning and improvement. As such, medical students and physicians must use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education, and use information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information, and support their own education. As such, Ohio State medical students must possess and be able to use computer and mobile technology.

E-mail is the primary method for communicating with the College community. In laying the foundation for creating the "24-hour classroom," computer hardware and capability are continually being added and upgraded (including wireless access throughout the student study areas). Academic materials and documentation are provided via the Web.

Laptop Requirement

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center uses a standard platform of Windows and Windows-compatible software and hardware. Many programs and shared files are also compatible with Mac systems though support for these is limited.

Below are the required minimum laptop requirements for any student entering the College of Medicine. Additional charges or software fees may apply.

Security Requirements:

All computers must comply with the Client Computing Security Standard before connecting to OSUnet (any internet provided by OSU or OSUWMC).

  • The device must be guarded by an up-to-date and active host-based firewall set to protect it from unauthorized network traffic.
  • Supported operating system and application software with current security patches must be installed.
  • The computer must have software that helps guard against malicious or undesired software such as viruses, spyware or adware.
  • Access to the device must require appropriate authentication controls such as account identifiers and robust passwords.

In addition to these requirements, personal devices are not authorized for the storage of any patient or restricted information that you may have access to as a Medical Student. Please see the University Policy on Institutional Data for additional information.

Minimum Laptop Requirements (2017-2018):


  • 80 GB Hard Drive* with minimum 10% available disk space
  • Operating Systems -New operating systems are not permitted until approved. Please check this page before upgrading to a newly released operating system.
    • ​Windows 7
    • Windows 8 &10
      • ​​Windows 8 & 10 computers must include keyboard and trackpad. Touchscreens on any Windows 8 devices other than Surface Pro will be disabled by testing software. Students will need keyboard/trackpad to navigate testing software
  • IEEE 802.11 n Wireless card
  • Current anti-virus/anti-malware software
    • Microsoft Security Essentials is free and the only PC anti-virus software supported by OSU.
      • **Avira antivirus not permitted**
      • **Kaspersky antivirus not permitted**
  • Internet Explorer 11 or higher
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Office 2016 or newer 
  • Screen resolution of at least 1920x1080
  • **Toshiba laptops not permitted due to incompatibility with NBME examinations**
  • **Virtual computers (VM) not permitted**
  • **Microsoft Surface RT not permitted**


  • 80 GB Hard Drive* with minimum 10% available disk space
  • Operating Systems -New operating systems are not permitted until approved. Please check this page before upgrading to a newly released operating system.​
    • Yosemite (10.10)
    • El Capitan (10.11)
    • Sierra (10.12)
  • Wireless Internet connection
  • Current anti-virus/anti-malware software
    • Sophos Home Antivirus​ is free and the only Mac anti-virus software supported by OSU.
      • **Kaspersky antivirus not permitted**
  • Safari 3.2.1 or higher (please do not use beta versions)
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 or newer
  • Screen resolution of at least 1920x1080

*Students should always have either an external hard drive or some other method for backing up their data. DATA SHOULD BE BACKED UP AT ALL TIMES.

**Toshiba laptops, PC Avira, PC Kaspersky, Mac Kaspersky, virtual computers (VM), and non-listed operating systems including Windows XP will not be permitted.

***iPads will be used throughout the curriculum, but do not fulfill the laptop requirement. All students MUST have a laptop that meets the requirements listed above.

****Please see Laptop Purchasing Options for information regarding campus locations to purchase a laptop as well as options to pay for your laptop.

*****Certain devices including but not limited to Google Glass, wrist-watches, and fitness tracking bands will not be permitted in exam rooms.

It may be possible to cover the cost of your laptop being damaged or stolen with insurance. Check to see if you are covered by a parent’s insurance for your possessions. If you are not, then you may want to consider purchasing renter’s insurance as some policy plans include coverage for laptops for only a few dollars a month. Please make sure you inquire specifically about coverage of the laptop when purchasing the policy. Most insurance companies offer renter’s insurance.​​​