Computer Requirements

The HEM Program is very much a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment. Each student needs to be aware of his/her usage requirements and should be somewhat self-sufficient with his/her own equipment and infrastructure requirements.

Because so much of our course of study is dependent on our Virtual Classroom environment, a modern laptop with integrated webcam is recommended for best results. We are defining a “modern” laptop as any laptop purchased within the past 3 years and based on the Intel Core i-series of processors (or AMD equivalent).

Laptops meeting the minimum requirements:

  • Recommended: Macbook Air or Pro with Core i-series Processor – MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan)or later
  • Windows
    • Minimum: Dual Core i-Series CPU or AMD equivalent – Windows 10
    • Recommended: Intel Core i-5 or Core i-7 series CPU or AMD equivalent – Windows 10

    NOTE: We do not support any platform running low-power, mobile-class, processors (Intel Atom, nVidia Tegra, ARM, and similar processors), Windows 8 or Chromebooks – this includes Microsoft Surface Tablets.


    Use of headphones/headsets

    Because of the nature of multi-session web conferencing, we require the use of headphones during class to reduce the incidence of feedback through the computer speakers. For an optimal experience a headset with an integrated noise-canceling microphone is recommended, but not required.

    Reliable Broadband connectivity – Includes:

    We also require students attending class remotely to have a reliable broadband connection to the internet.

    • Fiber(ATT Uverse, Verizon FiOS, Other systems)
    • Cable (Xfinity-Comcast, Time-Warner, Charter, others)
    • Upper-tier DSL (Local telcos – Basic DSL is not robust enough to support web conferencing reliably)

    Note that service varies with provider. Certain degradations in service may be the result of bandwidth caps and data throttling by ISPs. Check with your provider to see if they impose monthly data caps.

    3G and 4G cellular data connections are not reliable broadband connections.

    4G LTE connections seem to work fine, but probably should not be depended upon as primary access because of data caps and possible throttling.

    Microsoft Office

    All students are eligible to use the latest Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac. Students may download Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac free of charge through the University’s IT Department (http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/cccs/desktop/distribution/microsoft/studentoffice/). You will need to login using your BU username and Kerberos password.