Laptop Computer Requirements


All pharmacy students are required to own a laptop that meets minimum specifications set by the program.


Throughout its history, the College of Pharmacy has recognized the importance of exposing pharmacy students to leading edge technologies that will enhance their education. It is our view that technologies deployed at the college during your academic career will be commonplace in your professional career as a pharmacist as well. Consequently, raising an awareness and familiarity with applicable information technology is a component of your educational experience. Since 2000, the College of Pharmacy has sought to increase the use of computer software and hardware for three primary purposes.

  • The first objective is to improve overall instructional efficiency and retention resulting in improved student outcomes.
  • The second objective is to minimize costs to students for printing and photocopying. As an example, the vast majority of student lecture notes are in text and/or Microsoft Power Point slides.
  • To ensure that each student has a minimum baseline set of technical skills.
  • To accommodate taking computerized exams for all College of Pharmacy required courses.

Adherence to the Laptop Requirement Policy is a condition of your acceptance into the College of Pharmacy.

Financial Aid Impact

The Howard University College of Pharmacy has developed a Laptop Requirement Policy that addresses the academic demands of the Pharmacy curriculum while taking into consideration restrictions and qualifications mandated by the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Cost of Attendance Budget.

For an explanation regarding the Cost of Attendance Budgets, please visit the following link:

In an effort to reduce overall out of pocket expense to students, laptops have been included in the calculations for the College of Pharmacy’s Cost of Attendance Budget in the amount of $1400.00.  This inclusion allows all students the financial means for meeting the basic needs of the laptop requirement.

Minimum Windows PC Laptop Specifications

  • 2.1 GHz Intel Core Duo (or equivalent)
  • i5 or greater processor recommended
  • 250 GB hard drive
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • WiFi 802.11 g/b/n wireless card
  • USB ports
  • Monitor screen size – minimum 12.1” diagonal

Software minimum requirements:

  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS  (Avoid Windows 7 Home Premium)
  • Microsoft Office (2007, 2010 or greater)
  • Adobe Acrobat reader (latest version) (Free downloads)
  • Antivirus software
    • You must have professional anti-virus software installed and up-to-date in order to use the university's wireless network. The Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) at Howard University provides Symantec Endpoint Virus Protection to all Howard University registered students available for download, free of charge at:
  • Windows media player (latest version)
  • Quicktime player (latest version) (Free downloads)
  • Sun Java (Free downloads)
  • Adobe Flash/Shockwave (Free downloads)


Hardware minimum requirements:

  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo (or equivalent)
  • i5 or greater processor recommended
  • 250 GB hard drive
  • 4 GB RAM
  • WiFi 802.11 g/b/n wireless card
  • Bluetooth capability
  • USB ports
  • Monitor screen size – minimum 12.1” diagonal

Software minimum requirements:

  • Snow Leopard OS
  • Microsoft Office (2008 or 2011)
  • Adobe Acrobat reader (latest version)
  • QuickTime player (latest version)
  • Windows Media Components for QuickTime (latest version)
  • Adobe Flash/Shockwave

The College of Pharmacy faculty are aware of potential limitations of the Macintosh OS compatibility with some Windows OS native applications. The Macintosh user options:

  • Boot Camp. Boot Camp is an application native in Macintosh OS and will allow the user to select the OS at startup (Macintosh or Windows).
  • Purchase of a virtual machine emulation program (Parallels or VMWare Fusion)  that will allow for simultaneous computing on both OS.
  • Please read for more information:

Before you arrive on campus, you must have updated your operating system to its latest service pack. For Windows 7, this is Service Pack 1. To make sure that your system is up-to-date, open the Start menu and choose Windows Update.

Recommended (but not required):

  • External hard drive (100 GB)
  • Web camera
  • DVD/optical drive (internal or external)

HIPAA Compliance:

Patient confidentiality and privacy is of utmost concern. It will be up to the students to be cognizant of any and all computerized/digitized patient information and be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  Therefore it is strongly recommended that students be engaged in encrypting their USB Flash Drives and enabling security features on their computer

Recommended Warranty Coverage & Service Plan

It is highly recommended that you obtain a warranty and service plan that will cover your laptop during your years of study at Howard University’s College of Pharmacy. The warranty and service plan should cover a four year period.  If possible, select an on-site service plan. If an accidental damage warranty is available, it is recommended to add that as well.

Acknowledgement of the College of Pharmacy’s Laptop Requirement Policy 

  • The Laptop Requirement Policy participation is a condition of your acceptance into the College of Pharmacy. 
  • All entering Doctor of Pharmacy students must have a laptop which is in compliance with the Laptop Requirement Policy during their years of study at Howard University.  No waivers will be allowed!