Laptop Computers & Software Recommendations

Laptop Computers & Software Recommendations

The Landscape Architecture Department has 24-hour general access Macintosh computers, scanners, and printers located in the studio environments.

The department has a requirement that all freshmen and transfer students have a laptop computer when they enter the program. In the profession of landscape architecture, computing is an integral component, and developing the ability to critically integrate hand and digital tools is a fundamental aspect of landscape architecture education. A laptop computer is key to having computing capabilities available at all times and at all locations. Financial aid may be available to cover the cost of the laptop computer (contact the Financial Aid Office for more information).

The studio environment has wireless access (as does the Cal Poly campus) to facilitate internet access to the web, email, instructional media, server storage, and student printing.

The department recommends a laptop with enough power and storage to create 2D and 3D visualizations and multimedia used in design projects at different year levels.

We recommend a Macintosh computer since it can run both the Mac OS and Windows operating systems. We have a Macintosh-oriented facility, although most of the software used is cross-platform. All students have access to printers and server storage.

Laptop Specifications

The laptop computer must meet or exceed the following specifications:

  • 2.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500 GB Hard Drive
  • 1440 x 900 display minimum
  • Current Operating System

Laptop Recommendations

  • MacBook Pro or equivalent


  • Printer and Scanner or Printer/Scanner combination
  • Flash Drive


Current version of the following software:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat)
  • Mac and Windows Anti-Virus
  • 3D Modeling as specified by instructor

Educational Pricing

Call or visit Cal Poly's University Store (805-756-5311) for educational pricing on both software and hardware. Prices are also published on the University store's website:

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