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Common Concerns
Buying Hardware or Software


Personal Purchases



Rutgers has created agreements with a number of vendors to sell equipment to members of the Rutgers community at discounted pricing.  The web site has all of the details related to these discounts, as well as links to the stores where you can purchase these items. We do recommend that you compare this pricing to the pricing that you can get if you go directly to the sites of the hardware manufacturers. For example, if you are looking at a Dell computer, you should also check out to see if you can get a better price directly through their retail channel.


Recommended Specifications

There currently isn’t a laptop requirement for any of the programs at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.  However, we do have a few general recommendations regarding laptops that you may find useful.  First, we would highly recommend that any system you are using be less than three years old.  The reason being is that you will be provided with access to certain “student version” software, and that software will require a relatively modern operating system.  Next, we would recommend that any machine you buy has a warranty that will cover the machine through the time you in the program. The reason being is that as you use your laptop more and more, it will quickly become indispensable and if a hardware component fails, you will be able to get it repaired in a matter of days, whereas an out of warranty machine may take weeks to get repaired.


In terms of some specific hardware recommendations, if you are a Planning student, you should get an i5 or i7 processor with a minimum of 8GB of RAM. A dedicated video card is also helpful especially for some of the advanced graphics work being done, but it is not essential, as the integrated video chipsets do work well with the latest ix processors. Another helpful option would be to get an SSD hard drive, or at the very least a 7200 RPM hard drive. It should also be noted that you may at some point want to connect your laptop to one of the projectors in our classrooms or conference rooms and if you have a Mac, you will need to have your own adapter that provides VGA\SVGA connectivity. If you are a Bloustein student and have any questions about this information, please contact us and we'll be happy to help you.



There is a department that is involved in distributing software at Rutgers University and the web site for this department is . Some of the software packages on this web site are available to the entire Rutgers community and other pages are only available to faculty or staff. It should be noted that some packages also have restrictions. For example, some of the software packages can only be installed on University owned equipment. One software package that is free to students is Symantec Endpoint Protection. This product can be obtained from .

Student Software Quick Links