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Computer Expectations

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Technology is an important part of the educational experience.  In many cases the technology may not be used in class but will be required to complete class assignments.   Determining what technology is needed can often be confusing to students and their parents.  To alleviate this confusion, the Communication Studies Department has created technology standards, designed to help ensure that students have the computer technology they need. 

Incoming students in most Communication Studies options (Communication & Pop Culture, Corporate Communication, Interpersonal, and Public Relations)  are expected to have a laptop computer equipped with Adobe Creative Suite 6.0 Design & Web Premium (or the most current Creative Suite version).  See http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/design-web-premium/tech-specs.edu.html for the specifications. 

Since all classroom instruction utilizes the Mac OS, the department expects that students will have an Apple MacBook Pro 13" (Base model meets recommendations).  If you already own a Windows computer, it might be acceptable as long as it's able to run the software needed for your classes:

  • Dreamweaver
  • Illustrator
  • Fireworks
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Bridge
  • MS Office
  •  iLife

The department also recommends that students purchase the following:

  • carrying case or laptop backpack
  • the extended four-year warranty with accident protection
  • either an external hard drive for backup or a remote backup service

Mass Communication Students

All incoming students in Mass Communication are expected to have a laptop computer equipped with Adobe Creative Suite 6.0 Master Collection (or the most current Creative Suite version).  See http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/mastercollection/tech-specs.html for the specifications. 

Since all classroom instruction utilizes the Mac OS, the department expects that Mass Communication students will have an Apple MacBook Pro 15" (Base model meets recommendations).  If you already own a Windows computer, it might be acceptable as long as it's able to run the software needed for your classes:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • InDesign
  • Adobe Audition
  • Illustrator
  • After Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Dreamweaver
  • Prelude
  • Fireworks
  • Bridge
  • Encore
  • MS Office

The department also expects all Mass Communication students to have a 16 gb SDHC Class 6 SD card for use in video cameras.

The department also recommends that Mass Communication students purchase the following:

  • at least a 500 gb External Hard Drive for storing projects and for backup
  • carrying case or laptop backpack
  • the extended four-year warranty with accident protection

Purchasing Options

Communication Studies faculty members utilize the MacOS platform for course instruction and labs.  So we prefer that students purchase a MacBook Pro.  The EIU Bookstore offers special pricing that may result in substantial savings compared to prices offered elsewhere.  Another option for software is to purchase a membership with Adobe Creative Cloud.  For a monthly fee, you can install any of the Adobe Creative Suite software and receive all updates.

Financial Assistance

It is often possible to obtain financial assistance to purchase a computer. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 allow for the purchase of a personal computer and software costs to be added to a student’s educational expense budget that is used to determine financial aid eligibility. A budget increase does not necessarily result in additional financial aid to cover the cost. Students who have borrowed their annual or aggregate loan limits may not have eligibility remaining. You can contact the EIU Office of Financial Aid for further information at 217.581.6405.