Student Laptop Recommendations

Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology recommends that all incoming freshmen and transfer students have a laptop computer to complete their coursework. Minimum specifications are noted below. If you would like to invest more, we recommend the following in prioritized order: 1) a better/faster/larger processor, 2) more memory (this could be a later upgrade), 3) a larger/faster hard drive. There are computer labs available with all course software.

Student Laptop Minimum Recommendations

Dell Inspiron 5000 Series:

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Core i5 (8th generation)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage capacity: 500GB hard drive (solid state drive)
  • Extended warranty (4 year warranty with accidental damage protection)

You may purchase your laptop through Bradley University

PC/Windows machines are highly preferred and recommended for Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Electrical and Computer Engineering majors.

Apple MacBook Pro (Apple MacBooks not recommended/supported for Electrical and Computer Engineering or Civil Engineering and Construction):

  • Operating System: Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra or newer
  • Processor: Core i5
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage capacity: 256GB hard drive (solid state drive)
  • Extended warranty (4 year warranty with accidental damage protection)

You may purchase your Apple laptop through Bradley University

An Ethernet adapter is also recommended for online test-taking.

Please note the extended warranty is an additional purchase for your laptop. You can also add a rider on parents’ homeowners insurance policy for added protection.

Software Recommendations

  • Microsoft Office: 2019 for Windows / 2016 for Mac

Individual courses for all majors may require additional software specific to the course.

Web Browsers

The University recommends using Google Chrome for university email and for most learning applications.

The schedule and tasks of a college student frequently require multi-tasking with lots of windows open and may require taking online tests. Netbooks, tablets, and eReaders are not suited for this. Consider netbooks, tablets, or eReaders as note-taking, reading, media consumption, or email devices not a primary computing device.


University Learning tools and technology might require either wired or wireless connections with minimum bandwidth capabilities.

Other financial considerations

With purchase receipts, the expense incurred to purchase required technology may be used to increase private or PLUS loan amounts. It is important to note that increases in cost of attendance for required technology will not result in an increase in scholarship, grant or work-study funding. Please contact the Bradley University Office of Financial Assistance for further information at