Help! I'm Getting a New Computer

Rice departments usually purchase computers for their faculty and staff. Only a few departments provide computers for their graduate students; check with your department's graduate student coordinator for details.  Undergraduates are not required to bring a computer to Rice, but most of the students bring a laptop and a mobile device like a smart phone or a tablet or pad. 

Purchasing Hardware

  • Rice faculty and staff, begin the purchasing process by contacting the IT Help Desk (713.348.4357 or to determine which type of computer will meet your needs.
  • Graduate and Undergraduate students, see the  list of minimum specifications (spec list) before you buy a personal computer to use at Rice. 
  • Faculty, staff and students may be eligible for Rice discounts on computers and software purchased with a personal credit card (not a Rice purchasing card or Rice fund/org).  Check with the approved vendors in the  Technology Marketplace web site; if you need a code to get the Rice discount, it will be listed by the vendor's name.

Other Items

  • To connect to the network cable jacks in the dorm rooms, you will need an Ethernet cable (25 feet is an adequate length). Yes, there is a wireless network (802.11 a/b/g/n), but in peak traffic times, your data will flow much faster over the wired network.
  • A personal printer is recommended for students for the sake of convenience. Each college computer lab, plus the labs in Fondren Library and Mudd Lab, have printers. Printing costs 6¢ per page (black and white), but paper disappears quickly.
  • Please bring a USB flash drive, thumb drive or other external hard drive to campus to facilitate backups and file transfers.Further questions can be directed to