Beginning in Fall of 2013, Manship School of Mass Communication graduate students and undergraduate students declaring a Major or Minor in Mass Communication or Minor in Visual Communication or Political Communication are required to have their own wireless Internet access laptop computer upon entering the first Mass Communication class. Detailed laptop specifications can be found in this link.
Digital Media are changing mass communication in everyday life and in the industries that the Manship School serves. In 2010, the Manship School began the “Digital Media Initiative” (DMI) charged with infusing digital into the current curriculum. As a result, in fall 2013, we will launch a new, reinvigorated curriculum. Each of the four areas incorporates digital-content creation in almost every class. The laptop requirement will allow our students to succeed from their first Manship writing assignments to their senior capstone and digital portfolios. Our professions tell stories, sell products, create awareness, champion democracy and build relationships via mass communication. Digital media at our students’ fingertips are foremost to these endeavors and demand computer proficiency. We have found that most students are already coming to college with a laptop. It has become a standard school supply such as pen and paper. The requirement is another step toward ensuring our students graduate with skills that serve our industries in an evolving digital media landscape.
Beginning in Fall 2013, we will not have computers in the writing and open labs. Students will instead find empty desks and power strips to plug in their own laptops. All lab areas will continue to have wireless Internet service and wireless printing.
Below we have outlined the basics for meeting the school’s laptop requirement.
- Each year, the school will post online minimum computer requirements for all entering freshmen and grad students. The requirements will include a PC and a Mac version. A wireless laptop with Microsoft Office or Mac Pages is standard.
- Adobe Creative Suite is also required for majors and MC and VC minors. Other class-specific software may be required. For example, broadcast students will be required to purchase Edius Neo for video editing.
- The minimum laptop configuration (with Word/Pages & Adobe CS) ranges from $1,250 (PC) to $1,150 (Mac).
- The minimum laptop requirements will be sufficient for all four years. However, different students have different needs and many take more than four years to graduate. Buying the minimum requirements now, with plans to upgrade later, may be a prudent path.
Q: Who will be required to have a laptop?
A: Graduate students and Undergraduate Pre-majors, Majors and Minors. If you declare a MC major as an entering freshman, the requirement applies to you. If you declare a minor in MC, Visual Communication, or Political Communication the requirement applies to you.
Q: When will the requirement take effect?
A: Fall 2013
Q: What kind of laptop will be required?
A: Specifications for both PCs and Macs are on our website (click here for details)
Q: What software is required?
A: MS Word for Mac or PC (upon first day of MC2010)
- Adobe Creative Suite (upon first day of MC2015)
- Edius Neo (upon first day of MC3104; only Journalism students will be required to have
- Edius, but we will encourage all students to purchase this software for video editing)
- Other software may be required that is class-specific
Q: What about cost?
A: Approximately $800 for a PC (Fall 2011 estimate); Approximately $1,700 for a Mac (Fall 2011 estimate, depends on screen size). MS Word or Mac Pages usually comes standard with a new machine. However, MS Word for Mac or PC is also available free through TigerWare. Adobe Creative Suite’s education cost is $449 (non-student is $1,899). Edius Neo is $100.
Q: Would financial aid be available for computers and software?
A: Financial aid could potentially cover the cost of a laptop if the student had sufficient funds to pay for the laptop after all other fees were paid for such as tuition and housing. An appointment with Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, which is aware that Mass Communication has this requirement, is recommended.
Q: Does the software run on both Mac and PC?
A: Yes and no. Adobe CS works on both. Edius is PC only. Students with Macs can run a dual operating system or purchase Final Cut. Final Cut is more expensive at $300 (cost without an educational discount).
Q: What happens if I have problems with my laptop?
A: We recommend purchasing a laptop protection plan through a vendor that protects again unforeseen problems, loss or damage. If the laptop needs to be repaired, students can use one of the university’s public-access labs while their laptop is out of commission. Additionally, the library has a laptop rental program and a computer help desk.
Q: Can laptops print wirelessly to copy machines/printers?
A: Yes. First, the university sets aside a week at the beginning of the semester where students can bring laptops in and get help with connecting to LSU Secure. Secondly, we will host a Manship “computer orientation” where students can come in on set days and times and get connected to the Internet and set up to wirelessly print.
Please go to Journalism 211 for help and additional information.