Hardware Recommendations

All incoming students are required to have a laptop computer that meets or exceeds the University’s recommended guidelines. We further recommend you enable your computer (MacOS or Windows) to have the ability to display all interfaces in English for full support. Your computer must also have the locale set to the United States to comply with the school's Exam4 exam-taking software required for all students.  Your computer warranty should cover the length of your program. Most new laptops come with a 1-year warranty. We recommend that students in three-year programs purchase an additional 2-year warranty to cover their law school tenure.

We strongly advise purchasing a Dell or Apple laptop that meets or exceeds the specifications below. Laptops not manufactured by Dell or Apple and/or do not meet the minimum specifications will receive limited support from IT.

Minimum Specifications for Laptops 

5th Generation Intel Core i5 processor

8 GB total RAM

256 GB solid-state drive (SSD)

802.11 wireless

3-year warranty – Most notebooks come with a 1-year warranty. We recommend purchasing an additional 2-year warranty to cover your law school tenure.

     Visit the Dell for Education website for educational pricing on Dell laptops.

     Visit the Apple for Education website for student pricing on Apple laptops.

Software purchases

Microsoft 365 Office is available for students with an active NetID at Northwestern University. Many laptops do not include Office when purchased. When you Matriculate, we recommend you download and install the desktop version of Microsoft Office by visiting Microsoft Office 365 for Northwestern and clicking the "Install Office" button on that page.

Other discounted software that may apply to your studies is available on the Northwestern University Student Software Program website.

Can I finance my computer purchase?

Yes. If you apply for student loan funding, additional loan funds can be provided for the purchase of a computer, printer, and any required software. You can find the Computer Supplement Request Form on the Chicago Office of Financial Aid website. Navigate to the Appeal Forms Section under your entering academic year. If you have questions, contact their office at (312) 503-8722. 

Information for International Students

Due to U.S. export restrictions, many computer vendors are unable to ship outside of North America. International Students purchasing a notebook will need to provide the computer vendor they purchase from a valid U.S. shipping address or alternatively have their computer shipped to the Law School at:

Student Name
c/o Northwestern Law IT Department
350 E Superior Ave MC B71
Chicago, IL 60611

This option is available for International Students only.