Electronic Media Communications Laptop Requirement

laptop requirement

All students entering programs at UC Blue Ash in Art & Visual Communication (AVC) and Electronic Media Communications (EMC) are required to own a MacBook Pro laptop computer. We strongly recommend that newly acquired computers be purchased with AppleCare to provide extended warranty coverage (3 years) for help desk assistance, maintenance and repair.

Computer technology is integral to the learning process and to professional performance in visual communication and media production. Access to a personal laptop computer provides students with a powerful learning and production tool that can be integrated into both the classroom and the production studio. It also affords the flexibility to permit students to continue working on deadline-driven projects at home and the portability for production use in the field. 


Laptop Model Requirements

When purchasing a laptop it is recommended that it be one of the latest available MacBook Pro models. There are two acceptable options available for MacBook Pro computers, both of which are sufficient to complete coursework in our academic programs: both are 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

The current minimum technical specifications for an acceptable, newly purchased MacBook Pro are:

  • Quad-core 2.2 GHz Intel® Core i7 processor
  • 16GB of RAM  
  • 256GB  PCIe-based flash storage
  • Apple Thunderbolt (USB-C) to USB adapter 
    • Not included as a basic option ($19 add-on)
  • Mac OS X v10.11 El Capitan or higher
  • AppleCare Protection Plan ($349 add-on)

For entering students already owning MacBook Pro laptops

your computer should equal the technical specifications for the currently available options as listed above (as appearing the Apple website) to ensure that they will be functional for all of your required coursework and software applications.

The recommended options are intended to provide the ability to effectively utilize all of the required and optional software applications taught, and permit continued use of the tool throughout the entire time needed to complete the academic program and well beyond. Students interested in our formal transfer options to either CCM or DAAP should also note that these recommended laptop computers meet or exceed the computer requirements in programs at these University of Cincinnati colleges.


Technical Support

Please note that technical support is not provided on campus and that the AppleCare Protection Plan is strongly recommended to ensure that students have access to help desk assistance, walk-in assistance at Apple retail stores, and warranty repair services at no additional cost. A number of one-hour workshops will be provided on campus at the beginning of the fall semester to provide students with information on using their laptop, accessing support through AppleCare, accessing wireless networks and printing, classroom and studio etiquette for using laptops in the college environment, safety and security issues, and discussion of optional peripheral devices and optional software applications for use with laptop computers.


Estimated Cost of Recommended Laptop Computers

Estimated Cost Range - $1799-$2599

The estimated retail expense for the recommended laptop options ranges from approximately $1899 to $2299. The AppleCare Protection Plan is an additional $239. The USB SuperDrive is an additional $79. All students at UCBA are eligible for Apple Educational Pricing, which reduces the expense of the selected computer up to $200. Search for Educational Pricing on the apple.com website. The listed price reflects that savings.


Software Applications Requirements

Estimated Cost Range - $250

The required software applications include the following:


Optional Peripheral Recommendations

The following hardware items are not required but are recommended for specific courses to facilitate flexibility, usability and reliable backup of important files. It is recommended that any purchase of these items be deferred until after consulting with the appropriate department faculty members on the use and applicability of these resources.

  • LaCie Rugged Mini USB 3.0 / USB-C 1TB External Hard Drive STFR1000400- $119.94 (AVC & eMC)
  • Epson Artisan 1430 Inkjet Printer - $339 (AVC only)
  • Epson Perfection V370 Scanner - $109 (AVC only)

Rationale for the Laptop Computer Requirement

Computer technology is integral to the learning process, and to professional performance in visual communication and media production. Access to a personal laptop computer provides students with a powerful learning and production tool that can be integrated into both the classroom and the production studio. It also affords the flexibility to permit students to continue working on deadline-driven projects at home and the portability for production use in the field.

Faculty in both Art & Visual Communication and Electronic Media Communications have agreed that the Apple MacBook Pro is the best production option for UCBA students, despite its added expense, due to the long history of these products being specifically engineered for design and production professionals. This has led to the MacBook Pro being considered a design and production industry standard. In addition, these computers have demonstrated long-term dependability and reliability, with an excellent track record of quick and helpful technical support and repair (when necessary) through the economical AppleCare Protection Plan


Questions About Recent Laptop Computer Purchases

Should incoming students have an existing laptop computer, or have recently purchased either an Apple laptop (Macintosh OS) or a Windows OS laptop (such as HP or Dell) prior to matriculating in either Art & Visual Communication or Electronic Media Communications, we suggest contacting the technical staff in the appropriate department to discuss the specifications of the existing computer to see if it can be effectively utilized to run the required software and complete program requirements.


Contact Information

William Boyle | Studio Lab Manager
Phone: (513) 936-1614
Email: william.boyle@uc.edu