Before you buy a computer, please read the Get Ready for Computing pages very carefully. Virginia Tech requires that entering students have a laptop or tablet computer and strongly recommends that entering students obtain a computer that meets (or exceeds) the university general specifications in the Get Ready - College and Department List of Specifications page.

You should bring the best system you can reasonably afford to Virginia Tech. The specifications listed are the minimums recommended and apply to Windows and Apple Macintosh systems. Some departments require a particular (usually higher) configuration in addition to specific hardware and/or software. If you have declared a major, please check the College and Department List of Specifications or call your department to confirm the configuration you will need.

  • If you currently own a computer that falls within the range in the College and Department List of Specifications table, you may want to start off at Virginia Tech with that computer unless your major requires otherwise. Be advised that your major may require that you get a better computer during your academic career, especially if you plan to start with a low-end model.  Students requesting financial aid should keep in mind that an adjustment to the cost of attendance to accommodate the purchase of a computer is available by completing a Cost of Attendance appeal through University Scholarships and Financial Aid.  For most students, this adjustment will allow you to borrow additional loan funds.  Please go to University Scholarships and Financial Aid’s website for more information at www.finaid.vt.edu.
  • If you currently own a computer that DOES NOT meet the minimum specifications in the College and Department List of Specifications table, we suggest that you purchase a new computer that meets or exceeds the minimum recommended specifications.  Please note that manufacturers typically update technology and provide specifications for new models during the spring. Therefore, to ensure that you receive the most recent technology Virginia Tech highly recommends that you wait until the summer before you arrive on campus to purchase a computer.
  • If you do not already own a computer, you should purchase a computer that meets or exceeds the recommended minimum specifications.

Please pay special attention to the Software Suite (see Purchase your system) section.  Students must purchase certain software through Student Software Distribution. Do not purchase software from the computer manufacturer or elsewhere without reading the Software Suite information or visiting the Software Distribution website.

Special Note about 2 Factor Authentication at Virginia Tech 
The 2-Factor Authentication initiative at Virginia Tech makes personal information and university data networks safer from the persistent threat of cyber attacks and phishing. To increase security, Virginia Tech has implemented this high-security login process that requires a secondary confirmation of an individual’s identity at log-in, using a physical device in their possession. 

All students will be required to use 2 Factor authentication. 

**Register at least one device that you plan to bring with you to Virginia Tech by visiting:
www.hokiespa.vt.edu. After entering your PID and password, follow the prompts to enroll in 2-factor authentication.  

For more information on Login and 2-factor authentication, see http://www.it.vt.edu/2factor and Using 2-Factor Authentication.

If you have questions about or need assistance enrolling in 2-factor authentication, please call 540-231-HELP (4357).  Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.