Emerson IT Help Desk

Purchasing a Personal Computer

In the market for a new personal computer? As a member of the Emerson College community, you're eligible for a discount! That includes students, staff, and faculty.

If you have any questions about a purchase, please stop by the IT Help Desk on the 4th floor of 120 Boylston, call us at 617-824-8080 or email helpdesk@emerson.edu, and we'll be glad to help!

Purchasing for Students

Unless you are enrolling in the Journalism CreativityKit program, Emerson College does not solely endorse either Windows or macOS for student use. Since both have advantages and disadvantages, Emerson IT recommends that students purchase whatever system they are most comfortable using. Any software required in classroom activities will be provided in Emerson's computer labs. Students should not worry about purchasing specific high-end software until they have used it in our computer labs and know specifically what they will need.

Some courses require the purchase of additional hardware, such as portable hard drives. Beyond that, Emerson IT provides 25GB of secure, cloud storage with Box, and unlimited Google Drive storage space that all students can take advantage of.

Below are a few general requirements for purchasing a new computer:

  • Any new computer should be Wi-Fi capable and support our wireless network. If you're bringing an older computer, you should ensure that it supports a WPA2 Enterprise wireless connection!
  • If you plan to be editing video, the more RAM and higher processor speed will be beneficial.
  • If your laptop has a built-in ethernet port, you may need to purchase an ethernet adapter (usually a USB-C or Thunderbolt) to connect to a wall port, though this is usually not required. Most students connect wirelessly!
  • Windows XP and Windows 7 are no longer permitted to connect to the Emerson College network!
  • Windows computers connecting to Emerson's network are required to have anti-virus software installed. Windows Defender is free and well regarded, and now comes preinstalled from Microsoft with Windows 10, 8.1 and 8 (replacing Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7). You can read more about Anti-Virus protection and maintenance at Basic Computer Maintenance »

Where to Purchase

Students, faculty, and staff of Emerson College can purchase a full range of computer products for personal use at special academic pricing in several ways. Many companies offer an educational discount that you will qualify for.


  • You can purchase directly from the Apple Store, including iPads and iPhones
  • Hardware can also be purchased in-person at physical Apple Stores with your Emerson ID

Note: The zip code for Emerson College is 02116.


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