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Technology Requirements

2021-2022 Academic Year

Technology forms an important part of the student creative tool kit right from the first day of class. 

laptop requirement

The laptop you use during your time at PCA&D must be capable of running the latest versions of Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office Suite. Both software packages will be provided to all BFA students.

PCA&D recommends different laptop options based upon a student’s desired major.

Intended MajorSuggested Laptop
IllustrationMacBook Pro
Graphic DesignMacBook Pro
Fine ArtMacBook Pro or Windows
Photography & VideoMacBook Pro
Animation & Game ArtWindows

Below you will find the suggested base specifications and links for Apple and Windows laptops.

NameMacBook Pro (Click to Purchase)
RAM16GB DDR4 2666 MHz
Hard DriveSSD 1 TB
CPUEight core Intel Core i9 2.3GHz
GPU4GB GDDR6 AMD Radeon Pro 5500M
Screen Size16”
Operating System10.13 or newer
WarrantyApple Care Coverage
Approx. Cost$2,900
NameDell G7 15 Gaming Laptop (Click to Purchase)
RAM16GB DDR4 2933MHz
Hard DriveSSD 512GB
CPUSix Core i7 2.6-5GHz
GPUGTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
Screen Size15”
Operating SystemWindows 10
WarrantyDell Warranty Coverage (3 years)
Approx. Cost$1,400
NameASUS TUF Gaming A15 (Click to Purchase)
RAM8GB DDR4-3200 SO-DIMM
Hard DriveSSD 512GB
CPUAMD Ryzen™ 7 4800H Processor 2.9 GHz
GPUNVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6
Screen Size15”
Operating SystemWindows 10
WarrantyASUS Warranty Coverage (1-1.5 years)
Approx. Cost$1,000-1,400
  • External hard drive (1 TB or greater)
  • A protective carrying bag
  • USB to USB-C Dongle
  • External mouse

Digital Camera Requirement

Purchasing a camera is optional but all incoming students are required to have access to one. PCA&D has digital cameras available for check-out if you choose not to purchase your own. 

Base Camera Specifications 
  • Digital SLR
  • RAW capability
  • 10 megapixel
  • 18-55 mm lens (or similar)
  • Any DSLR camera that meets the listed requirements will suit your needs in class, Canon and Nikon are popular brands.

Frequent Questions

You should follow the laptop requirements that are listed. Contact your admissions counselor after you’ve received your transfer credit evaluation to discuss your camera needs.

Depending on whether you are choosing to purchase an Apple computer or Windows, laptop costs can range from $1,000-$1,400 or from $2,500-3,500 (with Apple Care). Please note that information and prices are subject to change. If you have questions, please contact it@pcad.edu.

To ensure that you are entering PCA&D with the most current technology, we advise purchasing your laptop in June if you are entering PCA&D in a fall semester. 

Apple laptops can be purchased through any reliable technology retailer (Best Buy, Office Max, etc.), any Apple Store (PCA&D has one close to our campus at Park City Center Mall), or online through the PCA&D Apple store.

Windows laptops can also be purchased through any reliable technology retailer (Best Buy, Office Max, etc.) or directly from the brand’s website: Dell or ASUS.

For Apple Laptops – All students are required to purchase Apple Care, this covers issues that do not extend to damage or theft of the computer. To read the details of Apple Care for your laptop, CLICK HERE.

Students should check with their family’s homeowner’s policy or their own renter’s insurance policy to determine coverage and deductibles. You may wish to cover the computer, camera and software by adding a rider to an existing policy to deal with issues of damage or theft.

We will provide instructions on how to obtain Adobe Creative Cloud & Microsoft Office 365 from PCA&D as we get closer to the beginning of the fall semester. Watch out for emails from the College to your PCAD email account.

Students can call or email the IT Department to setup an appointment to have one of our people assist them with computer needs or advice. The IT department can assist students with basic laptop difficulties (for example their Mac Book Pro will not boot or it will not connect to the wireless network). We are not able to do any computer repairs.

IT Department Assistance for Students
Hours: 8am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday
Phone: 717-396-7833 xt.1004
Email: pcad-it@pcad.edu

Repairs and warranty service through your Apple Care can be taken to the Apple Store. The closest Apple Store to PCA&D is located in the Park City Mall. You will need to use the Apple Store online system to make an appointment with their Genius Bar prior to your visit.

Cameras start at around $400 and could be more or less based upon where it is purchased and if it is new or used.

You should purchase your camera far enough in advance that you will have it in-hand for the first day of classes.

We suggest www.adorama.comwww.bhphotovideo.com or www.keh.com. Good prices can often be found on these websites for refurbished and used equipment. Other deals can be found on sites like Ebay for both new and used. When purchasing used equipment, please make sure the camera comes with at least a 30-day warranty.

You can opt to borrow additional money though a Parent PLUS loan or a Private/Alternative loan above and beyond tuition costs. All funds owed to the College will be deducted from the first available source of financial aid. For instance, if tuition and fees are charged, and a student loan has been credited to the student’s account, these charges will be deducted from the total loan amount and the balance (refund) returned to the student. PCA&D’s Business Office will issue refund checks for any amount above and beyond tuition. Student’s can then use this money for any educational expense including, rent, supplies, transportation etc.

Generally, all cash payments from financial aid, including Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans and Alternative Loans received by the Business Office, will be disbursed to students roughly four to five weeks from the beginning of the term. If you have additional questions, please contact the PCA&D financial aid office.

Firefox – Free download from www.firefox.com
Sophos AntiVirus – Free download from http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition/download.aspx

We ask that all incoming students download and install Microsoft Office 365 as well as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign software prior to orientation.

We suggest purchasing software in July or August when you have received your schedule. Students need their schedule as proof of enrollment to receive large discounts from vendors. Additional information can found at http://help.pcad.edu/downloads.shtml

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