Computers and Technology for Incoming Students

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

Will I need a computer?

Yes, we expect you will arrive on campus with a laptop computer capable of running Windows 10 or Mac OS X 11.0 (Big Sur) or higher. We do not support the Linux platform.
Our recommended minimum student computer specs are:
  • i5 Processor or better for PC's  /  M1 Pro or Better for Macs
  • 512gb hard drive or better 
  • 16GB of RAM or better. 24+ gb recommended for mac users wishing to run virtualized software (eg. ArcGIS)
We highly recommend the 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 drop-in sessions will be scheduled on Fridays in August to assist you.  .

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

The majority of student laptops at YSE are Apple Macbook Pro and Lenovo T series machines. Yale has negotiated an excellent discount program for student computer purchases; see GovConnection or the Apple Store for Education (be sure to use your Yale email address when setting up your account). If purchasing a Lenovo T, P, or X series machine, please purchase one of the Yale-approved configurations from GovConnection through the link provided here. You receive the same price that Yale receives on these approved configurations. The Yale configurations have a four-year on-site next-business-day warranty with Accidental Damage Protection.

Important Note: If you choose one of the Yale configurations, please reach out to YSE-IT with the serial number upon receipt BEFORE turning on the machine. All machines in the Yale configuration are tagged to be enrolled in our device management system and will need to be untagged to allow you full administrative control over your laptop.
For security, we recommend that you purchase/utilize 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
  • Find My (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 a limited number of loaner machines available to students who have machines out for repair or a new machine on order). You may also wish to inquire about what the warranty covers. Most standard laptop warranties exclude the LCD, and a broken display can be pretty 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-2018), we strongly urge you to purchase a new laptop.  If you do not purchase one through our program, you should have an absolute minimum configuration of an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256 gig hard drive running Windows 10 or OSX 11.

What software will I need?

Yale maintains a Software Library that offers a variety of software, either free or discounted to students. The Yale OneTheHub software siteprovides links for buying other software not available in the Yale Software Library at discounted prices.

Will I need a printer?

This is a personal preference. While it is convenient to print in your residence, there are public printers in the student computer lab in Sage Hall and 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 set 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 YSE Dropbox account. Each student will receive a 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 before they arrive 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 24-hours, seven-days-a-week and is equipped with 12 PCs and 4 high-powered PC Workstations. Additionally, there are 4 27” displays for plugging in student laptops. All computers feature Adobe Creative Cloud Software, Microsoft Office, ESRI ArcGIS software, several statistical software packages, and software related directly to the YSE curriculum. 
YSE-IT staff can assist students with their IT needs during regular business hours (8:30am - 5:00pm).  There is also a student helpdesk located in Bass Library, a short walk down Prospect St. This office is staffed seven days a week with late-night hours and can do hardware repair and warranty repair on several makes/models of laptops.

Loaned Equipment Program

The School has iPads, GPS units, digital cameras, USB headsets, LCD projectors, and various other items 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 considered here.