Computer Requirements

Pleasee view the most current schoolwide computing requirements below for:
  • Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH Students
  • Exectuve 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 SofTest. 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)
  • 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 2 through 5, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro
  • Operating System: iOS7 through iOS9. 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 SofTest 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 = 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
  • 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)
  • Intel vPro technology enabled; TPM 1.2 (Bitlocker compatible)

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.

Biostatistics

  • No specific computing requirements
  • Contact: jh2477 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Justine Herrera)

Environmental Health Sciences

  • Students must purchase the STATA statistical software
  • GIS Course Requirements: 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.
  • 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)

General Public Health

  • No specific computing requirements
  • Contact:jp3600 [at] cumc.columbia.edu ( Julianne Parker)

Health Policy and Management

  • Students will be required to purchase specific software
  • Contact:do79 [at] cumc.columbia.edu ( Debra Osinsky)

Population and Family Health

  • No specific computing requirements
  • Contact: clh2155 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Courtney Hooper)

Sociomedical Sciences

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

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

 

Biostatistics

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

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.
  • Contact: njk2128 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Nina Kulacki) for all other questions

Epidemiology

  • Laptops required for entering MS, PhD, and DrPH students in Epidemiology. Same requirements as Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH, above.
  • Contact: lz3 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Liliane Zaretsky)

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.
  • Contact:mbs2206 [at] cumc.columbia.edu ( Marni Selman)

Population and Family Health

  • No specific computing requirements
  • Contact: clh2155 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Courtney Hooper)

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.
  • Contact: ac995 [at] cumc.columbia.edu (Andrea Constancio)

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.