College of Arts + Architecture


If you have any questions, call or visit the NinerTech Computer Store (a great on-campus computing resource for UNC Charlotte students) located in the Student Union. NinerTech is your tech-savvy partner for life at UNC Charlotte . They are with you from choosing the right laptop for your major, to servicing malfunctions when you least expect them. Read more about why NinerTech is more than just the tech store. NinerTech carries everything that is recommended in this guide, customizes hardware and software bundles for students, and also offers sales and repair services for Apple, HP, and Dell computers. You may also contact the CoA+A ITDepartment by email at with any questions you might have .

Order your computer online! Visit the NinerTech website ( for more information.

*Please note that the availability of items in the NinerTech store is subject to change. For more information regarding availability and options, please visit the NinerTech store located on the first floor of the Student Union or website. Representatives in the NinerTech store can help you find a suitable alternative if necessary. Everyone's situation is unique and choices vary widely. Inquire at the NinerTech about a financing option or regarding the best way for you and your family to acquire your computer. 

Most types of computers (Apple, Windows PC, and Alienware PC), when configured properly, are capable of running the standard programs used by students in the SoA (see following page for details). Students are thereby encouraged to select a computer that works best for their budgets and other intended purposes for their computers. It is highly recommended to match or exceed the specs for the machines presented in this guide for whatever computer you choose. Our campus NinerTech Store can help you find the best solution for the SoA recommended configuration. 

The SoA has computer labs that complement, but do not suffice as a substitute for students' laptops. SoA faculty use Apple computers that operate both Mac and Windows operating systems on separate partitions. Students who purchase an Apple laptop need to have a Windows partition. Students must also purchase a mouse in order to operate the programs properly, and an external hard drive to back-up their work regularly and to transfers files between labs and laptops. The university also provides access to unlimited cloud storage with google drive to all students with a valid UNCC email account. 

FIRST Year Undergraduate and Graduate students will need the following software & hardware:

Microsoft Office - available free of charge for all UNCC students. For more information see the MS Office 365 software download page. 

Adobe Creative Cloud - available at Student Subscriptions cost $239.88/ per year or $19.99/ per month. 

Rhino30 Modeling Software - available at Student Subscriptions cost $195 for either the Mac or Windows version. 

OEM copy of Windows - available on-campus at NinerTech for $129 

***This OEM software is only mandatory for Mac users*** 

Installed free of charge if students purchase their computers at NinerTech.

External Hard Drive - any 1TB or larger hard drive, can be found on or any other electronics retailer. Ensure it's compatability with your computer before purchasing. 

Computer Mouse - any wired or wireless computer mouse. Can be found on or any other electronics retailer. 

In the same way a textbook purchase would be required for a class, additional software purchases may be requested by individual professors or desired by students. By waiting to purchase software until it is needed, you will be able to purchase the most up-to-date version and not carry the burden of upgrading software you as a student may not have used. The university provides certain software free of cost, for students registered for classes in the current term such as MS Office, Antivirus software, and a few more. Also, in the same way you would rent a book from the library, the CoA+A has Rhino licenses avalible for students to checkout for use on their laptops (Mac or PC) for the duration of their time as a SoA student. NOTE: This is not a substitute to buying your own license, you must still buy your own. 

The following are applications available in the SoA computing labs and may be required by courses: 

Adobe Acrobat Adobe Illustrator Adobe InDesign Adobe Photoshop
Design Builder ARC GIS AutoDesk 3DS MAX* AutoDesk AutoCAD*
AutoDesk Revit* MS Office 365* SketchUp Pro Rhino
  Strand 7 Vectorworks*  

*These applications are free to download for UNC Charlotte students.

For more information see the ITSServices software downloads page