Architecture Laptop Policy

Architecture Program Laptop Policy 

REQUIREMENTS: Laptops will be required for all students entering Tyler's Architecture programs, including incoming first-year, transfer or graduate students. 

RATIONALE: Over the past two decades, the computer and its corresponding digital tools, such as laser cutters, 3D printers, and digital fabrication machines, have become an integral part of architectural pedagogy and the design studio environment. All architecture students begin working digitally in their freshman representation courses within the Architecture Foundations program. This Laptop Policy has been implemented to provide advantageous learning environments that guide students towards the acquisition of tools and skillsets that are most appropriate for the furthering of both their academic and professional journeys.


PC Laptop Specifications: 

  • Screen: 15” or 17” (13" is ok but many prefer the larger screen for working on complex projects)
  • Processor: 6 performance cores minimum recommendation, 8 cores recommended
  • RAM Memory: 32 GB recommended
  • Storage: 1 TB Solid state drive (SSD) storage minimum; 1TB external SSD drive recommended for data backup
  • Graphics Card: 6 GB VRAM minimum; 8 GB or more for VR and graphics intensive applications
  • Operating System: Latest version of Windows 11 Home/Professional
  • System Type: 64-bit 


Mac laptops are no longer recommended due to lack of compatibility with Windows applications.


Suggested Laptop Vendors:

Students and faculty of Temple University are capable of receiving certain educational discounts through particular vendors.

Free Software: 

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat Pro. The Adobe Suite is currently offered to students for free through Temple Information Technology Services. The Adobe Suite is important for students for presentations, graphics, and portfolio design. These are software’s that will also be important for use in the office environment.  
  • ArcGIS: to get a free license, please email

  • AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit etc. Free download after registration in Autodesk Education Community. Students can use the free educational versions for as long as they are in school. Following graduation, most students will find themselves in offices that utilize this software.  

    AutoCAD has been an invaluable software for designers for nearly 30 years. At the moment it is an essential software for students to understand. AutoCAD is available for download here after registration with the Autodesk Education Community. 

  • McNeel Rhino - Rhinocerous, Educational Version: Rhino is offered to students as a one-time download fora discounted price. Students can keep the software post-graduation and receive discounts in future product upgrades.  

  • Lumion is available from their website here. Note that the capabilities of your video card is very important to render in 3D. Information about recommended hardware, including the graphics card, can be found here.

  • Microsoft 365 is available free to students through Temple's office of Information Technology Services. 

  • ArcMap - ArcGIS: to get a free license, please email

Software for Purchase:

  • McNeel Rhino Educational Version: Rhino is offered to students as a one-time download for $195. Students can keep the software post-graduation and receive discounts in future product upgrades. Here is the link to purchase. Rhino is one of the most important design software’s at the moment. It will be harnessed in design studios as well as seminars and other courses. Rhino is utilized in offices and functions as a gateway into other design software that may be used within the professional design environment. 

  • SketchUp Studio (Pro) can be downloaded here. Prices start at $55 per year.

Cloud Storage:

The University offers cloud storage through Microsoft OneDrive


For any questions please feel free to email Tyler IT support: