For those considering the purchase of a new computer we suggest the minimum specifications for a computer as detailed below:

Basic Laptop
Office, Internet access, movie/TV
Processor:Intel i3 or AMD A4 or A6
RAM:4–6 GBs
Storage:500-750 GBs
Graphics Card:Integrated graphics from Intel or AMD
2-4 'no fault, any damage' warranty
Medium-end Laptop
Ethernet port, 2–5 USB ports, HDMI port
Processor:Intel i5 or AMD A10
Storage:1 TB HDD + 512 GB Solid state disk
Graphics Card:NVidia 850m or 950m or AMD Integrated graphics
4 year 'no fault, any damage' warranty

Each residence hall room has high-speed wired connections to the network for each student. In addition, the JCU campus has a comprehensive wireless network. If you purchase a laptop/notebook you will need 802.11b/Wi-Fi capability already installed, or you can add this capability. If you have any questions about wireless access on campus, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005.

John Carroll University does not provide computer sales to students. However, we do have arrangements with various vendors that offer discount pricing. The details about this program can be found by using the links on our website at Purchasing Discounts. You can use this program, other large mail-order companies, or your local computer outlets to obtain your best system pricing.

In choosing a make and model of desktop PC, we strongly suggest that you select one of the major brands such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Toshiba. Our students have experienced some problems with lesser known “brand X” PCs. If you are not sure about your selection, or would like additional advice, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005.

What if I already have a computer?
While older computers may be sufficient for some of your needs, we recommend that you bring a computer that meets or exceeds the above guidelines. At the very least, you will need a Windows-capable computer with a 10/100-Base-T Ethernet network interface card (and, for a laptop/notebook, an 802.11b/Wi-Fi card) to access resources on the JCU network.

What software do I need?
You should have Windows 7 or above and a current version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 or Office 365, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Internet Explorer. This software is also provided in our labs.

Before purchasing software, be sure to look at the discounts offered through JCU Onthehub. These discounts may be greater than those offered in stores.

Should I purchase anti-virus software?
John Carroll licenses Symantec anti-virus software for all JCU students at no cost to the student. This software is tied directly into the University’s anti-virus system which disseminates new virus detection files as they become available. To download, see our Antivirus Software page and follow the instructions.

What about Apple?
John Carroll’s computing environment is primarily based on Microsoft Windows. Students bringing Apple computers to campus will be able to connect to the campus network for email and Internet access, but will have some limitations in accessing or using certain network resources.

Do I need a printer?
You will find it very convenient, if not essential, to have your own printer. While laser printers are accessible at several campus locations, at peak times they are always very busy.

Due to security, JCU is unable to support wireless printers.

What about devices in my residence hall room?
JCU’s campus is completely wireless. There are two wireless network, jcu (public) and jcuwpa2 (secure). You can access jcuwpa2 by using your campus/network login. If you wish to connect to the high-speed wired network in the residence halls, you may bring an ethernet cable or buy one at the bookstore.

Who can I contact for more information?
If you have any questions, either before or after you arrive on campus, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005. You can find operational hours here. Or, you may address questions via email to