Purchasing a Laptop

In the College of Engineering, we have Mosaic labs that should cover most of your computing needs. Mosaic Computing Support offers 24/7 labs across campus that contain all the software you might need during your studies. While this is useful, it is not always convenient. This is why all College of Engineering students are required to purchase a laptop for convenient access to programs and access to Mosaic Anywhere. Having a laptop allows you to access some engineering software to use at your convenience.

Requirements for New Students First Enrolled for Fall 2020 or Beyond 

In fall 2020, UNC Charlotte began requiring all university students to own laptops. These new requirements include specifications that also apply to new Lee College of Engineering freshmen and transfer students admitted for fall 2020 and beyond. The university-level requirements for new students enrolling in fall 2020 or beyond are here. 

In addition to university baseline standards for new students, the Lee College of Engineering requires all student laptops to include a graphics card with at least 2 GB of video RAM. This is due to the engineering software packages our students often have to use, many of which are graphics intensive.

The Lee College of Engineering also requires that laptops, for all undergraduate and graduate students taking college of engineering courses, have a microphone, camera and speakers for use in online classes.

Apple Computer Support
The Lee College of Engineering does not advise the purchase of Apple Laptops for student use. The majority of the software required by the engineering program is Windows-based with some occasional Linux, meaning that Apple laptops will not be able to support the software needed to complete required course work. It is possible to install Windows on an Apple machine through a process called Bootcamp, but this brings many complications with software and hardware. Mosaic computing will no longer install Windows on Apple machines because of driver incompatibility and instability of both systems seem in the past. 

If an Apple machine was already purchased, Mosaic computing will help with the following technical support: any common issues, wifi setup, VPN installation, basic compatible software installation, and basic driver and operating system troubleshooting. Access of required Windows-based software can be resolved with the use of Mosaic Anywhere which comprises 120 Windows systems with the majority of the software Mosaic computing provides. A list of available software is located on the Mosaic computing webpage. https://engrmosaic.charlotte.edu/using-mosaic/available-software

Alternatively, Mosaic provides 10 labs that are open 24/7 which contain over 100 different applications. A list of available laboratories and software is also available on the Mosaic website.

Requirements for Current Students Admitted Before Fall 2020

For current Lee College of Engineering students enrolled prior to fall 2020, the laptop computer requirements are below. In addition to these requirements, the Lee College of Engineering also requires that laptops, for all undergraduate and graduate students taking college of engineering courses, have a microphone, camera and speakers for use in online classes.

Woman TypingRecommended specs include an i7 processor (or AMD equivalent), 16 GB of RAM, at least a 512 GB solid state drive (SSD), and potentially a dedicated graphics card. In the typical first year in engineering at UNC Charlotte you will mostly work with Microsoft Office and as your curicculum progresses more software will be implimented. A 2 GB dedicated graphics card will help your computer power through CAD work, which is common in civil and mechanical engineering. Common software used in the electrical curriculum include Matlab and Pspice, which do not require as much performance as AutoCAD or Solidworks. When purchasing a laptop it is important to remember that it should be meant to last the amount of time you are in school. Opting for a higher performing machine helps keep it relevant for longer. 

Engineering Recommended Laptop Specifications
Processor Intel i7 Processor (or AMD equivalent)
Performance Memory (RAM) 16 GB
Physical Storage Capacity (Hard Drive) 512 SSD
Dedicated Graphics Memory 2 GB
Warranty Period 4 year accidental protection


The NinerTech Computer Store on campus has laptops from which to choose that are suitable for students of the College of Engineering. These computers were picked by them to meet or surpass Engineering laptop recommendations. These systems can be found here on the NinerTech Computer Store website. The NinerTech Computer Store also offers several warranty options which you can find more information on here