Recommended Hardware and Software

Minimum Computer, Internet Connections and Software Recommendations

Student Skill Level: Use of computer applications, including word processing and email, is required of all McDowell Technical Community College curriculum students.

Connectivity: Students taking online and hybrid courses must have computer and internet access in order to participate. McDowell Technical Community College’s library and ARC Lab offers computer access on a first come, first served basis. Public libraries also provide internet access.


Microsoft Windows

Apple Macintosh

(not supported)






Operating System

Windows 8.1

Windows 10 or higher

MacOS 10.12

MacOS 10.13 or higher

CPU Memory

4 GB of RAM

6 GB of RAM or more

4 GB of RAM

6 GB of RAM or more

Internet Connection

Any high-speed connection (i.e. cable broadband, WiFi, or DSL)

Free Hard Disk Space

120 GB

250 GB

120 GB

250 GB

CD/DVD Drive

May be required for some programs


Speakers, headphones, and/or a camera may be required for online courses





Most recent version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome (Safari, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge not supported)

Updated version of Google Chrome

Productivity Software

Microsoft Office 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) is required for most classes. Current students may create and use a FREE copy of Office 365 with your MTCC Gmail address


Up-to-date anti-virus software

PDF Reader

Most recent version of Adobe Reader DC

Multimedia Software

Most recent version of Adobe Flash

Additional Notes on Software Needs

Students will be required to submit assignments in a digital document format, which requires a word processing program. We recommend Microsoft Office 365, available free to McDowell Technical Community College students and employees. Some courses also require the purchase of additional software which will be indicated in your course syllabus. To determine what is required for a particular program of study or individual course prior to the start of the semester, contact the program manager or instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to have access to the required software for a particular program or course.

Additional Notes on Computer Specifications

Some internet/online courses require more RAM and hard drive capacity due to specialized software needs. If you are in a program that requires extensive computer skills (CIS and NET, etc.), you may need to purchase additional software, and your computer needs may be higher than what is noted above. Check with the program faculty prior to making purchases. Also, note that some classes may be specific to Windows or Mac OS devices. It is the student’s responsibility to have access to devices that meet the required computer specifications for their programs and courses.