Online Study Technical Requirements

Please review the minimum technical specifications necessary to successfully study online.  Upgrade any parts of your system that are below these minimums before you register for any online classes.

A computer is essential equipment. While you may be able to access much of the course content and even complete some learning activities from a mobile device (phones, tablets, etc.), some apps for mobile services do not support all the functionality needed in online learning.


  • Processor: 1.6 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Available Hard Drive Space: 10 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or better
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Available Hard Drive Space: 10 GB
  • Operating System: 10.6 or better

A webcam with microphone and speakers are required, both of which are built into most laptops and all tablets now.  Webcams that plug into a USB port can be purchased separately if needed. Cell phones or tablets may be used, but a computer is best for video conferences.  

PC or Mac:
  • Office 365 is recommended, a free download here
  • Browser: Current version of Firefox or Chrome 
  • Plug-Ins: Adobe Reader, QuickTime and Java

We recommend a minimum download speed of 2.4 Mbps, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL connection. A faster connection, such as cable service, will further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above.

A dial-up connection is sufficient for some activities but is known to cause problems when students attempt to view video content and complete quizzes. The same is also true for cellular and satellite connections. Such connections are not suitable for quizzes and exams online.

Students need the following basic computer skills:

  • How to use a web browser and word processor
  • How to send and receive email
  • How to copy and paste
  • How to upload and download files
  • How to troubleshoot audio and video devices for video conferencing

Student service and course videos will include captioning; subtitles are added in the language of the program offered e.g. Spanish. Most devices will auto-detect these accommodation tools.  If not, use the following steps to add captioning and subtitle access to your computer or device.

1. Go to video player.
2. To turn captions on, click [CC].
3. Go to setting to select the preferred language.
4. To turn captions off, click  [CC] again.

1. Go to the video.
2. Tap menu on the top right hand icon  (vertical 3-dot).
3. To turn captions on, tap  [CC].
4. Select the preferred language.
5. To turn captions off, tap [CC] again.