Student-Owned Computing: Required Software

Don’t worry about specific engineering software before you arrive on campus; you’ll find out what you need for each class as you go. As you might expect, software used in each department within the College varies greatly. There are a couple pieces of software, however, that are essential for a successful career here at NC State.

Microsoft Office

An office productivity suite of tools is critical to your success as a student. Engineering students regularly compose papers and lab reports, create presentations on research and findings, and build spreadsheets to perform calculations on sets of data.

MS Office is now free for all NC State students, faculty, and staff! Click here for more information.

What about Open Office?

All of our on-campus Linux labs run Open Office for office productivity software. Most companies in the engineering industry, however, use Microsoft Office for their day-to-day office productivity needs, so we have both Open Office and MS Office available for students to use. Feel free to use Open Office if you have a laptop running the Linux operating system, but if you have assignments that require Microsoft Office, our labs are available.

A Note for ISE and TE Majors using Macs

Both Industrial and Systems Engineering and Textile Engineering majors are required to take the ISE/TE 110 course in the second semester of their freshman year. This course relies heavily on the use of features only available in the Windows version of Microsoft Excel.

You can still use an Apple computer, but you will need to run Windows in some way. We have a bit more information on this on our “Macs in Engineering” page. Once this is set up, it’s easy to use.

Antivirus Software

Every computer that attaches to the NC State network is required to run approved antivirus software. The destructiveness of viruses can vary, but viruses are unpleasant to deal with overall and should be avoided.

Visit the NC State antivirus website to learn about suggested antivirus programs.

Remote Access Software

Many engineering software packages cannot be licensed or are too expensive for installation on student-owned computers. As a result, the College of Engineering makes many applications available remotely. This means that your laptop, when connected to a broadband Internet connection, can have nearly identical access to the same resources and applications as a lab computer. Depending on your computer platform (Windows, OS X, or Linux), you will need to download and use different software.

For more information, please visit our Remote Access page.

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