Student Device Requirement-BYOD

Bring Your Own Device!

Bridgewater College has a formal computer device policy called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The current BC student already averages more than two Internet-connected devices, such as laptops and tablets. This policy requires that all students bring their own device to campus, provided it meets the specifications below.

For years, students have been bringing their own computers to college, but only recently has technology allowed us to implement equipment that allows you to fully access college resources from your own personal device. With the tap of a finger or a click of the mouse, you will be able to access all of your network resources 24/7.  We have created a virtual computer lab that will allow you to access campus core software from any browser on any device at any time. The College provides Microsoft Office (PC and MAC) free of charge to all students.  In short, you will be more comfortable on your own device, with your applications and set up according to your preferences.

Please see the FAQs below for the details on this program. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Center HelpDesk, at or 540.828.4357.

What should I look for in a device and what functionality should it have?

When selecting a new device, consider that it should last about three to four years before needing replacement. Below are purchasing guidance for laptops.


Screen size of 13” or larger

Operating system: Latest release of Windows or MacOS, we do not recommend Linux due to compatibility issues with academic software

Memory (RAM): 16GB minimum (Windows) or 8GB minimum (Mac)

Hard drive (Storage): 512GB SSD or larger

Processor: Intel 12th gen or newer, AMD 5XXX or newer, Apple M1 or newer

Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 minimum (Wi-Fi 6 preferred)

Antimalware software



Earbuds and/or headphones

***Optional but strongly recommended

Accidental damage protection (drops, liquid spills, etc)

Multiyear warranty




Computer Science and Engineering Device Requirements

Students entering the Computer Science or Engineering programs are requested to have additional specifications of the following:

Screen size no smaller than 14”

Hard drive (Storage): 500GB or larger

Memory (RAM): at least 8GB with 16GB preferred


Art Device Requirements 

Students entering the Art program are requested to have additional specifications of the following:

Memory (RAM): 32GB

Hard drive (Storage): 1 TB  SSD or larger



What devices will be acceptable?

A laptop, Ultrabook, or an Apple MacBook/Air are all options for your personal device. NOTE: Google Chromebooks are not an acceptable primary device under our BYOD policy and they are incompatible with our virtual lab environment. Chromebooks do not have a full operating system and as such, applications like Microsoft Office cannot be installed on them.

Will students be able to use iPads or other tablets?

Yes, but only as a secondary device.  Please understand that software cannot be installed on an iPad or other tablet, the file system cannot be directly accessed, and a tablet does not work for all uses and applications. Additionally, tablets are not acceptable as a primary computing device for many majors, including chemistry, biology, business administration, economics, communication studies, math, computer science and physics.  Below are purchasing guidance for tablets.


Screen size of 10” or larger

Operating system: Latest OS version for your platform

Minimum storage: 32GB (ideally with additional storage via SD or some other external media)

Physical keyboard (Bluetooth is fine)

Case or cover that permits the tablet to stand on its own


Are smartphones considered acceptable devices?

Smartphones are not practical as primary computing devices for the normal coursework students will encounter but can used as supplemental devices.

Will students continue to have access to College computers?

College-owned computers will be available for lab purposes in the physical science departments, digital media classes, as well as in the McKinney 226 public computer lab and learning commons. 

Do the devices need to be new or can I use one my family or I already owns?

Devices may be either newly purchased or ones that you already own.  When making this decision, please keep in mind your device will be needed throughout your college career. 

Can I use part of my financial aid award to purchase a device?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at if you want to use parent PLUS loan or private loan funds to help reimburse you for the purchase of a computer.

What is the expectation for charging equipment?

You should begin a routine of charging devices overnight to ensure a full charge. Of course, the devices may also be charged during the day as long as you have your power cord adapter with you.

Where can I get technical support if the device is not working properly?

It will be the responsibility of each student to find repair options from an outside company – not the College. However, the College has partnered with an outside vendor to facilitate hardware repairs at a discounted rate.

The IT Center will continue to offer support on all network and Internet connectivity issues for all devices, as well as the scan and removal of viruses. The IT center will also reload a Windows operating system in the event it has been overcome by malware.

If your device is out for repairs, there will be a limited number of laptops, available on a first-come, first-served basis, which may be checked out from the learning commons for a period of up to 10 days, so you can continue working until the repair is complete.

Additional Information:

As students, you can download Microsoft Office (PC and MAC) software.

Virtual lab access: There are several articles providing information on how to connect to our virtual lab in our knowledgebase on the IT Center’s Website that you can access once you start attending classes.

Be sure to install virus protection software. There are free virus protection suites that have received good reviews.

Please note students are responsible for all file backups.  Students have access to Box (unlimited storage while you are a student) Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.


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Article ID: 129749
Mon 3/8/21 12:04 PM
Fri 1/26/24 1:43 PM