Are Mac's prohibited in any colleges?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by asherman13, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. asherman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Does anybody know if Mac's are prohibited at any colleges? I guess I'm really asking if any colleges, specifically schools of engineering or whatnot, require you to use a PC or boot Windows.

    I was about to buy a MacBook Pro with my "admitted" discount at my local Apple Store (I found out today that I got into Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo for a major in Computer Engineering), but my dad said that some places might make me get a PC, so it would be a waste of money (I hope not...).

    I'm applying to:

    Cal Poly SLO (admitted)
    University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Davis)
    Northwestern University
    George Washington University (and the Integrated Engineering and Law Program, or IELP)

    Anybody know about this?

    Thanks for your help in advance; I greatly appreciate it.
  2. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I really don't think that some colleges have prohibited the use of Mac (that's and just kidding)

    Maybe there are some colleges that recommend you to use a PC because of the programs you are going to use. Some programs are only available for PC. Especially those of Engineering.

    About the specific Universities you ask for, I really don't know. But if they gave you discount is because they do accept Mac. At least that's what I think.

    Edit: check what programs you are going to be using, then you can make a better decision. And if the programs only work on PC, you can always buy a Mac desktop, if what you want is Mac.
  3. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    A lot of schools will require Office indirectly -- ie, your teacher will say "Send your essays to me in .doc format..." but that's as bad as I've had it -- no problem since there's Office for Mac.

    Engineering/programming are different, though. I'd say the odds might be very high that they'd require Windows due to programs like AutoCAD not running on OS X...

    But don't hold off on that Mac yet. I'm sure that by the time you start school, you'll be able to either dual-boot or run Windows in a VM at little or no performance cost. Or, if all else fails, buy a PC off eBay *and* buy the Mac.

    The waste of money is nothing compared to the waste of time running an OS that doesn't suit you. If you want a Mac and think it's the thing for you, then buy it. Anything else will be pure frustration.
  4. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
  5. calebjohnston macrumors 68000


    Jan 24, 2006
    keep it simple. ask the school is the programs you'll need to use are purely windows-based or if they have mac versions too. If they do, go mac. If not, go windows and get yourself some good virus protection.

    Or.. a 12" iBook and a cheap windows laptop :). mmm
  6. nsknike macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2005
    I go to Cal Poly (SLO). I'm not in the engineering department, but I know that getting on Cal Poly's network is much easier with a Mac than it is with a PC. All my friends had to get their computer registered before they could go online and use wifi. Also if you use a PC you must update your antiviruse everytime you log on. With my Mac all I did was plug in or set up a new wifi account and was able to use it. Poly also gives you discounts.

    Edit: Also if you are already admitted to Poly, then you must have done early registration to have found out by now. And doesn't that mean that you have to go? Last year I did early registration and I had to go.
  7. thegreatunknown macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2006
    from personal experience research engineers don't use PC's!!! Linux/UNIX is for programming and the best for speed/compilers etc. Any major research university (many of which you are applying to) will tell stay away from M$.

    if you need to know... went to grad. school in ME at Duke, undergrad. physics at Wittenberg University.

    will tell you this much though... the schools you talk about are only well known for their research not the teachers abilities. its something to think about...
  8. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    Call all the schools and find out for yourself. Dont get something and find out later it will be of no use to you.
  9. PharmD macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2005
    Oregon Coast
    Be sure you talk to unbiased sources though. When I was interviewing at my pharmacy school, the IT department guys told me that I would have a harder time using a mac over a PC. I actually sold my PB and bought their laptop (on the plus side I got my iMac with the money).

    Turns out they were flat out lying and just trying to sell me a computer. I kept seeing more and more students with macs who told me how much easier it was to log on the wifi etc. Within a week I had sold that POC and bought me an iBook and have never regretted it.
  10. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    give it 2 months and we'll know how to boot windows (xp or vista we dont know) on the intel machines. theres actually a reward for the person who makes it work, so it'll happen some time. then there wont be any problem.

    (actually theres speculation that the reward has slowed the process because otherwise hackers would collaborate and it would be an open source hack)
  11. welnoan macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2005
    They shouldn't

    I was transiently a computer science major at Cal Poly SLO. Lots of people use Macs in those majors, how easy it was on a day to day basis I don't know. Weather or not it will be an ideal for your major remains to be seen, especially at the rate the computer major revise their curriculm at SLO. I would wait to see what you need for the school you goto. Sometimes there could be a programming class or some other class that might perfer you to run a particular set of software, and definately the being one of the computer development major classes definately seemed to be aimed with one set of software in mind (could be problematic given you can't run Virtual PC and windows isn't easy to boot on a MacBook yet.) I would highly reccomend talking to the department (not the school bookstore) you are admitted to and ask for a set of reccomended specs for computers, to see if you need a PC based laptop.

    Places like Poly have a great set of computer labs that you can do what you can't do on your laptop.

    IF I was in your position I would wait till you get to your school and can ask. 2 benefits come from this: 1) you don't have to worry about your computer not being what you wanted for school. 2) you will get a computer that is 8-9 months newer which means maybe a new revision and other cool features that could be tacked on, so your machine might not show its age so quickly.

    Congrats on the acceptance by the way.
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I'm an electrical engineering major, and have taken several CE classes (they're closely related of course). The two computers that I own and use are both Macs. I do occasionally use Windows and UNIX computers on campus because that's what the engineering labs have.

    I have no problems with my Mac. I have good SPICE software (MI-SUGAR) and Matlab, on my PowerBook. Some software we use (Cadence) is UNIX only, so I use that on the labs, or else use it via SSH from home. SSH is much easier with a Mac than a PC. Most of my friends won't bother figuring out how to do SSH with a Windows machine. The only software I have had some trouble with is a Verilog IDE. There are one or two out there for the Mac, but they're not great. Enough to compile Verilog and view waveforms, but certainly not the kind of thing that could be a commercial product. I can nearly guarantee that you're going to need Verilog or VHDL (or both) for quite a few of your CE classes. That may be the biggest sticky point for you. Of course, I have a feeling that very soon we'll see virtual machine software for Intel Macs that will let you run Windows and Linux within Mac OS X.

    Of course for general computer stuff like MS Office, web browsing, email, etc, you'll do just great with a Mac.

    Bottom line, you should be fine with a Mac, although you may have to occasionally search around for alternatives to what is being used by the teacher and the majority of other students. In some cases, you may be forced to use school lab computers for some projects. That will happen whether you have a Windows machine or a Mac, because some software is expensive enough that only the school can afford it.
  13. chris y. macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2006
    los angeles, ca
    im in my last year at ucla and over the years ive met lots of people that use powerbooks/ibooks for comp sci classes. Im not sure what programs they were specifically using b/c im a psychobio major but overall they seemed happy with their apples.
  14. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    For some reason the results started coming out. Early Decision (I have a friend who did that) go their results by Dec. 31, and the rest of us have been getting them starting around Friday.

    Thanks for all the help, everybody. I think I'm gonna go with the MacBook Pro after talking to the schools and making sure I don't need a PC. Anybody have anything else to add?
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I just downloaded a client to my friend's computer and used that to get on my PB. Unless you want to run an SSH server on windows, I found this a while back. I have no idea if it works well or not.
  16. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I'm suprised how many people on here go to Cal Poly...I'm a Social Science major there, and my powerbook works great for my major and connects to all the wifi access points when many of my window users friends struggle with their anti-virus and just connecting to the internet.
  17. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Most universities have information on student-owned computers on their web sites (or the websites of their campus information technology dept.) somewhere. Usually there is an "Information for current students" link on the home page, which will lead you to the campus computer support people.

    For example

    Cal Poly, Workstation Purchasing

    UC Berkeley Computing & Communications

    Often, a given department will have specific recommendations for its students. Music majors might need different software than architecture majors or math majors.

    Even if a school requires some software that won't work on a Mac, it will probably have an on-campus cluster with PCs or Suns that students can use. It's not convenient, but it should work if you have, say, one assignment that requires Pro/Engineer or something.
  18. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    Some law schools require students to use specific exam-taking software that only runs under Windows. Not really relevant to the OP, but I just thought I'd throw it out there...
  19. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    there are a few apps on my uni course, such as statgraphics and iolis law courseware, that only run on windows. its not really a problem for me, since everone on our course cant use the software on their own computers without purchase, so everyone uses the labs anyway.

    my mac has never let me down in Uni, especially when a virus spread all over the campus! people's windows computers that were detected to have a virus on them were locked out of the net.


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