Computers and Technology for Incoming Students

Some common questions that are brought to the YSE IT Department:

Will I need a computer?

Yes, it is our expectation that you will arrive on campus with a laptop computer capable of running Windows 10, or Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or higher. We do not support the Linux platform. Our recommended minimum student computer specs are:
  • i5 Processor or better
  • 256GB hard drive or better (512gb recommended)
  • 8GB of RAM or better
We highly recommend Apple MacBook Air or MacBook Pro series or Lenovo ThinkPad T & X series machines.  
IT Orientation is done electronically via email containing links to self-install applications and instructional videos. Should you have any issues with these installs, optional IT workshops will be scheduled on school orientation days in August to assist you.  Sign-up sheets will be posted outside Burke Auditorium.

I don't have a Notebook computer. What kind should I buy?

The majority of student laptops at YSE are Apple Macbook Pro, Dell or Lenovo. We also support Virtual Machine installations of Windows on Macs so you don't have to leave the world of Windows behind.  Yale has negotiated a very favorable discount program for student computer purchases; see the Yale ePortal site, (be sure to use your Yale email address when setting up your account).  If purchasing a Lenovo T, W, or X series machine, please purchase one of the Yale approved configurations from GovConnection through the Yale ePortal site.  You receive the same price that Yale receives on these approved configurations and the Yale configurations come with a 4 year on-site next business day warranty with Accidental Damage Protection.
For security we recommend that you purchase the following items with your laptop, in addition to personal property insurance (note that bundles may include some of these items):

  • On-site warranty support
  • CompuTrace LoJack (Anti-theft software, PC only)
  • Find My Mac (Mac Only)
  • Antivirus software
  • Laptop lock
When comparing notebook computers, inquire about the turn-around time for warranty repairs. Many students find it very difficult to be without a computer for a week or more while waiting for a repair to be completed (The YSE IT Department has some loaners available to students who have machines out for repair, however they are very limited). You may also wish to inquire about what the warranty covers. Most standard laptop warranties exclude the LCD display and a broken display can be quite costly to repair (up to $1,000).
You may contact us at for assistance if you have questions.

I already have a laptop computer. Can I bring it?

If you have an older laptop (pre-2016) we strongly urge you to purchase a new laptop.  If you do not purchase one through our program, you should at least have a minimum configuration of an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256 gig hard drive running Windows 10 or OSX 10.11.

What software will I need?

Yale maintains a Software Library that offers a variety of software either free or at a discounted cost to students. The Yale ePortal site provides links for buying other software that’s not available in the Yale Software Library, at discounted prices. YSE also offers Microsoft OS and other Microsoft developer software to YSE students at no charge through the DreamSpark Premium Program.

Will I need a printer?

This is personal preference. While it is convenient to be able to print in your residence, there are pubic printers in the student computer cluster in Sage Hall and in the Ordway Learning Center in Kroon Hall as well in every YSE building available for student use. Black & white printing currently costs 10 cents per page with the duplex side charged at 2 cents. Full color printing is charged at 25 cents per page. Students are responsible for all printing charges and this is managed via Yale’s BluePrint (PaperCut) program. Charges can be paid for by check, credit card, or student account charge.  All student printers are capable of double-sided printing to conserve paper.

Will I need an external hard drive for data storage and backup?

No, but you may find it helpful; students may store, collaborate, and back up their YSE related documents using their Yale_YSE Dropbox account.  Each student will receive a YSE Dropbox account during their stay at YSE offering unlimited storage. Students will have the option to convert their school-issued dropbox account to a personal account upon departure from the school.  YSE IT also provides a cloud-based backup system for students (Code42). An email containing links to self-install these applications will be emailed to students prior to their arrival in New Haven

Student Computing Facilities and Support at YSE

With the help of our student computer assistants, we maintain a student computer cluster in Sage Hall, Room39. The computer cluster is available on a 24-hour, seven days-a-week basis, and is equipped with 12 PC computers and 4 high powered PC Workstations. Additionally, there are 4 27” displays for plugging in of student laptops. All computers feature Adobe Creative Cloud Software, Microsoft Office, ESRI ArcGIS software, several statistical software packages, as well as software related directly to the YSE curriculum.  In addition to the YSE IT staff, student techs & media techs also assist students with their IT needs.  The student techs are generally available on-site 5 days a week during the academic year from Noon to 5pm in Sage 37. There is also student helpdesk located in Bass Library, a short walk down Prospect St. This office is staffed 7 days a week with late night hours.

Loaned Equipment Program

The School has iPads, GPS units, digital cameras, USB headsets, LCD projectors and various other items are also available for check-out at no cost to students for class- and research-related projects. All items for checkout can be viewed and reserved at the School’s IT Loan Program catalog. The terms of service of the loan program can be viewed here.