Technology Recommendations For iSchool Students

The Information School at UW-Madison does not require on-campus or online students to purchase specific technology, such as hardware or software. However, the following technology recommendations are provided to help students successfully complete their coursework throughout their degree program.

On-campus students who take online classes, classes that are hybrid in nature, or any class that makes heavy use of online technologies should be aware of the requirements for online students listed below.

Both online and on-campus students have access to a variety of licensed software obtained by University of Wisconsin, and campus networked resources. On-campus students have access to on-site computer labs to facilitate coursework when a personal computing environment is not sufficient. Online students may have access to some recommended technology at a local public library. All students are responsible for ensuring they have access to the technology that will allow them to successfully complete all of the requirements of their iSchool curriculum.

The iSchool at UW-Madison recommends that all students possess or have access to: 

  • A fully functioning laptop or desktop computer with the following:
    • Latest version of Windows or Mac operating system
    • An Internet browser such as FirefoxSafari, or Chrome
    • Ability to install and configure software
    • Ability to play digital recordings with sound
      • NOTE: this excludes Chromebooks
  • High speed connection to the Internet
  • OPTIONAL, but really good to have: Headset, headphones, or earbuds to reduce feedback during synchronous online discussions

Computer & Mobile Devices

Students should have access to a laptop or desktop computer for completing coursework. Students can accomplish many course-related tasks on their mobile devices, but not all. See UW-Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT) Tech for New Students and Tech Purchasing Options for Students

Students at the University of Wisconsin are able to purchase computers from computer manufacturers such as Apple and Dell at significant discounts.


UW-Madison has negotiated licences for a variety of software such as:

Internet Access

Students, especially online students,  will find it very difficult to complete the coursework towards the degree without reliable Internet access. While it is possible to find public wifi at many locations – e.g. coffee bars and libraries – most students will find it most effective if they have a good Internet connection at home.

UW-Madison Resources, UW–⁠Madison Information Technology (DoIT):