The Art + Design curriculum integrates computer technology with most courses. A student-owned laptop and Adobe’s Creative Cloud is necessary for all students to complete course assignments and projects. Generally, Apple computers are the industry standard for most majors in Art + Design, however, many Windows computers are also suitable. You may already own a suitable laptop, however, should you need to purchase one, orders can be placed through myNortheastern, where Northeastern has worked with Apple to offer a discount beyond the standard educational discount. Orders should be placed prior to your arrival on campus. Deliveries to residence halls are strongly discouraged.

If you don’t have a laptop and purchasing one now presents a hardship, there are options available to you. Please contact Chris Franson, our Technical Director, with questions at or 617-373-7168.


For most majors, either the 13” or 15” Retina MacBook Pro is suitable. We recommend at least 8GB of RAM and at least 256GB of storage in the laptop. We further recommend that students in Animation or Video Art consider purchasing the 15” models, as the additional power and screen size can be valuable. AppleCare Protection Plan for up to three years is strongly recommended.

Software and Fonts

In addition to the laptop, our courses require specialized software and fonts depending on your academic program.

Adobe Creative Cloud is essential for all Art + Design courses. Creative Cloud is available on a discounted subscription price for students at Adobe. The additional software we require is either free or steeply discounted for student use.

Other courses with specialized font and software requirements are:

New students will finalize their first semester schedule and classes at summer orientation. Fonts and software packages can be purchased when you are on campus during the first week of classes.

Backup Storage

Finally, the importance of backing up files cannot be stressed enough. Students should have at least one external USB hard disk large enough to back up all of their files. Apple laptops include Time Machine backup software, which is simple and convenient to use and provides a backup in case of computer failure, loss or theft. Online backup services, such as BackBlaze provide an additional level of security.

For Technical help contact Chris Franson at