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  • Productive & Engaged Learning Environments - The amount and variety of digital work are 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.



You initiate the request for the adjustment in the semester you wish to purchase the computer. 

  1. Complete the Cost of Attendance Form
  2. Answer this question: Are you in the School of Architecture? ▢ Yes  ▢ No   
    1. Disregard the $2,500 amount in the question. When you answer yes, Texas One Stop will adjust for the SOA amount.
  3. Email the form to Texas One Stop
    1. Financial Aid staff will double-check that you're in the School of Architecture and whether you have ever received the increase in cost of attendance for the computer purchase.
    2. Financial Aid will award extra aid for the present or upcoming term. This extra aid is usually in the form of federal student loans or parent loans.
  4. If you have any questions call Texas One-Stop (512) 232-6988 (myUT).


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. In addition to the minimum and recommended components, the Technology staff also offers a detailed page of recommended models and how to purchase them.


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

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.

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)
or Affinity Suite (Photo, Designer, Publisher)

Productivity Software

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

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)

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

General Required Software for Non-Design Students

Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentation

Microsoft Office (or compatible)

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

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

Required Core Curriculum Software & Program for Non-Design Students



ArcGIS (Windows-Only)


Sketchup, EnergyPlus, OpenStudio


EQuest (Windows-Only)




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