Laptop Requirement

ENV student Marvin Serrano works on his project, July 2018 (Tom Zasadzinski)
ENV student Marvin Serrano works on his project, July 2018 (Tom Zasadzinski)

It is required for all students in the program to have a laptop computer that runs a variety of software needed for their study at Cal Poly Pomona. When prospective and current students consider purchasing a laptop computer, please ensure that the computer meets the following specification requirements.

Hardware Specifications (Minimum and Recommended)

Mac or PC*

  • CPU speed:  2.2 GHz minimum; Hyper-threading (HHT) or Multi-core recommended
  • Platform:  x86 or x64 with SSE2 extensions
  • Memory/RAM:  4 GB (minimum) or 8 GB or higher (recommended)
  • Display properties:  24-bit color depth
  • Screen resolution:  1024x768 recommended minimum at normal size (96 dpi)
  • Disk space:  256 GB (minimum) to 512 GB (recommended)
  • Video/Graphics adapter:  64 MB RAM (minimum) or 256 MB RAM or higher (recommended) NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel chipsets supported. 24-bit capable graphics accelerator. OpenGL version 2.0 runtime (minimum) or Shader Model 3.0 or higher (recommended).


The following is a list of software programs that are frequently used in the program. It is expected that the students prepare and configure software programs to run on their computers when the license of the programs is provided. The software is also available in the ENV’s computer labs. There may be additional programs required by faculty members.

Important Notes

*Choosing a Mac or PC is the students’ preference.

The department does not have a recommendation or preference for Mac or PC. However, it is noteworthy that ArcGIS cannot be installed on Mac. ArcGIS is the software required for one of the core courses (URP 1200L). The instructor will distribute a student license to the students and expect that the students run the software on their computer although the software is accessible in the ENV computer labs and the university's Virtual Software Lab.

(Updated: April 22, 2021)