Computer Requirements

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 SofTest. Students are required to possess a personal laptop for taking these exams. Personal laptops must meet the following requirements for ExamSoft compatibility. All laptops must be no older than approximately two years.

Macintosh Requirements

  • CPU = Intel processor

  • RAM = 4 GB

  • Hard Drive: Minimum 20GBs of hard drive space.

  • Operating System = Operating System: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), OS X 10.7 (Lion), OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks) and 10.10 (Yosemite). Only genuine versions of Mac Operating Systems are supported. OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) is NOT supported.

  • Server version of Mac OS X is not supported

  • SofTest may not be used in a virtual operating systems

  • Software = Internet connection for SofTest installation, Exam

  • Download and Upload

  • Administrator account

  • iPads do NOT satisfy the incoming MPH student computer requirement

  • Strong login passwords

  • Hardware encrypted USB keys as well as external drives

  • Automatic backup utility for all files

Windows Requirements

  • CPU = Core i5-3550S Processor (3.0GHz, 6M) or equivalent processor

  • Hard Drive: Minimum 20GBs of hard drive space. 

  • RAM: highest recommended for the operating system or 2GB

  • 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Ultimate and above (i.e. Windows 8.1 professional and above). Windows 10 is NOT supported, do NOT purchase Windows 10.

  • SofTest cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft's Virtual Machine, Parallels or VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments, unless approved for the institution.

  • Software = Internet Explorer 8.0 or later

  • Internet connection for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload

  • Adobe Reader (Version 9 or 11) is required for exams containing PDF attachments.

  • Screen Resolution must be 1024x768 or higher.
    Administrator level account permissions – students should only login as the administrator when running updates to reduce risk of viruses.

  • Tablet devices do NOT satisfy the incoming MPH student computer requirement.

  • Netbooks do NOT satisfy the incoming MPH student computer requirement

  • Pre-boot authentication (PBA)

  • Intel vPro technology enabled; TPM 1.2 (Bitlocker compatible)
    Strong login passwords

  • Hardware encrypted USB keys as well as external drives

  • Automatic backup utility for all files

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.

  • Biostatistics – No specific computing requirements. Please contact Justine Herrera (jh2477 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Environmental Health Sciences – Students must purchase the STATA statistical software. GIS Requirements: This class requires a laptop computer with Windows 7 or 8 with a minimum of 2GB RAM (4GB is preferable). Mac computers may be used, but will require additional set-up and 100GB of free space. MacBooks with Retina displays do not work. Many students with Mac computers elect to use Parallels, which is an additional $50. Loner laptops will not be allowed as a substitute for your own personal laptop. Please contact Nina Kulacki (ninakulacki [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions. For questions regarding STATA purchase, students may contact Dr. Julie Herbstman (jh2678 [at] cumc.columbia.edu). Please note, EHS students using a Mac and taking Public Health GIS will need to use Parallel.

  • Epidemiology - No specific computing requirements. Epidemiology require SAS 9.4, an e-mail will be sent, from the Department, in the early fall with information about SAS installation options. Please contact Liliane Zaretsky (lz3 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • General Public Health – No specific computing requirements. Please contact Mrinalini Tavag (mt2947 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Health Policy and Management - No specific computing requirements, however students will be required to purchase specific software. MPH students should contact Debra Osinsky (do79 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Population and Family Health – No specific computing requirements. Please contact Courtney Hooper (clh2155 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Sociomedical Sciences - No specific computing requirements. SPSS software license is recommended. Please contact Andrea Constancio (ac995 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

 

DEPARTMENT-BASED REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING EXECUTIVE MPH FOR HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT STUDENTS

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

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

  • Biostatistics – Laptops required for entering MS, PhD, and DrPH students in Biostatistics. Same requirements as Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, above. Please contact Justine Herrera (jh2477 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions..

  • Environmental Health Sciences – It is highly recommended that DrPH and PhD students in EHS purchase laptops in accordance with the requirements for the Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, listed above. Please contact Nina Kulacki (ninakulacki [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Epidemiology - Laptops required for entering MS, PhD, and DrPH students in Epidemiology. Same requirements as Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, above. Epidemiology requires SAS 9.4, an e-mail will be sent, from the Department, in the early fall with information about SAS installation options. Please contact Liliane Zaretsky (lz3 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

  • Health Policy and Management – Incoming MHA student are required to purchase laptops. No specific computing requirements, however students will be required to purchase specific software. MHA students should contact Marni Selman (mbs2206 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.
  • Population and Family Health – No specific computing requirements. Please contact Courtney Hooper (clh2155 [at] cumc.columbia.edu]) with additional questions.

  • Sociomedical Sciences – It is highly recommended that MS, DrPH and PhD students in SMS purchase laptops in accordance with the requirements for the Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, listed above. Please contact Andrea Constancio (ac995 [at] cumc.columbia.edu) with additional questions.

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: http://cuit.columbia.edu/computer-discounts. 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: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/it/getting_started/comppurch.html.

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: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/it/getting_help/software.html.

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.