Q: Can I only bring an iPad?
A: We would not recommend bringing only an iPad as your computer. The campus has computers for students to use in specific locations.

Q: What WiFi is available?
A: Cal Maritime has WiFi available with EduRoam, a network for guests and a network for all Cal Maritime faculty/staff/students with valid Cal Maritime account. 

Q: Should I purchase a new computer or use my current computer?

A: It is your preference. What we recommend is to have a computer up to the tasks you'll perform as a student at Cal Maritime. Ideally your computer should be more than the minimum hardware specifications to ensure it'll last until graduation

Q: Where should I purchase my new computer?

A: You can purchase your computer from any reseller online or in-person. Best Buy, Costco, Amazon, Walmart/Target and more.

Please do the research to compare makes and models.

Q: What type of warranty comes with the computer? Where do I take it for repairs and what is the average turnaround time? What type of technical support is included?

The Cal Maritime Information Technology Department will not service personally-owned computers. You are responsible for the configuration and repair of whatever computer you bring to campus. Research how current customers rate their overall customer service experience when they seek help, and the type of warranty is included with your purchase.

Q: What operating system and software applications come pre-installed on the computer?

A: It will vary by manufacturer. What's important is Office365 through campus is available so you will have access to Office365 to install on your devices using your campus credentials.


Recommended Hardware Specifications:

Minimum Hardware:

CPU -- Intel i5 OR AMD Ryzen 2nd generation
Memory/RAM -- 8GB minimum
Storage -- 256GB minimum, solid state drive or M.2 NVME

Operating System is your preference. The campus is predominantly Windows and Office365 is accessible from any operating system for campus emails and Office online.

As you are probably already aware, there are two basic choices of computer platforms; Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

Cal Maritime is primarily a Microsoft Windows environment and the computers available to students are Windows PCs. However, this does not preclude you from bringing a Mac if you so desire; check with your department to understand their software requirements first.

School of Engineering Computer Requirements


Configuration A
recommended if not buying a new computer

Configuration B
recommended if buying a new computer


Intel Core i5 or i7 processor

Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. Select the newest generation available (Currently 10th Generation)

Memory (RAM)

8GB or more

8 GB or more

Hard Drive

256 GB

256 GB or larger SSD

Graphics Hardware

No specific requirement

Dedicated Nvidia or AMD with 2GB of VRAM minimum


Not required

3 years parts and labor with on-site or in-store support


Network and Internet Access


Wireless access in Cal Maritime residence halls, Library, and classrooms is available. Throughout campus there are various wireless hotspots where students can connect with their own devices.

If your dorm room has a wired network connection, you are welcome to use it, just bring your own ethernet cable.


Things you can do to protect your computer

  • Purchase a surge protector

  • Verify that your computer is covered in a homeowner's insurance policy. Cal Maritime is not responsible for any loss or damage to your computer

  • Make sure an up-to-date antivirus program is installed on your computer

  • Periodically backup important data to the cloud, an external drive, or to a flash drive

  • Enable Automatic Software Updating on your computer


Extra Items

Here are a few additional items students find helpful to bring to campus:

  • USB flash drive with a minimum of 8GB of space. If possible, purchase a flash drive with file encryption capability. The larger Portable USB external hard drives, with 1TB of space or more, can be had for under $100.

  • Category 5 (Cat5), 8 wire Ethernet cable with RJ-45 plugs. 10 ft or longer if you know your room has a wired connection

IT Help Desk

If you have any further questions about computing at Cal Maritime, please do not hesitate to contact the IT Help Desk.