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Medical School Student Computer Policies for Entering Class of 2023

Laptop Requirements

In order to fully utilize the information resources required by the faculty during your education and be able to complete online examinations, the school requires that all incoming medical students bring a laptop that meets the university’s hardware, software, and data security requirements.

The computers cannot be more than two years old at the time of orientation.

Allowed Laptops

Apple: Any 13-inch (or larger) MacBook laptop configured to meet or exceed the requirements below.
Microsoft:  Any 13-inch (or larger) Microsoft Surface laptop configured to meet or exceed the requirements below. Windows 10 and 11 “S mode” is not supported, must run Windows 11 Pro.
Dell:  Any 13-inch (or larger) Dell Latitude or XPS laptop configured to meet or exceed the minimum requirements below.

Screen Size13” (or larger) with 1024 x 768 resolution (or higher)13” (or larger) with 1024 x 768 resolution (or higher)
ProcessorIntel i5 (or better) or M1 CPU (or better)Intel i5 (or better)
RAM8GB (16GB+ recommended)8GB (16GB+ recommended)
Hard DriveSSD 256GB (or larger)SSD 256GB (or larger)
Operating SystemMac OS 13 (Ventura)Windows 11 Pro*
EncryptionFileVault 2 Full Disk EncryptionBitLocker Full Disk Encryption
TPM Chip *Not RequiredTPM Chip required
Wireless AdapterIntel 802.11ac (or better)Intel 802.11ac (or better)
Warranty **3-year AppleCare (recommended)4-year hardware warranty (recommended)
Antivirus SoftwareNot RequiredWindows Defender (Included with Windows 11)
Audio/VisualIntegrated Webcam & MicrophoneIntegrated Webcam & Microphone
Home Internet Access Recommendation ***Download: 20+Mbps
Upload: 3+Mbps
Download: 20+Mbps
Upload: 3+Mbps

* TPM chip and Windows 11 Pro are required for full-disk BitLocker encryption.

** You will not fail computer orientation if you do not purchase an extended warranty, but we highly recommend that you do have it. If you purchase a Dell laptop with on-site Pro Support, we are able to contact Dell on your behalf to schedule repairs. For Microsoft and Apple laptops, you will need to either ship your laptop to the repair depot or take it to the store to be repaired. It is your responsibility to ensure that your MSIT-approved laptop is in good working order and capable of running the required software on exam days.

*** Your home internet connection speed should be sufficient to support remote learning. This includes streaming audio/video lectures, participating in audio/video online meetings (WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) as well as online exams. Should you experience connectivity issues from home, high-speed internet access is available on campus.

Encryption Instructions

All Windows and Macintosh computers must be encrypted before you arrive at the computer orientation. Please also enable the 15-minute inactivity timeout and use a secure password. Windows laptops should only use the Windows Defender Antivirus that is included with Windows 11. Other antivirus software can interfere with the exam software.

Windows: Windows 11 BitLocker Encryption Guide
Mac: Mac OS FileVault Encryption Guide

Very Important! When you enable full-disk encryption on your computer, please save your encryption key in a safe location. This key will be required to recover your data should the operating system get corrupted or if your laptop experiences a hardware failure. Remember to keep a current backup of all your important files!

NOTE: To maintain compatibility with online exam software, please DO NOT upgrade the operating system version on your laptop until you receive approval from Educational Programs or MSIT.

Protection of Patient, Research and University Data

As a medical student, you will have access to patient, research, or University data. The storage of that data on non-University computers puts patient privacy at risk and it is not in line with the security standards of the University. Non-University computers could be unencrypted, have weak or no passwords, are sometimes shared, and generally not managed by University IT staff, and therefore should not be used to store University data. University data should ONLY be saved to UTHealth OneDrive, UTH Share or MSIT-approved removable storage devices (Encrypted flash drives and hard drives).

You are required to attend the computer orientation with your laptop so that your laptop can be configured, certified, and approved for use on campus. Please be advised that an MSIT approved laptop is required in order for you to participate in required classroom activities and online examinations. Students will have the option of having their laptops configured with wireless and a VPN during orientation. Once full-disk encryption and hardware/software requirements are verified, a non-transferable, tamper-evident sticker will be placed on your laptop, indicating that your laptop has been verified by MSIT and that it met all the requirements at the time it was inspected. In order to stay compliant with UTHealth IT Security policies, do not disable full-disk encryption or remove the login password for your Windows/Mac account. If you have questions or need assistance, please check our FAQ page or contact the Lan Manager listed below (e-mail is preferred).

MSIT will check and certify all laptops that meet the requirements listed above. Though exceptions are rare, when necessary, they are reviewed/considered on a limited and case-by-case basis and will need to be approved and documented by MSIT, Educational Programs, and Student Affairs.

Contact Info

If you have questions about these requirements or need further assistance, please contact:

Ted Lo
Systems & Applications Specialist I
Medical School Information Technology
Location: Room MSB G.200
Phone: 713-500-5162
Ticket Request:

See Laptop Requirements For Incoming Classes of: 2022 20212020201920182017

== Laptop Requirements Page – FAQ Page ==

Medical School Information Technology

Administrative Offices
6431 Fannin St | MSB G.520 | Houston, TX 77030 USA | Fax: (713) 500-0708
IT Help Desk: (713) 486-4848