CALS

Laptop Recommendations

The following recommendations provide CALS students with minimum, recommended, and high performance specifications when evaluating a current laptop or when looking to purchase one for use at ISU.  We make no recommendations on brand of laptop to purchase.

Some classes may require more than the minimum requirements. If you have classes that you are concerned will need higher requirements, it is best to confirm with the professor before your purchase. 

The ISU Book Store (https://www.techcyte.isubookstore.com/home) is ready to help you identify a laptop to meet your general or specific needs.

Iowa State has developed a Laptop Loaner Program to support students who may not have access to required laptop technology. Loaner laptops will be provided to current ISU students through the University Library while the inventory lasts. Students with the greatest financial need and those who have exhausted other options for financial aid will receive priority. Requests for participation in the Laptop Loaner Program will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, July 31.

Applicants need the following information to complete the Laptop Loaner Program request form:

  • University ID (9-digit identification number provided to you upon acceptance to Iowa State University)
  • College (for example, Design, Ag & Life Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, etc.)
  • System preference (Mac or PC)

Students who are unable to locate their University ID should contact the IT Solution Center at 515-294-4000. Visit the university's website for more information and frequently asked questions about the fall 2020 requirement to own or obtain a laptop.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

  ECONOMICAL RECOMMENDED HIGH PERFORMANCE 
Typical Use Web browsing, Microsoft Office-type applications, connecting to a remote computer Programming applications and IDE's. Light video editing. Ability to install software that may have higher level requirements, such as some Adobe products. Running engineering applications for 3D modeling and Virtual Reality.
Processor Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7 Intel Core i9
Cores 2 4 8
Memory 8 GB 16 GB 32 GB
Storage 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB
Type SSD SSD SSD
Video Card Integrated 1-2 GB nVidia GeForce or AMD Radeon 2+ GB nVidia GeForce/Quadro or AMD Radeon/FirePro
Resolution 1366×768 1920×1080 (Full HD) 3840×2160 (4K)


Requirements for specific classes, labs and programs
 

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students

 

ABE 271, 272, 273 (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering 271, 272, 273) and TSM 216 (Technology Systems Management 216)

  • Recommended specifications on this page meets minimums

 

ABE 413 (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering 413) / ME 413 (Mechanical Engineering 413), Fluid Power Engineering

  • Recommended Windows machine meets minimum requirements for JMP\
  • Students need to use Automation Studio to generate fluid power schematics required for the class. The software is not accessible through VDI and the students must install the software on their computers to complete these required tasks. 

 

AGRON / ENSCI / MTEOR 405/505 (Agronomy/Environmental Science/Meteorology 405/505)

 

DS 202 (Data Science 202), Data 

  • Windows 8 or 10, or MacOS 10.13+, or an up-to-date Linux OS

 

ECON 101L (Economics 101L) (Lab in microeconomics)

  • Laptop needs to be able to handle Excel
  • Economical specifications on this page will suffice

 

ECON 301 (Economics 301), sections 3 and 4

  • Access to a webcam

 

ENT 201 and ENT 211 (Entomology 201 and Entomology 211)

  • Recommended specifications on this page encouraged

 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) classes

NREM 446/546, NREM 489L/589L, NREM 345 (Natural Resource Ecology and Management 446/546, Natural Resource Ecology and Management 489L/589L, Natural Resource Ecology and Management 345) 
Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise (64 bit [EM64T])
Windows 8.1 Basic, Pro, and Enterprise (32 bit and 64 bit [EM64T])
Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise (32 bit and 64 bit [EM64T])

  • Minimum hardware requirement for Windows laptops are as follows: https://desktop.arcgis.com/en/system-requirements/10.5/arcgis-engine-sys...
  • CPU Speed:  2.2 GHz minimum; Hyper-threading (HHT) or Multi-core recommended
  • Platform: x86 or x64 with SSE2 extensions 
  • Memory/RAM:  2 GB minimum
  • Display properties: 24-bit color depth 
  • Video/Graphics adapter: 64 MB RAM minimum; 256 MB RAM or higher recommended. NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel chipsets supported.
  • 24-bit capable graphics accelerator
  • OpenGL version 2.0 runtime minimum is required, and Shader Model 3.0 or higher is recommended.
  • Be sure to use the latest available drivers
  • Screen resolution: 1024x768 recommended minimum at normal size (96 dpi)
  • Disk space:  16 GB"
  • Windows is required. ArcGIS software will not run on IOS or MacOS.

 

HORT 281 (Horticulture 281): Landscape Graphics

  • Recommended specifications on this page meets minimums

 

HORT 481 (Horticulture 481): Advanced Garden Composition

  • Recommended specifications on this page meets minimums

 

STAT 104 and STAT 301 (Statistics 104 and Statistics 301)

  • Economical Windows machine meets minimum requirements for JMP

 

TSM 216 (Technology Systems Management 216) and ABE 271, 272, 273 (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering 271, 272, 273)

  • Recommended specifications on this page meets minimums

     

    TSM 337 (Technology Systems Management 337), Fluid Power Systems Technology

    • Recommended Windows machine meets minimum requirements for JMP
    • Students need to use Automation Studio to generate fluid power schematics required for the class. The software is not accessible through VDI and the students must install the software on their computers to complete these required tasks. 

     

    TSM 465 (Technology Systems Management 465) – Automation Systems

    • Either the economical or the recommended Windows computer will work
    • LogixPro PLC only runs under Windows OS. Mac laptop users, a virtual machine like Parallels Desktop or a Bootcamp running Windows 10 is required

     

    ISU has partnered with Dell and Apple to help students purchase and support their personal computers. Students can buy the computer directly from the company or through TechCyte at the ISU Bookstore. ISU Computer Repair, located in 74 Durham, is a warranty repair center for both Dell and Apple.
    However, any manufacturer of laptops with the above specification will work at ISU as long as they have Windows or macOS installed.

     

    Multiple-Counting Courses in CALS

    You may take one course to meet a single requirement from up to three different Areas (1, 2, or 3). For example, one course can meet both the Humanities and International Perspectives requirements.

    Note: you are still required to meet the minimum number of credits for your Bachelor’s Degree program to be eligible for graduation.

     Area 1: University

     Area 2: College

     Area 3: Degree Program

    • Everything else per degree
      program / department
    • Check with your advisor for more information

    Some examples of a course that will meet a single requirement from two different areas:

    • AF AM 201 (Introduction to African American Studies) – Humanities and US Diversity
    • AF AM 350 (Women of Color in the US) – Humanities and US Diversity
    • AGRON 342 (World Food Issues: Past and Present) – Ethics and International Perspectives
    • ANTHR 315 (Archaeology of North America) – Humanities and US Diversity
    • CL ST 275 (The Ancient City) – Humanities and International Perspectives
    • MUSIC 102 (Introduction to Music Listening) – Humanities and International Perspectives
    • PHIL 235 (Ethical Issues in a Diverse Society) – Ethics and US Diversity

    Overview of Requirements on the Degree Audit

    University Requirements: 

    College Requirements: 

    Major-Specific Requirements: 

    • Each major has a set of requirements in addition to the university and college requirements.  Requirements for each individual major or minor can be found in the University catalog at catalog.iastate.edu/collegescurricula/#programsmajorstext.
    • Please note that some majors require specific courses to be taken that can also be used to satisfy college and/or university requirements.  See Multiple-Counting below for more information.

    Multiple-Counting: 

    Sometimes courses can be used to satisfy requirements at more than one of these three levels (university, college, and major-specific).  This is known as multiple-counting, and the guidelines can be found on our website:  http://www.cals.iastate.edu/student-services/multiple-counting-courses-cals

    =====

    * Note that some majors require specific course(s) in this area. 

    Communications Proficiency

    Overview

    The college of Agriculture and Life Sciences requires 6.0 credits of English composition with a C or better (a C or better is required in each course) and 3.0 credits of speech fundamentals with a C or better.  Courses that can be used to fulfill these requirements are listed below. 

    Note:  other courses can in some cases be used to fulfill these requirements -- please contact your advisor if you have any questions.

    English Composition

    The following courses can be used to fulfill the English composition portion of the communications proficiency requirement.

    Note:  6.0 credits are required, and a C or better is required in each course.

    • ENGL 150, 250, 275, 302, 309, 312, 313, and 314

    Speech Fundamentals

    The following courses can be used to fulfill the speech fundamentals portion of the communications proficiency requirement.

    Note:  3.0 credits are required, and a C or better is required.

    • SP CM 212, AGEDS 311, and COMST 214  

    Math, Statistics, and Physical Sciences

    Overview

    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences requires 3.0 crs of math, 3.0 credits of statistics, and 5.0 credits of physical sciences.  Courses that can be used to fulfill these requirements are listed below. 

    Note:  other, higher-level courses can in many cases be used to fulfill these requirements -- please contact your advisor if you have any questions.

    Math

    The following courses can be used to fulfill the CALS math requirement.

    Note:  3.0 credits are required to meet the math requirement.  

    • MATH 140, 143, 145, 150, 151, 160, 165, 166, 265, and 266 

    Statistics

    The following courses can be used to fulfill the CALS statistics requirement.

    Note:  3.0 credits are required to meet the statistics requirement.  

    • STAT 101, 104, 105, 226, 301, and 326

    Physical Sciences

    The following courses can be used to fulfill the CALS physical sciences requirement.

    Note:  5.0 credits are required to meet the physical sciences requirement.  

    • CHEM 163, 163L, 167, 167L, 177, 177L, 178, 178L, 201, 201L, 231, 231L, 331, 331L, 332, and 332L
    • PHYS 111, 112, 115, 115L, 221, and 222 
    • GEOL 100 and 100L
    • MTEOR 206

    CALS Convocation Information Spring 2020

    Who:  Undergraduate students approved for spring and summer graduation.

    Time:  Friday, May 8, 2020, 9 a.m. 

    Place:  Virtual recognition will be provided for graduating seniors. Links to convocation ceremonies will be available via the CALS Facebook page and archived on this webpage, at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 8.

    Purpose: To recognize students graduating from the college. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation is a separate event from the official Iowa State University commencement ceremony. Convocation includes only students with majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 


    The Convocation

    The Spring 2020 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation will take place virtually. Links to watch Convocation will be distributed to graduating seniors and promoted via CALS social media platforms the week of May 4, 2020.

    Links to the ceremony will be archieved on the college website for future viewing.  

    The CALS Convocation ceremony will include the folowing videos:

    • Dean's Message:  Daniel J. Robison, endowed dean's chair in the Collge of Agriculture and Life Sciences
    • Senior Speaker: Vishesh Bhatia, genetics
    • Recognition of Senior Awards:  CALS Student Council 
    • Presentation of Graduates:  Each graduating senior will have a dedicated slide featuring their achievement

    University Commencement Information

    Iowa State University Commencement is taking place virtually. For more information about the University's graduation ceremonies, visit the Commencement website.

    View the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall 2019 Convocation video on YouTube

     

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