All undergraduate students in aerospace engineering and computational engineering are expected to have a laptop at their disposal. Laptops are being increasingly integrated into the classroom experience and the Cockrell School of Engineering is moving toward a model where the departments provide space for students to work but we do not necessarily provide the computers to do the work. Most of the work that you will do on a computer will be on your own laptop and so we strongly encourage you to have a system with the recommended specs and software.

Laptop Specifications

It is recommended that existing laptops or new laptop purchases meet the minimum specifications.

Laptop SpecMinimumRecommended
Processor Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7
Memory (RAM) 8 GB 16 GB
Hard Drive 250 GB 500 GB SSD
Wireless 802.11ac 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 6
Video (GPU) Integrated Dedicated/Discrete (Nvidia or AMD)
Camera Front facing SD camera with mic Front facing HD camera with mic
Warranty 3 year warranty 3 or 4 year Accidental Coverage


The Campus Computer Store has several laptop models available that meet these recommendations. Purchasing Safeware Coverage can extend a one year manufacture's warranty with an optional accidental damage protection. AppleCare is three year warranty extension for Apple MacBooks.

Recommended Software

All computers must have an active antivirus software installed before being connected to the campus network. Systems running Windows 8 or 10 have the builtin Windows Defender. UT recommended anti-virus solutions are listed on the ISO Anti-Virus page

Although most of the engineering software packages in the ASE Computing Center are available via remote access through the vLRC (aka AppD) service, the following applications are recommended for local installation on your laptop. 

Microsoft Office site license download
MATLAB site license download
UTprint Drivers UTprint driver download


Additionally the Cockrell School of Engineering provides access to various products through the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools program program and to National Instruments' LabVIEW.

Virtualization Tools

Some engineering software packages require Microsoft Windows. Virtualization tools allow MacBooks to run Windows as a guest operating system inside a virtual machine. The two recommended virtualization tool options are:

      - Virtual Box
      - VMware Fusion

The department has a subscription to the VMware Academic Program (VMAP) which includes VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Player. Submit a request form to get access to the VMAP subscription.

Backup and Encryption

A backup strategy is important for data protection and using a cloud data sync service is one option. The UTBox service provides unlimited cloud data storage at no cost. 

Although not required for general purpose use, it is recommended that your laptop be encrypted using your operating systems native encryption utility (e.g. BitLocker or FileVault 2). The encryption method chosen may depend on the hardware and operating system supported by the encryption utility. Note: BitLocker requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro/Enterprise, or Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise/Education. FileVault 2 requires MacOS 10.7 or later.

Financial Aid

Students receiving aid and that are loan eligible may contact The Office of Student Financial Services to have their aid adjusted to include the cost of their laptop. Students not eligible for aid can apply for alternative or short-term loans through The Office of Student Financial Services