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  • Productive & Engaged Learning Environments - The amount and variety of digital work is continually increasing over time. This policy fosters a strong learning environment by ensuring that each student has the digital tools that they need at the studio desk and in the classroom.
  • Competent and Self-Sufficient Graduates - The increasing role of digital technologies in all aspects of professional and academic life means that technological competency and self-sufficiency will likely be necessary for the success of our graduates. This policy places ownership and responsibility for their personal computing environment into the hands of the student so that they can develop the skills, habits, and proficiencies that they will need to navigate the technological aspects of their future.


Students can submit a request to Student Financial Services for a one-time $4,000 increase in the estimated cost of attendance to cover computer and software purchases. Details at: Student Computer Funding - Financial Aid Process.

Design Students: 

Undergraduate students enrolled in the B.Arch, BSAS, and BSID programs and graduate students enrolled in the M.Arch, MLA, MID, SD, UD, and HP programs are required to have a laptop computer and legally licensed CAD, presentation, and productivity software for use in their courses and studios. Core courses in these degree programs may include software packages in their syllabi that are required for the student to purchase and install on their computers.

Non-Design Students: 

Students enrolled in a degree program that does not have a studio component are required to have a computer, but have the option to meet the requirement with a desktop or laptop. Core courses in these degree programs may include software packages in their syllabi that are required for the student to purchase and install on their computers. 


The hardware requirements are functional. Students are required to provide hardware capable of running any software required by their program or syllabi. The School of Architecture Technology staff will provide annually updated hardware recommendations for design and non-design students to aid students in selecting appropriate hardware.


Information on pricing and availability of all software packages can be found in Software Purchasing Resources.


UTSOA requires that each design student provides on his or her required laptop computer the following types of legally licensed software:

  1. CAD Software - Computer Aided Design Software
  2. Presentation Software - Imaging, Desktop, and Web Publishing
  3. Productivity Software - Word Processing, Spreadsheet, & Digital Presentation

Due to the necessary intersection between specific software applications and the curriculum of core design courses, the School of Architecture currently mandates the following software applications to fulfill the requirements above.

Required Software Applications by Type

CAD Software

Autodesk Revit* (Windows-Only)
Autodesk AutoCAD
Rhino (Windows-Only)

Presentation Software

Adobe Creative Cloud
(Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro)

Productivity Software

Microsoft Office (or compatible)
(Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

* Students in the Landscape Architecture Program are currently not using Revit.

In addition to the required software, there are other common applications which the student may purchase, demo, or use throughout their academic career, some of these are listed below.

Software Applications by Type Required in Other Courses

CAD Software


Rendering Software

Autodesk 3DS Max (Windows-Only)
V-Ray for Rhino (Windows-Only)
V-Ray for 3DS Max (Windows-Only)

GIS Software

ArcGIS (Windows-Only)

Energy Analysis

Energy Plus & Open Studio
EQuest (Windows-Only)


The software requirements for non-design students are handled on a course-by-course basis.

General Required Software for Non-Design Students

Microsoft Office (or compatible)

Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentation

Adobe Acrobat Pro or equvalent (e.g. Bluebeam Revu)

Create PDF files from other applications, required for compatibility with SOA large format plotting system.

Required Core Curriculum Software & Program for Non-Design Students

ArcGIS (Windows-Only)


Sketchup, EnergyPlus, OpenStudio


EQuest (Windows-Only)