SAF Student Technology Requirements

Requirements for incoming Fall 2022 students

The business community, and more broadly the world, is facing truly unprecedented, transformational forces. COVID-19 has changed the way people interact and collaborate in the workplace, perhaps permanently. The University environment similarly is transforming and using different pedagogies and approaches to education. Blended online and on-campus or even fully online instruction may be the norm for some time.

In an amazingly short period of time, data analytic skills, the ability to work with large datasets, and interpret and visualize model output has become requisite knowledge for a business professional. In recognition of this transformational force, SAF has expanded its degree required data analytics courses and have integrated data management and its use into many of our courses.

A mobile computer system, able to transition from applications at home, on co-op and in the classroom is a requisite tool of a business professional. All incoming SAF students in the AFM, SFM, CFM, Math/CPA and Biotech/CPA programs are required to have a laptop computer.

Laptop requirements

Starting your SAF program with a new laptop is recommended, but most laptops purchased after 2019 should be sufficient based on minimum specs. Your laptop must be capable to run Windows 10 and must have a webcam and microphone.

SAF recommends the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 with a minimum of 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD memory.

If your laptop does not meet the minimum requirements as listed, students are able sign up for the Student Laptop Loan Program.

NOTE: MacBooks, iPads, Chromebooks, or other tablets will not be sufficient.

Instruction at SAF is done using the PC version of Microsoft Office and other software packages used for instruction are operable only on Microsoft Windows. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to purchase a Windows laptop computer running an English language operating system. The majority of co-op employers use computers with Windows operating systems, thus familiarity with that system will be an advantage in co-op. It is possible to install Boot Camp or similar software on a MacBook laptop to run a Windows Operating system and PC versions of software. However, these systems are not supported by faculty or computing staff and prior students have encountered challenges with this approach.

Provided software

All University of Waterloo students have access to Windows 10 at no cost. Students are also provided with a subscription to the latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite via an Office 365 ProPlus subscription, at no cost. Included with your Office 365 subscription is access to OneDrive with 5 TB of cloud storage. Full software details is available online.