Laptop Computer Requirements

Policy

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

Please find and read the Laptop Policy Program Acknowledgment State Receipt Below. This Receipt must be signed and returned to your respective College on the first day of Orientation. All entering doctorial students must have a laptop which is in compliance with the Laptop Policy program during their years of study at Howard University, no waivers will be allowed!

Download the full Computer Policy Here.

Purpose

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: http://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/Vol3Ch21213Jun14.pdf.

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 reduced fee reflects a recent federal mandate to reduce the program and this reduction of the laptop fee to $1,400.00 supersedes the laptop fee assessed by the university under the Tuition and Fee schedules for Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy published for entering students. This budgeted amount allows all students the financial means for meeting the basic needs of the laptop program but is not all inclusive. Breaking with tradition, the Student Computer Program will only provide recommendations for computers and configuration guidelines to assist entering students in selecting an appropriate computer.


Technical Observation

  1. Based upon our experience Windows 7 still offers the most reliable platform for health science education applications.
  2. MAC users will need to implement Boot Camp plus have a Windows 7 OS disk in order to have compatibility with Windows programs. Would stay away from Windows 8.0/8.1.
  3. Windows 8.0 and 8.1 are 'virtual' operating systems and may encounter functional problems on occasion with some Windows programs.
  4. Windows 10 beta is out and it appears to be more backwardly than Windows 8.0/8.1. The jury is still out on W-10 but it should become the new OS of choice replacing W-8.1 for PCs prior to Thanksgiving. Our internal upgrade forecast is to upgrade from Windows 7 professional/enterprise to Windows 10, skipping Windows 8, when we are ready to do so.
  5. Laptops with a Quad core processor are preferred such as Intel i5 and i7 or AMD A8 and A10 however for budget conscious the Intel i3 or AMD A4 will suffice.
  6. AMD processor laptops are lower cost than Intel machines. As an example HP offers Intel and AMD lines of laptops where the primary difference is the processor type and all other components being equal.

Minimum Windows PC Laptop Specifications

  • 2.5 GHz Intel Core Duo (or equivalent)
  • i5 or greater processor recommended
  • 500 GB hard drive (smaller SSD or solid state drives are available but typically have capacities ranging from 32 GB to 240 GB and therefore we strongly recommend the purchase of an external hard drive to supplement storage capacity.)
  • 8 GB RAM (4 GB minimum)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • WiFi 802.11 g/b/n wireless card
  • USB 2.0/3.0 ports
  • Monitor screen size – minimum 12.1” diagonal

Software minimum requirements

  • Windows 7 Professional 64‐bit Operating System or Windows 7 Professional/Windows 8.1 upgrade package (Windows 8 may not backwardly compatible with older education software titles)
  • Microsoft Office (2007, 2010, 2013 or Office 365)
  • 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: https://secure.howard.edu/dana-na/auth/url_default/welcome.cgi
  • Windows media player (latest version)
  • Quicktime player (latest version) (Free downloads)
  • Sun Java (Free downloads)
  • Adobe Flash/Shockwave (Free downloads)

Recommended Windows Computers

The following is a guide for to assist students in shopping for a appropriate computer that we have identified will best serve their needs in pursuing a Health Sciences education.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 36986EU Ultrabook/Tablet
  • Lenovo X230 convertible Tablet computer
  • Fujitsu T732 convertible Tablet computer
  • Microsoft Surface Pro RT
  • Samsung 700T Tablet
  • Acer Iconia Tab W Series W700‐6495 Tablet Intel

Macintosh

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 2.0/3.0 ports
  • Monitor screen size – minimum 12.1” diagonal

Software minimum requirements

  • Snow Leopard OS
  • Bootcamp and Windows 7 OS disk (for MAC to run Windows Applications)
  • 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 ($39.99 and $49.99 with student discount, respectively) that will allow for simultaneous computing on both OS
  • Please read for more information: http://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/compatibility.html
  • DVD/optical drives. DVD/optical drives are optional, as the use of such devices are not entirely necessary at this date. However, if you choose to purchase, or already have a computer that does not have a DVD/optical drive, there are some software programs that you will receive on CD or DVD format.
  • Patient confidentiality and privacy is of utmost concern, and 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). Health Sciences students should encrypt their USB Flash Drives and enable security features on their computer such as bio‐metric login.

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)

  • USB Flash Drive – 16 GB recommended (8 GB minimum)
  • External Hard Drive – 500 GB recommended
  • Web camera
  • DVD/optical drive (internal or external)
  • Wireless mouse

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.

Recommended Insurance Coverage for Loss or Theft

Computer warranty and service plans do not cover a total loss by theft. Even if your policy covers theft of your computer, most computer insurance carriers have excluded theft from a car or other vehicle. Consequently, it is highly recommended that you acquire personal property protection coverage in the form of a tenant insurance policy to cover all of your possessions in your apartment. Many of these policies will allow stated value coverage for high value items such as jewelry, art work, laptop or desktop computer, etc. If your primary residence is covered by a home owner’s policy, please have coverage of your personal property extended to protect your property at university, especially your computer.

What if I want to use a Netbook?

Netbook computers, iPads, Android, or Windows tablets with display screen sizes less than 12 inches are not recommended as your primary computing device due to the following. The university does not support BYOD other than providing basic internet access via our Howard Visitor service.

One‐line Examinations ‐ A primary use of a student’s computer will be taking online examinations throughout the academic year. Health Science subject examinations will frequently require you to identify anatomical tissues, organs, cell structures, etc. Being able to clearly see illustrations and photos of these elements does require a significant amount of viewing surface. Some of the testing services prefer larger rather than smaller monitor sizes. Screens under 12.1” can put you at a significant disadvantage during the exam and negatively impact your exam performance.

Operating Systems – Netbook computers typically are programmed with operating systems that have scaled down to a minimum set of features and functions such as Windows XP Home, Windows 7 Home or Basic. These types of OS are unsecure, lacking the security features of the Professional versions of Windows XP Professional, 7 32‐bit or 64‐bit Professional and therefore, are incompatible with the Howard University and HU Hospital networks.

As long as your computer meets the minimum laptop specifications as previously listed, you may use it.

HU Bookstore & Direct Billing To Student Account

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.

Entering students have options to fund the purchase a computer with the recommended configuration from the retail outlet of their choice out of pocket.

As an alternative, the Howard University Bookstore (HUB), managed by Barnes & Noble, will offer a wide selection of computer platforms from all major manufacturers of Windows PCs plus MAC, with recommended configurations. The HUB offers a significant advantage over other retailers to students by allowing a computer purchase to be billed directly to a student’s account up to the $1,400 limit mandated by the Federal government for financing student computer. For any purchase that exceeds the $1,400 laptop fee amount, a student would be directly responsible paying the difference and the HUB accepts all major credit cards.

Please contact the HUB directly if you have any questions.

Howard University BookStore

BARNES & NOBLE @ HOWARD UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE
Business Services
2225 Georgia Ave. NW B&N 8102
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 238‐2640

STORE HOURS
Mon 9am ‐ 6pm
Tue 9am ‐ 6pm
Wed 9am ‐ 6pm
Thu 9am ‐ 6pm
Fri 9am ‐ 6pm
Sat 10am ‐ 4pm
Sun CLOSED

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!