Computer Requirements

Please view the most current school-wide computing requirements below for:
  • Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH Students
  • Executive Healthcare Management Students
  • MS, MHA, DrPH, and PhD

SCHOOLWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING COLUMBIA MPH AND ACCELERATED MPH STUDENTS

During the Fall MPH Core, examinations will be given using an electronic testing platform made by ExamSoft called Examplify. For ExamSoft exams, a personal laptop is the preferred method of testing. In addition, Mailman is beginning to support the use of iPads for ExamSoft exams. Personal laptops and iPads must meet the following requirements for ExamSoft compatibility. All laptops must be no older than approximately two years.

Macintosh Requirements

Personal Laptop Specification

  • Operating System must be one of the following: (only genuine versions supported; server versions not supported)
    • OS X 10.9 (Mavericks)
    • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
    • OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
    • OS X 10.12 (Sierra)
    • Do not upgrade to OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • CPU = Intel processor
  • RAM = 4 GB or greater
  • Hard Drive = Minimum 20GB of hard drive space.
  • Software = Internet connection for SofTest Installation, Registration, and Exam Download and Upload

iPad Specifications

  • Hardware = iPad 3+, iPad Air+, iPad Mini+, and iPad Pro+

  • Operating System: iOS8 through iOS10. Only genuine versions of iOS are supported

  • 500 MB of free space required to commence an exam

  • iPad must not be Jailbroken

  • Software = Internet connection for Examplify Installation, Registration, and Exam Download and Upload

  • Battery: 50% to start an exam

 

Additional requirements

  • Privacy: Strong login passwords; hardware encrypted USB keys and external drives
  • Access to an Administrator account
  • SofTest cannot be used on virtual operating systems
  • Automatic backup utility for all files

To check these requirements: Click on the Apple menu in the Menu bar and then select “About This Mac.”

Windows Requirements

Specifications

  • Operating System must be one of the following: (only genuine U.S.-English, French, Portuguese, Swedish, and British versions supported)
    • Windows 7
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 10
  • CPU = 1.86Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo or greater
  • Hard Drive: Minimum 20GBs of hard drive space. 
  • RAM: highest recommended for the operating system or 2GB
  • Hard Drive: highest recommended for the operating system or 1GB of available space
  • Software = Internet Explorer 8.0 or later, Internet connection for SofTest Installation, Registration, and Exam Download and Upload
  • Pre-boot authentication (PBA)

Additional Requirements

  • Privacy: Strong login passwords; hardware encrypted USB keys and external drives
  • Access to an Administrator account
  • SofTest cannot be used on virtual operating systems
  • Automatic backup utility for all files
  • Adobe Reader (Version 9, 11, of DC) is required for exams containing PDF attachments
  • Screen Resolution must be 1024x768 or higher.
  • No tablet devices and netbooks

To check these requirements on Windows 7: Click the “Start” button, then right-click on “Computer” and select “System Properties.” System information will be listed.

To check these requirements on Windows 8/10: Right-click on the Windows button on the bottom left of the screen and then click “System.”

Please check back on the CUMC IT website for any updates regarding ExamSoft SofTest requirements. Medical Center schools will be emailing more information to students in September regarding downloading and installing this software onto your computer.

ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENT-BASED REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING COLUMBIA MPH AND ACCELERATED MPH STUDENTS

Please note, specific departments may have additional requirements regarding computer programs and compatibility. These are listed below in additional to a departmental contact.

Environmental Health Sciences

  • Students must purchase the STATA statistical software
  • Contact:
    • jh2678 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Dr. Julie Herbstman) for STATA questions
    • njk2128 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Nina Kulacki) for all other questions

Epidemiology

  • Epidemiology require SAS 9.4: The department will send an e-mail in early fall with information about SAS installation options
  • Contact: lz3 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Liliane Zaretsky)

Sociomedical Sciences

  • SPSS software license is recommended
  • Contact: ac995 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Andrea Constancio)

The following departments do not have additional requirements:

  • Biostatistics
  • General Public Health
  • Population and Family Health
  • Healthy Policy and Management

DEPARTMENT-BASED REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING EXECUTIVE HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT STUDENTS

No specific computing requirements, see departmental contact rlr2108 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Rebecca Sale).

DEPARTMENT-BASED REQUIREMENTS FOR MS, MHA, DrPH, and PhD STUDENTS

 

The following departments require MS, MHA, DrPH, and PhD students to purchase laptops in accordance with the Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH specifications listed above:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy and Management

The following departments highly recommend MS, DrPH, and PhD students purchase laptops in accordance with the Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH specifications listed above:

  • Sociomedical Sciences
  • Environmental Health Sciences

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT CUMC COMPUTER PURCHASING, DISCOUNTS, AND SOFTWARE PACKAGES

Computer Purchase Information

If you want to take advantage of discounts on computer equipment that are available to Columbia University students, please visit the CUMC IT website. This site has links to discounted pricing available through Apple, Dell, and other vendors. A UNI login is required to access pricing information.

For compatibility information and suggestions on appropriate computer specifications see the "Verifying Compatibility" and "Example Hardware Specifications" sections here.

Software Information

The Medical Center also provides software licenses without cost for many popular packages. Please see the complete list and access downloads via UNI login here.

Software packages that may be required for your classwork, but are not available for online download and may require purchase include SAS, SPSS, ARC GIS, and STATA. We suggest that you confirm the software requirements with your program before contacting CUMC IT's 5help service for access.

For more information contact CUMC IT's help line at 5help [at] columbia.edu or (212) 305-4357.