School of Art + Art History

Studio Art

Technology Requirements

Updated July 22, 2020. 

We are delighted you are interested in studio art. In order for you to fully participate and meet course and program learning objectives, students taking studio art courses are required to have appropriate hardware for courses you are registered for. Our goal is that what we recommend today will carry you through your final year of study.

Whether in remote or face to face courses, hardware during course meeting times and beyond will support your growth and development as artists. 

Financial Aid for Computers

Because computer access is an institutional requirement, computer costs are designated as allowable costs for students who qualify for financial aid. Accordingly, Student Financial Affairs has added costs for access to a computer into budgets. For more information, contact your financial adviser in the Office of Student Financial Affairs directly. 

Required Hardware

Laptop with specifications listed below. Apple products are dominant in the creative industries with about a 75% market share. Although the PC and Mac are quite comparable in both software, hardware, and power, our faculty, staff, and fellow students will not be able to easily assist or support you if you work in the PC environment. In this case, UFIT might be your best resource. 

If you are purchasing a new computer, make sure to get education pricing through the UF Bookstore or Apple. Both offer payment plans. One advantage purchasing direct from Apple is their 14-day return policy, so you can try without a commitment. You might want to check out options during the Florida Sales tax holiday period which is usually in August. When considering a purchase, keep in mind that many computers are not easily modified after purchase, so you should get the best computer you can afford for your needs. 


*Please note that the sizes listed are recommendations and not requirements.

The following is the minimum configuration necessary to edit images, digitally paint and program for interactive work, as well as email, word processing, and web browsing:

13-inch MacBook Pro
1.4GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
1TB SSD storage
13-inch Retina display with True Tone
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645

If you plan to use photography, video or do 3-D animation as part of your art practice, the following are recommended purchases:

16-inch MacBook Pro 
2.3GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
2TB SSD storage
16-inch Retina display with True Tone
USB-C adapter for peripheral devices if needed

13-inch MacBook Pro
2.0GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
13-inch Retina display with True Tone
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
32GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
2TB SSD storage
USB-C adapter for peripheral devices if needed

Optional peripherals to consider depending on your art practice:

  • If you choose a 13" MacBook Pro, you may want to plan to purchase an external monitor
  • Graphics tablet
  • DSLR camera to document and shoot videos

Backing up your Data

It is important to back up your work regularly. Plan to back your computer up to an external hard drive and an Online service. You will find many economical options on the Apple website. Many students opt for drives with capacities starting at 1TB.

  • Western Digital makes a 1TB ultra portable external hard drive.
  • Dropbox and iCloud are excellent for cloud storage options. UF offers access to G Suite. 
  • Carbonite and BackBlaze are online backup systems that will backup your internal hard drive starting at $50/year per computer. This is not a cloud but a backup service. It is useful in case of loss, damage, or theft. 

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