Laptop Requirements

The Masters of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) Program requires extensive computing and, therefore, a laptop with suitable capabilities. You are making a significant investment in your education by pursuing a business analytics degree and so it is wise to support that investment by ensuring that your computer’s capabilities permit you to complete all coursework in a timely fashion with high quality results.  This Laptop Requirements Document gives guidance to ensure that your existing computer or a new computer that you may purchase will enable your success in the MSBA Program.  Requirements for a laptop computer are outlined later in this document, but these points summarize the general content of this document:

  • Please pay close attention to the laptop requirements: a computer that does not meet the requirements will either run slow or not at all. 
  • Some software used in the MSBA program will run only on a Windows operating system, and so it is mandatory to run a Microsoft Windows operating system on your laptop. 
  • We strongly recommend a laptop whose native operating system is Windows, although you may use a Mac laptop under specific configurations that are listed in the Mac section of the laptop requirements.
  • If your computer is more than three years old, then we recommend that you replace it even if it might satisfy the requirements in the table below: older computers tend to slow down which will compromise your ability to do coursework at a reasonable pace.
  • To eliminate possible security and software conflicts, it is highly recommended that your Windows environment be dedicated for Mason School coursework only, and not also used for personal or business purposes. 
  • Keep in mind that your computer will execute programs faster if your processor is faster and has more cores, and as RAM is increased, both of which will allow you to complete your coursework more efficiently and with higher quality solutions (by permitting more improvement iterations).
  • Note that Home and Student versions of Windows operating systems are not permitted.  The Professional version of Windows will be available to you through William & Mary once you are admitted and have submitted a deposit with your intention to enroll.
The MSBA Program is accredited by AACSB and SACSCOC.