The BEDS program requires each student to have a laptop computer for design work in the studio. A smart phone or tablet will not meet your needs, but almost any mid-grade or better laptop bought in the last three to five years, Mac or PC, will suffice: for example, a 13" MacBook Pro with a dual-core Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of memory, and a 500 GB hard drive. The Faculty can offer in-house support for Macs; the university's help desk supports PCs.
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 or in Dalhousie's online storage. For security, your laptop computer also needs a lock.
If you have any questions about whether your current computer is sufficient for the BEDS program, or what type of computer or external hard drive to purchase, please contact Patrick Kelly, not Susanna Morash-Kent or the School of Architecture office.
The university provides all students with Microsoft Office and antivirus software, which can be downloaded free from the website. Additional Apple hardware and software are available from the Apple Store in the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road. Some software is licensed through the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, so avoid buying specialized software (AutoCAD, VectorWorks, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.) until after you arrive.