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Educational Technology Information

Educational Technology Requirements Heading link

All students entering the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UI COM) are required to have a laptop computer and a working webcam at the time of matriculation. There are no requirements in terms of model, manufacturer or technical specifications.

Please note that we will provide tech support service only to currently enrolled Medical, SPP, and PostBac students whose laptops meet the minimum recommendations listed below.

These are the minimum and recommended hardware specifications for your laptop. In most cases newly or recently purchased laptops will meet or exceed the minimum specifications. The recommended specs are what we feel will be a more optimal configuration for your laptop. The minimum specs are what we feel will be the bare minimum configuration for your laptop. Feel free to exceed the recommended list if you are able. You will be a student for the next four years (or longer for MD/PhD students) and combining this need with our years of experience as a support office we have created these recommendations.

  1. USB-A and HDMI, or USB-C for your laptop which will enable you to connect your laptop or tablet in the Learning Center rooms.
  2. Download the Poll Everywhere app (free) on your smartphone/tablet, or bookmark the browser-based (website) version on any device. Poll Everywhere is used for student responses via electronic devices during lecture or active learning sessions. If you have any difficulty in finding the app, contact Dr. Max Anderson. Learn more about Poll Everywhere.
  3. Foam earplugs for computer-based testing.
  4. Install a virtual private network (VPN) to access Library resources off-campus. More information from the Library.
  5. Ensure you have downloaded Zoom. Prior to Orientation you will get access to the licensed version of Zoom through UIC.
  6. Recommended and required textbooks and other resources can be found in Blackboard.
Recommended Minimum
Processor Dual Core 2GHz or higher / Apple M1 chip. 5th Gen Core i5 or better (or the AMD equivalent). Apple M chip.
Operating System Windows 11, MacOS 13 or later Same as recommended
Hard Drive 500 GB or more SSD 250 GB
Memory (RAM) 8 GB or more 4 GB
Screen Size 17” or larger color monitor (desktops); 13” screen or larger (laptops) Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 with 32-bit color setting
Outputs Make sure for digital video & audio output you have HDMI & USB-A (and/or USB-C) ports. You must have the appropriate connector dongle to connect to HDMI if your laptop does not have an HDMI port. Suggestion: if you can add a secondary screen, it might help your workflow. For example, Apple has introduced Sidecar which means you can use your iPad as an extension of your laptop screen. Same as recommended
Webcam You must have a functional webcam, either in your laptop or if your laptop does not have a webcam, an external one. Your webcam should be turned on during online activities unless you are in an environment where the Internet connection is unstable. Your instructors will let you know when it is not necessary to have your camera turned on. There are virtual backgrounds in Zoom, including a way to simply blur your background. Same as recommended
Web Browser Most recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and/or Safari. Do not use beta versions of software as you may encounter unintended issues. Same as recommended
Browser Settings JavaScript enabled Cookies enabled CSS enabled Pop-ups enabled Same as recommended
Warranty 3-4 Years parts and labor + Accidental Protection 3 Years parts and labor
Wireless ** See information on UIC wireless, including requirements. Read the specifications carefully, your computer must meet the requirements to access campus wireless! Same as recommended
Region Manufactured for U.S. distribution Manufactured for U.S. only

**UIC-WiFi uses WPA2 Enterprise Security. WPA2 Enterprise implements the 802.11i security standard, which includes government-grade AES encryption and 802.1x authentication. The specific authentication method that we use is PEAPMSCHAPv2

Optional Considerations – almost always, your tradeoffs are size, weight, and price.

  • We highly recommend you purchase headphones at your discretion and financial ability; even better is to purchase a headphone with microphone set. They range widely in price so keep that in mind. Some brands to check out: Beats, Apple AirPods, Skullcandy, & Sennheiser. For testing, you may also want to invest in some good ear plugs if you take exams remotely and your location is noisy. While wireless / bluetooth options are great, you might want to ensure you also have headphones that can be hardwired into the headphone jack to your laptop in case the wireless connection stops working for some reason.
  • All of the instruction materials you are required to use will run under either the Macintosh or the Windows platform. The decision whether to purchase a Macintosh or Windows-based computer must be made by each student.
  • Upgrade to Solid State Drive (SSD) on laptops offering SSD to improve performance, especially during startup. Upgrade to larger, high-speed (7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm) hard drive for improved performance by allowing faster access to applications and documents. SSDs generally do not store as much as you can on a traditional HD, but are lighter and faster. Consider an external drive for storing more data.
  • Upgrade to a larger battery if weight is not a concern to increase the amount of time the laptop can be used without having to plug into a power outlet for recharge. Be aware that batteries degrade over time and must be replaced when run time is no longer sufficient.
  • Purchase screen size approximately 12″ to 13″. A larger screen generally provides higher resolution and therefore more information on the screen at one time. If scrolling is a problem, then consider a computer with a larger screen. A full size keyboard is suggested, but going beyond a 15″ screen is not recommended due to added weight, and finding a 17″ laptop is becoming rare. This is your call, however, you have to look at it and you have to carry it around. Students are expected to bring their laptop to class for use in classroom activities, unless informed otherwise.

Zoom, the web meeting software, is used extensively for content delivery. Make sure you have the latest version of the Zoom client on your laptop and/or mobile devices. You can download it from the following location. Once it is downloaded you should use your NETID and university password to log in for meetings and class sessions.

Tablets (Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola’s Zoom, Windows Surface etc.) and Netbooks (super small laptops with limited memory and processing power) do not meet the minimum hardware requirements for UI COM. That being said, a tablet can make studying portable, and certain activities are easier on a tablet or smartphone than on a laptop.

In general, our students think that laptops are necessary, and that use of a smartphone and/or a tablet can be of (considerable) additional utility. Desktops are considered not necessary. We can not recommend a tablet as your ONLY computing device. There are still certain educational programs that will not operate optimally and/or the workflow of the learner does not support using a tablet completely. There are times when using a laptop is easier, and our current web slides for Histology and Pathology courses will not work correctly on iPad – we are working to address tablet compatibility for these applications.

Printing on Campus Heading link

Some students find it useful to own a printer, others find they can be “paperless” with the use of a tablet computer.

  • Chicago: There are b/w and color printers available for “pay-to-print” in Edelstone Student Lounge (basement of College of Medicine West Tower (CMWT) as well as near the elevators on each floor in the Learning Center. You can print to these from your laptop – see printing services for more information on UIC Campus Printing.
  • Peoria: Students have access to a b/w printer in the library and both b/w and color in the library learning lab. These are only accessible by using the computers in the library or learning lab. Students have a print account that they can add money to in the cashiers office.
  • Rockford:  Click here for more information.

We recommend installing anti-virus protection on your devices. Here are two alternatives:

The webstore also has reduced software pricing for other student Microsoft purchases (not all Microsoft products are free, but the ones that are not are much cheaper for you).

Read the small print to make sure you are purchasing the right version for your status as UICOM students (it’s different for faculty and for UIS, UIUC, etc).

Most teaching and learning locations in the College of Medicine, as well as in the dorms, cafeteria and the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) have wireless network access. Click here for more information on UIC wireless, including requirement . Read the specifications carefully, your computer must meet the requirements to access campus wireless! You will also find it useful to have high-speed Internet access at home, if you intend to study there.

The Chicago campus computer store has Windows and MacOS laptops that should meet the minimum recommended standard. You must make your purchases directly through them to receive the discount, either in person or via phone (312) 413-5513. NOTE – you will want to purchase your Microsoft Office software via the Webstore, not at the Chicago campus computer store, as the campus provides preferred pricing online only.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid to see if you qualify for an adjustment to cover the cost of devices.

Finding Help Heading link

We strongly discourage you from purchasing a service contract or warranty from anyone other than the original equipment manufacturer (Sony, Dell, Apple, HP, etc). We have experienced significant difficulties in dealing with 3rd party support vendors.

Chicago students: Contact the Help Desk by submitting a ticket here, if you have questions about your purchase decision. Note that the Help Desk is not able to provide loaner laptops to students, but do provide 24/7 access to a small number of computers in the Edelstone Student Lounge.

Peoria students: Students can contact the Help Desk at 309-671-3400, email to UICOMP-ITL Support or stop by A117 on the lower level at the main campus. Note: The Help Desk is not able to provide loaner laptops to students.

Rockford students: Contact the help desk at

Last updated May 30, 2023

Statement on Lecture Recordings Heading link

We are very fortunate to have a video recording system here at the University of Illinois College of Medicine that allows students to view educational activity session recordings at times other than the live scheduled sessions in our on-campus lecture/active learning halls or via online meeting software like Zoom.

The intent of the educational activity recordings is to augment your learning; to allow self-review after attending an educational activity in order to fill in any areas that may have been missed during the session.

The vast majority of educational activities are recorded, but the decision to record ultimately rests with the individual instructor. As much notice as possible will be given when an educational activity is not going to be recorded, however this cannot always be assured. In addition, there is always the possibility of technical problems which can result in the loss of the recorded material. If a suitable recording from another campus or a previous year is available, it will be used as a replacement. The only way to be absolutely certain that you will be able to acquire all of the information from every educational activity presented by the College is to attend the live session in person or via online meeting software like Zoom.

While we always try to process video recordings and make them available to students as soon as possible, availability is impacted by volume of recordings being processed, load on the university systems (Echo360, Zoom), and other factors that may be vulnerable to local, national or worldwide events (Eg. COVID 19 or excessive weather systems). Therefore, students may need to wait up to two business days after the end of a posted event to receive the recording via Echo. For educational activities which occur on Friday afternoons, the recordings may not be available until late in the day on Tuesday. Students should consider this and plan accordingly.

Educational activity recordings, notes, handouts, slide presentations and any other material are protected by federal copyright law. Copyright owners hold exclusives rights to their content, and you may not copy this material, provide copies of it to anyone else, or make use of it for any purpose other than personal review without prior permission from the faculty member (17 U.S.C. § 106). This is a professionalism issue as well as a legal and ethical issue.

Updated December 7,  2020