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Laptop Computer Requirement for MID Programs

Updated August 2020

Starting in Fall Semester 2020, all students entering degree or certificate programs in the Multimedia Information Design department are required to own a laptop computer (Apple Macintosh or Windows PC) 
that meets the minimum standards established by the academic and technology leadership of the College.

Students also must own software subscriptions, and other tools and materials.

The programs with these requirements are:
  • Audio/Video Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic Imaging Technology
  • Web & Multimedia Design
Students are responsible for proper setup, software installation, and maintenance of their personal computer systems.

Laptop Computer Specifications

Recommended MacBook Pro Computer Specifications
Display 15-inch or 16-inch retina display
Processor Intel Core i9 processor
Memory 32 GB RAM and 8 GB VRAM (dedicated video card/RAM)
Storage 1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) internal storage

If you already own an Apple or PC laptop computer that meets or exceeds the College’s standards, you may use that computer.
If your current laptop does not meet the recommended specification but is within the minimum specification below, you may use it at your own risk and you may experience productivity issues. You also will need to purchase required software subscriptions and additional tools and materials listed below. 
Minimum Computer Specifications
Display 12-inch retina display or greater
Processor Intel Core i7 or greater
Memory 16 GB RAM or greater (32 GB highly recommended, especially if the computer has integrated graphics processing)
Storage 512 GB or greater boot drive

Required Software and Equipment - Graphic Design, Graphic Imaging, Web & Multimedia Design
Highly Recommended - Graphic Design, Graphic Imaging, Web & Multimedia Design
  • External Media Drive (1 TB or larger SSD or 7200 rpm – USB3/USB-C)
  • A USB or wireless 2-button mouse with scroll

Required Software and Equipment - Audio/Video Production
  • Beginning of Semester 1 (students enrolled in AVP 100)
  • Beginning of Semester 2 (students enrolled in AVP 110)
    • Minimum of 2 SDHC cards (Class 10)
    • Grip Tools (Leather Work Gloves, Multi-tool Pliers, Small LED Flashlight)   
  • NOTE: AVID Pro Tools requires iLok software authorization to open and run.
    • iLok cloud authorization can be set up for free at Users also must install the latest version of iLok License Manager so they can manage their authorization and activate an iLok Cloud session. For this option the user must be online with a stable connection when using the software.
    • A USB hardware iLok dongle is available for an additional $49.00. The physical iLok is recommended.
    • This information is on the AVID Pro Tools website (see link above) under System Requirements.

Estimated Costs

The estimated cost for a laptop, annual software subscriptions, and other required materials is $4,300. This does not include the cost of course textbooks or the cost of the software subscriptions for year two and beyond.

The estimated retail cost for a MacBook Pro computer is $3,049 for the recommended configuration, as published by Adobe and AVID Pro Tools.

An AppleCare Plus 3-year Protection Plan is $339 for the recommended computer.

Financial Aid

If you are using or planning to use financial aid to help pay your Cincinnati State costs, ask a Financial Aid Advisor if your financial aid award includes funds you could use for a computer.

Depending on the type and amount of financial aid you are awarded, you may be able to use "excess" financial aid funding (after your tuition and fees have been paid) to cover all or part of the cost of a laptop computer and required software.

Technical Support

Students are responsible for proper setup, software installation, and maintenance of their personal computer systems. Technical support is not provided on campus.

AppleCare Protection Plan is strongly recommended (or comparable insurance for Windows PC) to ensure that students have access to technical support, assistance, and warranty repair services.
Workshops for students will be scheduled on campus prior to the Fall Semester 2020 to provide information on using their laptop, accessing networks, and using peripheral devices and software applications.

Rationale for the Laptop Requirement

Computer technology is essential to all multimedia information design professions. A personal laptop computer gives students a powerful learning and production tool that can be used in the classroom and in other settings where learning takes place.

Owning a computer also gives students flexibility to work on projects at home, on campus, or for "in the field" production when needed.
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