Search Google Appliance


Home  |  Sipait  |  Laptop Requirements

Laptop Requirements

Effective FY13, SIPA students are required to have a laptop with operating system in English language. Current Second year students are encouraged to buy or lease one; these students will not be subject to this requirement for the current academic year.

Purchasing Equipment

Students can purchase laptops at educational prices from the CU approved vendors. Columbia University has educational discounts with several vendors. Students can login to these from the CU portal and sign in to the "personal purchase" link with their UNI.

System Requirements

SIPA IT recommends the following minimum requirements for students at SIPA:



An IBM compatible computer or an Apple notebook


1.3 GHz Dual Core or higher processor


2 GB or more

Hard Drive

80 GB or more

Wired Network Adapter

Any make or model

Wireless Network Adapter

Any 802.11b/g/n-compatible Ethernet card


Operating System (OS)

Windows 7/Windows 8 or Mac OS X Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion/Mountain Lion


Microsoft Office Suite*, Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Adobe Flash, IE, Firefox, Think-Cell


Norton Anti-virus* or a comparable program


Accidental Damage Coverage recommended

*Available free to SIPA students for download while at SIPA.


  • All systems must have an anti-virus software installed;
  • The Operating System must have the latest patches installed to access the SIPA network;
  • Only English-language versions of Windows and Applications will be supported;
  • Check with SIPAIT before major system and application updates (latest releases are supported only after SIPAIT has tested them.)
  • Beta versions of software are not supported.
  • Students should backup the data on laptops regularly. 

What is supported

Laptop support will be limited to software, drivers, viruses and operating system issues. Hours of support will be limited to Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm in summer and Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:30pm during the academic year. Students will need to sign appropriate liability waiver form before any work will be done on their laptops. A ticketing system is in place and service is provided on first-come-first serve basis. Students are responsible for warranty on hardware support from the manufacturer, and must contact an authorized vendor for any hardware issues.


During the orientation/registration period, SIPA IT holds training sessions on accessing the mySIPA Citrix Portal and to provide information on the services offered. SIPA IT staff are available to assist students with setups for their laptops during this period.  

Software Download

Registered SIPA Students are able to download Microsoft products available under the MS Campus Agreement. Applications available for download include Microsoft Operating Systems, Office, Visio and Project. Norton anti-virus software and Think-Cell chart are available free to all students. UNI authentication is required for download. Other software are accessible at the Citrix Portal..