Carnegie Mellon University

Pre-College Tech Quick Start

Welcome, Pre-College Students! Before starting your Pre-College session, make sure these top tech resources are in place. Get your tech ready following our guidelines below and explore the computing resources available to you.

Essentials Checklist

Before your session begins, review:

The Right Computer

Always check with your program director or instructor to learn:

  1. If you need a personal laptop for your course.
  2. The hardware and software specifications that are required to complete the coursework.

Some programs/courses do not require you to bring a laptop to class, and you can visit university computer labs as needed. But if you enroll in a program/course that does require a personal laptop, the CMU Tech Store can assist you with purchasing one. 

If you need a personal laptop and your program director or instructor does not specify requirements, we recommend a Mac or PC that meets the specifications listed below.

Recommended OS macOS 11 (Big Sur) or macOS 12 (Monterey)
Processor* Any Intel or Apple Silicon (M1, M1 Pro, etc.)
Hard Drive 512 GB SSD

*Note: Mac computers with an Apple Silicon (M1) processor are unable to run Windows software through Boot Camp or VMware Fusion. If you have an M1 Mac, you can still access supported applications through Virtual Andrew.

Processor Core i5 2.4 GHz
Hard Drive 512 GB SSD

A Secure Device

If you are using a personal laptopupdate your operating system, apps, and antivirus software. It's essential to secure your computer and mobile device before connecting to shared CMU resources.

Connect to Campus Internet

Our campus wireless networks provide all the bandwidth you need. 

  • Use CMU-SECURE to connect your computer or phone on campus.
  • Use CMU-DEVICE to connect your smart devices, including gaming systems, smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home, and Smart TVs. 

Find outdoor Wi-Fi coverage using our mapIf you experience Wi-Fi issues indoors, contact our Help Center.

How to Connect to Wireless

Access to Email

Your email address is

Check your CMU Google Mail regularly for official university messages and updates from your instructors. You can read your email using your preferred browser or mobile app.

Email basics

Find On-Campus Tech

printerPrinters, Copiers, and Scanners

Install campus printers on your computer or mobile device to print to many locations on campus. Copiers and scanners are available at select locationsFind the one closest to you using our map.

How to Print to Campus Printers

computerlab1.svgComputer Labs

Windows, Mac, and Linux computer labs are available across campus and offer extensive software selections. All computer labs are available for drop-in use 24/7 without an appointment unless reserved. Find the lab closest to you using our map.

Computer Labs

Web Stations

For on-the-go access to email, a printer, or a web browser, use one of the many convenient Web Station computers on campus. Find the web station closest to you using our map.

Web Stations

Collaborate with your Class

Share Files

Use Google Drive or Box to share, store and collaborate on files. Visit our File Storage Comparison page to determine which option is best for you.

File Storage Comparison

Chat with your Group

Want to send direct messages to a person or a small group? Try Google Chat. You can communicate with people throughout CMU using a browser or the mobile app. 

Google Chat

Meet up Virtually

Collaborate virtually using CMU Zoom or Google Meet. Visit our Web Conferencing Comparison page to determine which option is best for you.

Web Conferencing Comparison

Software Options

Download Software

Many software programs are available for free during your Pre-College sessionVisit our Software Catalog to review the full list.

Note: Any software you install must be uninstalled once your Pre-College session ends.

Software Catalog

Virtual Andrew

Use Virtual Andrew for remote access to a number of software titles for your Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android devices. This is a great option when software is unavailable for download or cannot be run on your personal computer due to hardware or licensing limitations. 

Virtual Andrew

Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace for Education's suite of tools can be accessed through a browser, making them the perfect option for any device.

We're Here for You!

homecomputer300x-300.svgShare with Parents

Does your parent need access to your grades or billing? Grant them access to your account via My Plaid Student by logging in to Student Information Online (SIO).


News and More

Stay up to date on tech upgrades and tips with our feature news. Follow the hashtag #TechLifeCMU on YouTube and Instagram for our latest posts.

View the status of services you use daily, like wireless, email and file storage.

Self-Service Help

Have a tech question? Check out the Computing Services website for detailed instructions on all of the resources you use.

Still have questions? Contact our Help Center at or 412-268-4357 (HELP), Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.