MCAD's Laptop Computer Requirement | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

MCAD's Laptop Computer Requirement

MCAD is focused on preparing you for the changing local and global job market, which is increasingly defined by digital technology and team-based workspaces.

In keeping with our mission of educational excellence and service, we require all MCAD students to own a laptop computer.

All new undergraduate students are offered Apple MacBook Pro laptops for purchase through MCAD at a significantly discount price. These laptops may be picked up during orientation and are custom-configured with the hardware specifications needed to use the software required for MCAD coursework. Software offered by MCAD is pre-installed or easily available to acquire and license on these computers through our remote management system.

Undergraduate Laptop Bundle Specifications

You will receive an Apple MacBook Pro with a custom hardware configuration:

  • 14” 2023 MacBook Pro w/ 3 Thunderbolt Ports
  • Apple Silicon M2 Pro 10-Core processor with 16-Core GPU 
  • 16 GB RAM (Memory) 
  • 512 GB SSD(Storage) 
  • 67W Charger

MCAD also provides licensing for a suite of software that you’ll use for your coursework, including Adobe Creative Cloud and other programs. 

See this article for a full list of licensing offered by MCAD. Please note that while it’s possible for you to install and license most of these programs on your own, including Adobe Creative Cloud, our Microsoft Office license must be pre-installed and is only available on laptops purchased from MCAD.


The final price of the laptop will not exceed $2,000. You will receive specific cost information in the summer. Because of the MCAD laptop’s special discounted pricing, it isn’t eligible for any other back to school or promotional rebate offers. 

Once you receive the laptop, you own it just as if you bought it from the Apple store. Read more about your laptop’s default and extended Apple warranty and our tips for insuring and caring for your laptop.

If you use financial aid to cover the cost of the laptop you are responsible to pay the balance if you withdraw; there are no refunds or return options.

Waiving the Laptop Bundle

You may waive the MCAD laptop and bring your own device if it meets our required specifications, outlined below. If you decide not to participate in the laptop program, you are required to fill out a Laptop Waiver and submit it to the Admissions Office before July 1 (fall semester) or December 1 (spring semester). Your laptop must have a functional webcam and microphone for the waiver to be granted. 

Before you decide to waive, please review our article connecting to MCAD systems from a non-MCAD laptop. Most services can still be accessed but some may require extra steps. Most  software offered by MCAD can be licensed on any computer; however, as noted above, our Microsoft Office license is only available on laptops purchased from MCAD.

To waive the MCAD laptop , your laptop must meet these minimum hardware requirements:

  • 2023 (or newer) MacBook Pro w/ 3 Thunderbolt Ports (at least 14-inch screen - the 13-inch option is only available with less powerful components)
  • Apple Silicon M2 Pro 10-Core processor with 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Memory (SDRAM) minimum
  • 512GB SSD Storage minimum
  • Built-in webcam and microphone


I'm so excited about my laptop! When do I get it?

You will be able to pick up your laptop during orientation prior to the start of your first semester.

Is there a warranty?

All Apple computers come with a 1-year limited warranty which covers parts failure but not accidental damage. You can purchase AppleCare+ (Apple’s 3-year extended warranty) in the first month after you receive the computer. AppleCare+ covers parts failure and a few instances of accidental damage each year with fees. 

Is there technical support on campus for my computer?

Absolutely! The MCAD Help Desk is here to help with your technical needs during your time on campus. Hardware repairs must be handled with Apple or other computer repair providers - please see this article for more information. Support is guaranteed for laptops purchased from MCAD; support for other computers may be more limited.

Can I buy my laptop at the Apple Store or another retailer?

You could, but the MacBook Pro that MCAD offers is significantly discounted, plus we’ve already made sure its specs will meet the demands of your academic work. It has also been set up to easily receive and use the needed software and the connections to systems around campus. If you aren’t sure the MCAD laptop will meet your needs for any reason, we encourage you to reach out to us with questions before deciding to buy a more expensive computer.

What if I want to use a different make, model, or size?

If you have a computer that meets our waiver requirements, outlined above, then you can sign and submit the Laptop Waiver form. However, it’s worth noting that there aren’t many varieties of Apple laptops that meet these requirements, and the model MCAD offers is going to be a great option for most people.  

I want to use a Windows laptop for class work. What are my options?

Everyone is required to start their time at MCAD owning and using an Apple computer. This is so that everyone can complete coursework using the same version of the required programs and so that your computer will work with our campus systems. Many services around campus require extra setup or don’t work at all for Windows computers - read more about it here.

More questions?

Contact for laptop assistance.

*Students who apply by the Early Action Application deadline are eligible for the MCAD Laptop Scholarship, which provides admitted BFA and BS students with a free Apple laptop when they enroll at the college.