Computer Specifications

The BEDS program requires each student to have a laptop computer for design work in the studio. A PC laptop (rather than Mac) is recommended for architecture software. It should have a screen size of 13” or more, a webcam, microphone, either built-in speakers or external speakers with a Bluetooth or USB connection, and a wireless mouse with a scroll wheel.

  • Good: 9th generation Intel processor, 16 GB RAM memory, hard drive, graphics card for 1920x1080 (or higher) resolution
  • Better: 10th generation (or higher) quad-core Intel processor, 16 GB RAM memory, solid state drive (SSD), graphics card for 1920x1080 (or higher) resolution
  • Best: 11th generation (or higher) ten-core Intel processor, 32 GB RAM memory, solid state drive (SSD), graphics card with dedicated RAM for higher than 1920x1080 resolution

Maintaining a backup at all times is essential. A simple solution is an external hard drive that you keep at home. To accommodate regular backups, your external drive should be substantially larger than your laptop's internal drive. If you don't back up your whole system regularly, you risk a catastrophe due to loss, theft, or damage. An additional backup of your current working files can be kept on a USB flash drive, on Dalhousie's online OneDrive storage, or in the cloud. For security, your laptop also needs a lock.

If you have any questions about whether your current computer is sufficient for the BEDS program, please contact Ken Kam at, not Susanna Morash-Kent or the School of Architecture office.

The university provides all students with Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and antivirus software. You will need a monthly subscription to Creative Cloud (Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc.). Lower educational prices are available to full-time students. 3D modeling software (SketchUp, AutoCAD, etc.) typically is available free to students.