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Laptop Support

The Student Support Group is responsible for providing laptop support for SIPA students, both for Windows and Mac systems for English language operating systems only. While SIPA IT does not require students to purchase any particular model of laptop, the laptop must meet the minimum requirements.

What is supported

Laptop support will be limited to software, drivers, viruses and operating system issues. Hours of support are Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:30pm during the academic year, and Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm in summer. A student can initiate request for help in room 510 IAB at the Help Desk. A ticket is generated for the Student Support team. Service is available on first-come-first serve basis. A student is required to sign appropriate liability waiver form before any work is done on the laptop. Students are responsible for warranty for hardware support from the manufacturer, and will need to contact an authorized vendor for any hardware issues.


  • All systems must have anti-virus and OS with the latest patches for access to the SIPA network.

  • Only English-language versions of Windows and Applications will be supported

  • Check with SIPA IT before making amu major system and application updates (latest releases are supported only after SIPA IT has tested them.)

  • Beta versions of software are not supported.

  • Students are responsible for backing up data on their laptops.


During the orientation/registration period, SIPA IT holds training sessions and provides students information on the services offered. SIPA IT staff assist students with configuring student laptops. 


SIPA IT has signed the Microsoft Campus Agreement for SIPA students, which allows them to download MS software while at Columbia University. This includes Microsoft Operating Systems and MS Office In addition other software such as Endnotes and Norton anti-virus are also available free to all SIPA students. SIPA IT has acquired license for think-cell layout for use with MS PowerPoint. Usage agreement and download is available here. All software downloads are restricted to SIPA students before they graduate.

WiFi in IAB

WiFi connectivity is available throughout the building, and in every classroom. 

Laptop Loaner Policy

SIPA IT maintains a small pool of loaner computers for students who meet the laptop minimum requirements. Please review the loaner policy for details.