Purchasing a Personal Computer

In the market for a new computer? As a member of the Emerson College community, you're eligible for a discount! That includes students, staff, and faculty!

If you have any questions about a purchase, please stop by the IT Help Desk on the 4th floor of 120 Boylston, call us at 617-824-8080 or email helpdesk@emerson.edu, and we'll be glad to help!

Purchasing a Personal Computer

General Requirements

Are you an incoming student looking for a computer? Above, you will find Emerson IT's recommended minimum specifications. If you're buying a new computer, most anything will far surpass these recommendations. If you already have a computer, you may want to reference the recommended specifications to gauge your computer's estimated lifespan.

Emerson College does not favor Windows or OS X - both have advantages and disadvantages, and Emerson IT recommend that students purchase whatever system they are most comfortable using. Any software required in classroom activities is provided in Emerson's computer labs. Additionally, 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. Beyond that, Emerson IT recommends a USB flash drive for keeping your files portable. You can also use your Emerson Pages folder, or other cloud services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

  • Any new computer will be Wi-Fi capable, but you should ensure that it supports a WPA-2 Enterprise wireless connection!
  • Many laptops are now coming without a built-in ethernet port. Emerson IT strongly recommends purchasing an ethernet adapter if this is the case. Usually, this will connect to either a USB or Thunderbolt port to give you an ethernet port. Having the option for ethernet is always a good thing!
  • 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 can purchase a full range of computer products for personal use at special academic pricing through Apple, Dell, and Harvard University Technology Products and Services. 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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