First Year Guide: Computing and Printing

College of Design Computer Standards: Requirements and recommendations for computers and software

The College of Design sets hardware and software requirements and recommendations for all undergraduate students. In addition, some academic programs have specific requirements in terms of computer type and software. Be sure to review this information prior to arriving for your first semester and especially before purchasing a new computer.  

Lab Locations

In addition to the many public computer labs across campus, the College of Design has computer labs in both McNeal Hall (St. Paul campus) and Rapson Hall (Minneapolis campus) that are equipped with specialized software as well as high-end laser printers and large-format plotters.      

Lab Access

The CDes computer labs are limited-access labs; the labs and printing equipment are only available for use by students who are enrolled in a College of Design course. Students have access to the computer lab facilities after hours through use of their UCard.


Printing and plotting in the CDes labs are offered to students at cost. Prints and plots must be paid for using the GopherGold account, which every student has on his/her UCard. Students may download print drivers for their laptops to print on the computer lab color laser printers.       

Document Storage

Google Drive is a storage service through which files can be stored and retrieved from anywhere using a web browser. Each U of M student is given 30 GB of space to store files. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of this space. Google Drive can also be used to share files with fellow students while you work on group projects.