Technology Requirements

Computer use in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications.

This document is to set the procedure and policies to guide how CHSOC students may access computer and software in the classroom labs at the Met Building. CHSOC provides computers for labs -- 4 Mac labs and 2 PC labs. The labs are available to students during class time and by permission when no teaching is being conducted in the classrooms, generally late afternoon to 7 p.m. Students should use the QR code provided to set an appointment to use a lab. Please do not use the lab without letting the tech center know.



The Mac classroom labs are loaded with Adobe Creative Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Premier, Audition, Illustrator, After Effects, etc.). We also have access to Avid’s Media Composer and Protools, as well as Final Draft and MovieMagic.



Because of the continuous updates by software companies, we recommend students use the computers in the labs and not their laptops to work on their multimedia projects and other large media files. Today, software companies push frequent updates and as a result the classroom labs must update software at least once a month. Unfortunately, neither the tech center nor faculty have the ability to support individual laptops because there are often compatibility issues with different versions of software on personal devices that we cannot troubleshoot. At this time, the tech center cannot support the use of personal laptops in the classroom labs. 



Students will need an external hard drive to back up their projects because they cannot be stored on Howard University computers. Back up your files on Office 365 or use an external hard drive with 1TB. Students are also encouraged to buy an SD card to store their work. CHSOC is not responsible for lost files or lost data.  Data saved on CHSOC equipment is erased when equipment is returned. Most of our professional camcorders require an SD card. These cards are available between 2GB and 32GB capacities. We recommend purchasing a full size SDHC card with a 32GB capacity. Micro SD cards can be more difficult to work with. A good budget friendly option is the 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I card which should be available for less than $15 online and in most stores.



Remember, all software required by instructors are available with Howard University credentials – a student’s Howard username and password. We do recommend that student use their Howard credentials to keep their laptop software updated in order to minimize problems. If you plan to use your laptop to work on your projects, keep in mind that it is the student’s responsibility to keep it updated with the same version that being used in the labs.


To prevent personal laptop issues, students are encouraged to use their Howard credential to keep their laptops updated with the latest version of Adobe. They are also encouraged to keep their laptops updated with the latest Mac or PC operating system.



To be safe and secure, students must remember to sign off the classroom computers when done.


Technology Recommendations

In order to make sure all students have the technology needed for our classes, the CHSOC recommends that all incoming students have or purchase a laptop computer. We also recommend that returning students have or purchase a laptop computer. This technology will be able to go with students when they graduate, taking along with them all their assignments and projects in one, organized place/device. Because we know this is a challenging time for many students and families, we are including two levels of laptop computers. The minimum recommended specifications are listed below: 


Mac Users:

  • Power User Specs: 14” or 16" Macbook Pro with M1 chip, 32GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage*
  • Essential Specs: 14” or 16" Macbook Pro with M1 chip, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage


PC Users:

  • Memory/RAM: at least 16GB)
  • Processor: Multi-core Intel i5/i7/i9 models (i9 is best). Preferably 4 or more processor cores. Ideally 9th generation and newer.
  • Storage: At least 1TB hard drive, 7200 RPM, preferably SSD (fastest), HDD also good... buy as much as you can afford, you can always add external hard drives. Avoid SATA drive if possible.
  • Graphics Card: Depends on video editing software. For example, Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve do well with both AMD and NVIDIA. (Minimum 2GB memory)
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Firewire or Thunderbolt Port: Built in or as an external dock