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Computer Requirements for the Interior Design Program

The information listed below are the Interior Design laptop specs that will be required for 2nd year Interior Design Students.  It is highly recommended that you wait until the 2nd year of the Interior Design program to purchase a laptop.  You should consider using a laptop that you already own or another existing computer for your 1st year of the program.  Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students. 

Processor and Memory
A minimum of 4GB (32 bit) or 8GB (64 bit) of memory is required.
A minimum of an Intel i7 or high end i5  processor is required.

Display and Video
A minimum of a 15” display is required – 17” is recommended.
An external monitor is recommend for added desktop space.
A minimum of a 512MB - 1GB dedicated ATI or NVIDIA video/graphics card is required.

A 10/100 integrated network card (usually a standard option) is required for wired network connectivity.
A wireless network card is required for wireless network connectivity.
A FireWire port is optional, but may be needed if you own a camcorder that requires one to transfer video.  Please check any devices that you own or plan to purchase in the future to see if this port is required.
An integrated web cam is recommended for students wishing to use Skype or other video chat applications.

A minimum of a 500GB - 1TB hard drive is required.
A CDRW/DVD drive is recommended for software installation and data storage.
A 8-16 GB jump drive is required (Put your name on it!).
A 1TB or larger external hard drive is highly recommended.


1.    AutoCAD Architecture 2012 (or latest edition) Academic Version (Free download when you join the student community at
2.    Adobe Creative Suites CS5 (or latest edition) Design Standard or it can be purchased at the or KSU bookstore
3.    Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc)
4.    Google Sketchup (FREE -
5.    Revit Architecture 2012 (Free download when you join the student community at
6.    Virus and Spy/Malware Protection – Microsoft Security Essentials (Free - click the download link at

Optional Software
This and other software may be required for certain classes.
•    Adobe Premier & After Affects
•    Rhino 3d
•    Autodesk Max Design
•    Autodesk Maya

File sharing of copyrighted content is illegal.  Using peer-to-peer services such as Limewire and bit-torrent services can not only get you into legal trouble, but can also cause your computer to run poorly – sometimes requiring you to reload Windows from scratch.  These costly headaches can be avoided by simply not using peer-to-peer services.    

Please note - free downloads are offered by the respective software developers and not Kent State. These free promotions are subject to change or end at any time without notice. Most downloads are not perpetual, and expire after a set amount of time.  

Note about Macintosh Computers
In previous years, Macintosh computers were not recommended because the software packages and college print drivers used were only compatible with the Windows operating system. Apple has since started using Intel processors in the Macintosh product, allowing Windows and other operating systems to be run.  These operating systems can run exclusively, or in a “virtual” environment simultaneously with the Mac OS.  Because of the resources required to run certain software packages and the variance between a PC and a Mac, we are still not recommending the purchase of a Mac computer for school use. Keep in mind  that if you have a Mac, we cannot support it or guarantee its compatibility with the required software packages, college print drivers, or classroom lectures.  

Updated April 23, 2013

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