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Laptop Requirements for Interior Design

2020 – 2021 Academic Year’s Laptop Requirement for ID program

General Note for 1st year Students

Interior design students entering the first year of study are required to have access to a computer, either laptop or desktop, that meets or exceeds required minimum specifications listed below. Because the requirements are updated each year, we STRONGLY encourage first-year students to delay purchase of a high level laptop until their second year in order to have the most current technology when it is needed to use specific software.

The recommended capacities for computers used during the first year emphasize audio/video capability. We encourage students to meet these audio/video capacities to be able to record and live stream video so that full participation in online components of courses is possible. Students must be able to use a video camera and mic to communicate with faculty members and other students. Our program aspires to provide high quality attention and feedback for both online and in person participation.  Students are responsible for maintaining the digital tools needed for online class attendance to receive instruction and feedback by making sure their computers have the basic requirements listed below to be able to run Zoom, Mural, MSOffice and other basic software.

General Note for 2nd year Students

Interior design students entering the second year of study are required to have their own laptop computer that meets or exceeds required minimum specifications. Because the requirements are updated each year, we STRONGLY encourage students to delay purchase of laptops until their second year in order to have the most current technology when it is needed to use specific software.

Beginning with the 4th semester (in the 2nd year of study), the bulk of student work is computer based using software programs that demand higher amounts of memory and processor capacity. Computer technology changes rapidly and it may be necessary to install upgrades to meet expectations in future years of study.

Computers purchased with the minimum requirements will require careful attention to regular systems maintenance, virus protection and general file management. Failure to adhere to regular computer maintenance will likely result in system errors and delayed processing time (and, therefore, frustration). It is extremely important that students read and understand their responsibilities for the maintenance of their equipment and digital files.


1.     Can I purchase or use a Mac?

ID students will learn a variety of software programs. Some of the required software is only available for the Microsoft Windows operating system. While some of the programs are available in dual-platform versions (Microsoft Windows and Apple OS), the software may not be organized or set-up in the same way for both operating systems. ID courses will teach the software programs from the Microsoft Windows platform.

Should a student decide to purchase an Apple laptop, Apple's Bootcamp for dual-booting the computer must be installed. The hard drive should be partitioned with at least 50% dedicated for the PC. Windows 10 Home (64-bit) should be installed as an operating system. VMware Fusion or Parallels are not recommended substitutes to Bootcamp and partitioning the hard drive.

The Department of Interior Design and Fashion Studies does not address software/hardware compatibility issues on any platform. If a student has issues with an Apple laptop, he or she will be responsible for locating outside technological support.

2.     Can I use a Desktop at my home?

Yes, if you are participating in a class from home, a desktop is fine as long as it meets the performance expectations defined below. Laptops have the advantage of being able to go where you go and that is why we require them starting in the second year.

3.     Do I need a second screen/monitor?

Although not required, students are encouraged to purchase a second screen, either freestanding, portable or attachable, to have a more streamline, faster and easier online experience. A second screen can help students participate in a studio/class on Zoom and continue to do things like look up a resource at the same time. A second screen will also help when needing to model and render simultaneously.

4.     Can I use an IPAD, Tablet, or Chrome Book

Tablets are recommended as a helpful addition to your computer setup, it can be used as a second screen, to draw, take pictures or play videos; but due to the interactive nature of our studios and classes, and to achieve a proper level of communication and feedback we require computers.

We do not recommend Chromebooks because they have difficulty running Zoom for online class participation.

 5.     Can I use a cellular WiFi hotspot to connect my computer?

Wi-Fi hotspot is an alternative solution when experiencing Wi-Fi problems, however, it is not a dependable source of connection and limits accessibility depending on your cellphone plan. Ideally students should have access to an Ethernet, or direct, connection to their internet service.

For taking synchronized on-line classes, we strongly recommend that students have the adequate broadband capability in their off campus setting.

 6.     Can I have a webcam and a microphone?

Yes, when you are participating in a synchronous online class session, the instructor requires turning on audio and video. You should have a capability for both audio (built-in microphone or headset with microphone) and video (built-in or portable Webcam).   

 7.     If I have technical issues, who should I contact?

You should contact the IT Help Desk at K-State at https://www.k-state.edu/its/helpdesk/index.html. You should use the IT help desk from off-campus in multiple ways such as live online help, email to helpdesk@k-state.edu, submit a support ticket, and phone call (785-532-7722 / 800-865-6143).

Minimum Computer Requirements


1st Year

2nd Year



Intel Core i5 or i7 or AMD equivalent

9th Gen Intel CoreTM processor or higher, AMD Ryzen 5 processor or higher



8 GB or higher

16 GB memory minimum


Internal storage

256 GB SSD or higher

1TB or more (alternative option: solid state drive 500 GB or more)


Operating system

Windows 10 for PC

Windows 10 Home (64-bit)




Nvidia® GTX 1080 with 4gb dedicated memory or higher, AMD Radeon R9, RX, pro with 4gb dedicated memory or higher


Video Memory


4 GB recommended



Wifi or Ethernet connectivity

dual wireless card with 2.4 GHZ or higher



13” or larger

15-inch or larger built-in display



Built-in or portable

Built-in webcam



Built-in or headphones

Built-in or headphones


Portable Dual Monitor

Not required


See Note 1.



3-year manufacturer warranty recommended


Note 1: The Example of Dual monitor in the market for your understanding

Required Applications


1st Year

2nd Year


Micro Office 365

Free To K-State Students

Free To K-State Students


Adobe Creative Cloud

Not required

$239.00 annual or $19.99 / Month subscription

This software should be purchased when directed by course instructors to avoid paying for extra months of service


1 months trial available online or free online version

Free downloads


Should not download the software until directed to do so by instructor(s)

Autodesk: Revit

Not required


Autodesk: Autocad

Enscape ™

Free download for students but not required.