New Computer Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bring a computer to campus?

You don’t have to bring your own computer to campus, but it can be convenient. There are numerous computer labs on campus for writing papers and checking email, but having your own computer allows you the freedom to do your work in your own room or anywhere there is wireless service. This also assures you that you won’t have to wait for a computer during "crunch-time" at the end of the semester when labs are very busy.

Should I get a PC or a Macintosh? Laptop or a desktop?

It’s entirely up to you as a matter of personal choice! We provide PC and Apple computers in the labs. The bookstore sells Apple computers, and software for both platforms. You can also purchase computers through our online Tech Store. Computers and peripherals as well as selected software titles are available at an educational discount.

Choosing between a desktop or portable computer is also a matter of preference. Laptops are portable and take up less space, but they’re also more expensive and more likely to be dropped or stolen. Tablet computers are also
growing in popularity.

What software should I buy for my computer?

All lab PCs are equipped with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access). The Macs are equipped with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). We recommend that you get the latest version of Microsoft Office for your computer. Microsoft Office and other common software packages are available for purchase through the UST Bookstore or by visiting the Tech Store.

Does UST offer Wireless access?

UST has Wifi available in the Residence Halls and public spaces in both St. Paul and Minneapolis.

What else should I know?

Many computer manufacturers, resellers, and software companies offer an academic discount. As a St. Thomas student, you qualify for these. If you aren’t sure if a manufacturer offers an academic discount, ask! All computer equipment and software sold at the St. Thomas Bookstore and at the Tech Store have these discounts built in. Before making purchases, consider calling the St. Thomas bookstore to compare prices. Software, especially, can be much cheaper.

Check out our tips on keeping your computer and St. Thomas account safe.

If I have more questions what should I do?

Contact the IRT Tech Desk.