A new technology initiative is designed to equip UT Dallas students with the tools they need to excel academically. Beginning in fall 2021, incoming freshmen must have a laptop computer that meets University standards.

With a focus on student success, The University of Texas at Dallas is launching a new technology initiative for incoming freshman students.

Having a laptop computer that meets minimum University standards will be required of all freshmen beginning in fall 2021. By 2025, all undergraduate students at UT Dallas will be included with this new initiative.

“It’s all about fostering student success,” said Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost, vice president for academic affairs and the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership. “If students have the necessary technologies for learning at UT Dallas, they will be more likely to excel during their educational experiences here.”

While student computers and campus technology have long been important at UT Dallas, the increased use of technology for learning prompted the University to start the technology initiative.

Incoming freshmen may either confirm their current, personal laptop computers meet UT Dallas’ minimum computer specifications, or they can purchase one from the UTD Tech Store or from Dell.

“UT Dallas is known as one of the top academic institutions in the country. We hope this model will provide students with the tools they need to engage fully in every aspect of their coursework, while keeping UT Dallas at the forefront of learning technology.”

Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost

“We want to ensure each student has access to the necessary technology required to be successful at UT Dallas. The technology standard will provide our students with guidance and resources to help them select a solution that best fits their individual needs,” said Brian Dourty, associate vice president for information technology and chief technology officer.

Musselman said no student will be denied admission to UT Dallas or registration in a course based on an inability to afford a laptop computer. The University is developing programs to assist students in purchasing a laptop, details of which will be available soon.

“We are making a commitment that each student will have a computer, which will help ensure that all students are able to engage actively in the foremost educational opportunities at UT Dallas,” she said.

Sara Brennan, finance and economics senior and Student Government president, said consistent computer standards should be helpful to students entering the University for the first time.

Incoming freshmen may either confirm their current laptop computers meet UT Dallas’ minimum requirements, or they can buy one from the UTD Tech Store or Dell. The University also is developing programs to help students purchase a laptop.

“By providing minimum hardware and software requirements, students will be prepared for whatever they are studying at UT Dallas,” she said.

Dr. Jessica Murphy, dean of undergraduate education, said the UT Dallas student technology initiative is the first step in establishing a strong foundation to maximize learning by leveraging technology assets.

“Every student should have the opportunity to make the most of their world-class educational experience at our university,” said Murphy, who is also the Mary McDermott Cook Chair for Undergraduate Education and a professor of literature.

Several other U.S. universities with strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs have required technology standards in place. Musselman said it is important for UT Dallas and its students to be leaders in this area as well.

“UT Dallas is known as one of the top academic institutions in the country. We hope this model will provide students with the tools they need to engage fully in every aspect of their coursework, while keeping UT Dallas at the forefront of learning technology,” she said.