Landscape Architecture Computer and Software Requirements

Landscape Architecture Program Laptop Policy 
REQUIREMENTS: Effective fall 2022, laptops will be required for all students entering Tyler's landscape architecture programs, including incoming first-year, transfer or graduate students. Returning students are strongly encouraged, but not mandated, to have their own laptops. 

RATIONALE: The landscape architecture degree programs have a need for mobile computing capabilities because digital pedagogy is integral to the curriculum and producing digital communications (design layouts, sections, construction and engineering plans, etc.) has become fundamental to the profession. Additionally, implementing this policy will align the landscape architecture programs with their companions in the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design. Laptop computers would also help students pursuing a BSLA, who need to move between Ambler and Main campuses to attend classes, particularly in the first two years of the academic plan.

PC Laptop Specifications: 

  • Screen: 15” or 17” (13" is ok but many prefer the larger screen for working on complex projects)
  • Processor: 6 Cores minimum recommendation
  • RAM Memory: 16 GB minimum; 32 GB recommended; Hard Drive  1 TB Solid state drive (SSD) minimum; external SSD drive recommended for data backup.  Make sure not to get an internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as it is too slow to be usable. 
  • Graphics Card: 4 GB VRAM minimum; more memory and performance capability recommended
  • Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10/11 Home/Professional
  • System Type: 64-bit 

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

Suggested Vendors:

Students and faculty of Temple University are capable of receiving 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 amblerits@temple.edu.
  • 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 for a 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 Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is available free to students through Temple's office of Information Technology Services. 

Software for Purchase:

  • McNeel Rhino 7 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

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Ambler ITS support at amblerits@temple.edu or call us at 267-468-8324.