When purchasing a computer, we recommend that Tippie College of Business students buy a Windows-based computer. There will be required software in many classes that have only a Windows version available. If you choose to buy a Mac computer, please see the section below regarding running Windows on a Mac.

Suggested specifications for purchasing a new computer

  • Operating System: Windows 10 or higher
  • Portability: laptop (as opposed to desktop computer) strongly recommended
  • Memory: minimum of 16GB RAM
  • Processor Speed: minimum of Intel Core i5 or equivalent
  • Hard Drive/SSD: 256 GB (512GB or larger recommended)
  • Wireless: any card that supports 802.11 n/ac protocols and WPA2 Enterprise
  • Webcam/Microphone: laptops with built-in webcams/microphones recommended (may use a USB headset or external webcam if supported)

Options for running Windows programs on a Mac with an Intel processor

If you choose to use a Mac computer, you will occasionally need a way to run class-required software that is available only in a Microsoft Windows format. This can be accomplished by either using a Windows-based computer or adding the ability to run Windows programs on your Mac. In order to run Windows on your Intel-based Mac computer we suggest installing one of the following Windows environments.

Note: The following guidance pertains to Macs with Intel processors only. Running Windows on a Mac with an Apple M1 or M2 processor is not currently supported by Stead Tech or ITS.

Boot Camp Assistant (supported by ITS and Stead Tech)

This software utility from Apple comes with macOS. It creates a separate partition on your computer’s hard drive and installs the necessary drivers to allow a copy of Windows to be installed into this partition. When using Boot Camp Assistant, you will need to restart your computer to boot between macOS or Windows.

Before beginning this installation, you will need a copy of Microsoft Windows and have a minimum of 64GB of hard drive space available (128 GB available provides the best experience).

Iowa students may obtain a copy of Windows by going to the ITS website and following the instructions for how to download and install Windows.

Once a copy of Windows has been obtained, visit the Apple website for directions for installing Windows with Boot Camp Assistant.

Students may contact the ITS Help Desk (319-384-HELP) for installation assistance.

Parallels Desktop 18 for Mac

Parallels is another option for running Windows on your Mac. This Windows emulator has a cost for students but in many ways is easier to install and provides greater flexibility. It allows a user to move seamlessly between the two environments without rebooting and to move data back and forth between the two operating systems.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Another option is to install the VirtualBox emulator onto your Mac. This option is probably more desirable for a more technical user. It allows a user to run other operating systems such as Windows, various versions of Unix, or larger database systems on their Mac computer.

If you have general questions regarding running Windows on your Mac, please feel free to contact Stead Tech at stead-tech@uiowa.edu or 335-0873.