Purchasing a Personal Computer

If you need information or technical assistance before making a purchase, call the IT Help Desk at 617-824-8080 or email helpdesk@emerson.edu. You can also visit us in person at 120 Boylston Street, Room 404A.

General Requirements

Emerson College does not favor one computer platform over another. We recommend that Emerson students purchase whatever system they are most comfortable using. Any software required in classroom activities is provided in Emerson's computer labs. Students should not worry about purchasing specific high-end software until they have used it in our computer labs and know specifically what they will need.

Some courses require the purchase of additional hardware, such as portable hard drives or removable media. Floppy disks are unreliable forms of media; we recommend a USB flash drive for keeping your files portable. It's a good idea to consult with faculty about specific requirements.

  • Internet Connectivity: Most any new computer you purchase today will come with capability to connect to both Emerson's high-speed wired network and its expansive wireless network. Specifically, make sure your computer comes with an Ethernet card and an 802.11b (or better) wireless card. The wireless card should be capable of connecting to a WPA-Enterprise 802.1x network. This is generally only a concern if you purchase off-brand USB wireless adapters.
  • Anti-virus Software: Windows computers connecting to Emerson's network are required to have anti-virus software installed. Microsoft Security Essentials is well regarded and available free of charge. You can read more about Anti-Virus protection and maintenance at Basic Computer Maintenance »

Where to Purchase

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni* of Emerson College may purchase a full range of computer products for personal use at special academic pricing through Apple, Dell, Harvard University Technology Products and Services, and Lenovo. Available products include desktop computers, laptops, tablets, printers, monitors, software, accessories, and electronics.

In order to receive any educational discounts, you may need to provide an Emerson College ID** number when you order equipment. You will need an Emerson College ID and a second form of picture ID if you pick up an order at Harvard University Technology Products and Services.

You may have computer purchases shipped to your home or to a residence hall. Emerson College does not assume any responsibility for personal purchases from Apple, Dell, Harvard University Technology Products and Services, or any other vendor.

*Alumni qualify for Dell purchases only.
**An Emerson College acceptance letter may also be used as proof of admission.

Harvard University Technology Products and Services

Emerson has a relationship with Harvard University Technology Products and Services and Emerson students may purchase directly from Harvard at reduced prices.

Note: Harvard generally has lower prices than Apple’s standard academic discount and discounted pricing on ASUS and accessories.

  • Contact Harvard Technology Products and Services for pricing and to place an order. Call 617-495-5450 or visit the Harvard Tech Hub store located in the Science Center basement, One Oxford St. in Cambridge.
  • Hours: Telesales 9:00 am–5:00 pm/Mon–Fri Harvard Tech Hub Store: 9:00 am-5:00 pm/Mon, Tue, Thu and Fri; 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Wed.
  • See Harvard's latest price sheet here


  • You can purchase directly from the Apple Store, including iPods and iPhones!
  • Hardware can also be purchased in-person at physical Apple Stores with your Emerson ID

Note: The zip code for Emerson College is 02116.


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