What computer requirements are needed to take online classes?

computer requirements

Many students already have the equipment required to take online classes with no problems, but it’s important to know if what you currently possess will do the trick. A computer that was manufactured recently should be able to handle any online school program. Of course, the minimum requirements may also be dependent upon the course management system (CMS) your school will use, such as Blackboard.

A computer with the following basic specs should be sufficient for online distance learning:

  • 80 GB hard drive or higher
  • 2 GB RAM or higher
  • 2.0 GHz Intel or AMD processor
  • Windows XP or Windows 7 or later/ OS 10.6 or later
  • Soundcard
  • MS Office 2007 or later, Office 2008 (for MAC) or later
  • Internet Explorer 8.0 or later, Firefox 3.6 or later, Google Chrome 7.0 or later
  • Safari 5.0 or later
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0 or later
  • Anti-virus program (updated regularly)
  • Computer microphone and speakers
  • Web Camera
  • High-speed Wi-Fi connection obtained either at home (preferred for the best study setting) or via an outside source, such as the library, a quiet restaurant, etc.

You will be using your computer to research schools, apply for online schools, as well as, financial aid and, most importantly, taking your classes. Do not borrow a computer from a friend. This could be potentially lethal to your studies if the computer for whatever reason is not available to you.

Before you begin, it’s important to make sure that your computer is in tip-top working order and is properly equipped. You need to be prepared for any situation that could arise, for example, most classes have pre-recorded video lectures or live video chats, and if your speakers are not in working condition, you will want to rectify this situation before your classes begin.

Another excellent way of obtaining your school’s computer specifics is to visit their website, in which most colleges and universities offer all requirements needed to take classes online that’s compatible with their learning system.


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