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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

Computer requirements for WGU students.

Technology readiness is critical to students’ success in the WGU online learning environment. WGU is a 100% Bring Your Own Device university and, while technology products must meet required technical specifications, students are able to select technology products based on preference. 

Students should use the following technical requirements to guide their selection of a technology package for use during their academic program at WGU. Systems purchased new within the past two years will typically come with the following recommended features. Students can check technical readiness of their computer system by using the WGU System Check tool to ensure they meet university requirements.

Hardware Requirements

To use WGU's online systems, a student must have a computer with the following: 

  • 2 GHz processor or faster
  • High-speed internet connection with minimum upload and download speeds of 3 Mbps
  • 4 GB RAM or greater
  • 64 GB system storage or larger
  • Built-in or external speakers. Hard-wired or Bluetooth speakers are acceptable.

Note: Online Proctored Assessments will require 3 Mbps internet connection.

Supported operating system(s)

  • Windows 7 or higher* (College of Business undergraduates must have Windows 10 or higher)
  • MacOS 10.13 or higher

*Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 8. If you are currently using Windows 8, a free upgrade to 8.1 is available.

Unsupported operating system(s)

  •  Chrome OS
  •  Linux
  •  Unix

Note: Google Chromebooks, tablets (Nexus, iPad, Tab, Note, etc.), Windows 10 S or Surface RT, smartphones, Linux, and virtual machines are not allowed during online proctoring for objective assessments.

Software Requirements

  • Microsoft Office 2016 or 365; using the license and software suite provisioned by WGU to all students.*
  • We recommend you have an up-to-date antivirus program

* WGU Office 365 licensing will require activation by following steps listed under "First time access to your WGU student Office 365 account" found in the Microsoft Office 365 for WGU Students handbook article.

Supported browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari        

Multimedia apps or plug-ins

  • Adobe Reader or PDF reader of choice
  • Adobe AIR

Note: WGU strongly encourages up-to-date browser versions which incorporates security fixes and newer technologies, resulting in a better user experience. 


External Webcam Minimum Specifications

New or readmitted students beginning their programs on October 1, 2019 or later are required to obtain an external webcam that meets the following technical specifications. If you received a webcam from WGU, prior to October 1, 2019, you will still be able to use that webcam, or a different external webcam that meets the specifications below. 

Note: A laptop's integrated camera does not meet these requirements. Webcams must be external and elevated to achieve required viewing angle.

Technical Specifications:

  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Minimum Resolution: HD 720p
    Note: The webcam recommendations listed on this page meet or exceed the minimum resolution. For example, options with HD 1080p and 720p image resolution possess functionality to exceed the minimum.
  • Viewing Angle: 70 degrees or higher
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Focus: Automatic or Manual
  • Microphone: Integrated microphone
  • Imaging Distance: 5 cm to infinity
  • Video Format: Color
  • Minimum Height of Camera (using gooseneck or tripod): 8 inches

Webcams

Students can select technology products based on preference, but the selection must meet the requirements listed above. Below is a list of sample webcams and accessories that meet required specifications (all links are to the manufacturers' websites, and ordering goes directly through the outside company): 

  • Webcam 1000
    This webcam has been manufactured exclusively to meet WGU technical specifications. It is an all-in-one package and includes a goose neck which meets the requirements for an elevated camera. No additional accessories such as a tripod are required.
  • Logitech HD Laptop Webcam C615
    This webcam requires the use of a tripod to elevate the camera in order to meet requirements. See below for a tripod sample that can be purchased to meet requirements to elevate. 
  • Logitech C920S Pro HD Webcam
    This webcam requires the use of a tripod to elevate the camera in order to meet requirements. See below for a tripod sample that can be purchased to meet requirements to elevate. 

Additional System Requirements for Online Proctored (OLP) Assessments:

  • USB port or USB compatible dongle adapter  
  • WIN 7 or Higher/Mac OS 10.11 or Higher   
  • Hard Drive Remaining Space ≥20MB   
  • Internal Storage ≥32MB  

Webcam Tripod

To ensure the integrity of the assessment experience, webcams must be elevated 8 inches above the desktop to allow online proctors a view of a student’s workspace and surrounding environment. If the webcam selected doesn’t include an elevated option, a tripod is required for use with the webcam to meet technical requirements for proctored assessments.

Additional Accessories

To ensure technology readiness, adapters/dongles may be required to connect an external webcam to computer. Below is an example of the type of adaptors that may be helpful. Make sure your equipment hook ups are compatible with your computer ports.


Technology Recommendations and Additional Software

As a WGU student, you are required to use a number of third-party learning resources. System requirements for these resources vary widely by program and assessment and may differ greatly from those listed above. Information Technology students, in particular, may need to install specific applications that require a more powerful computer or a specific operating system. If you're concerned that your computer may not meet the minimum requirements for any third-party learning resource or specific application in your degree program, contact Student Services or the Service Desk for more information.

If you have a question about the above requirements, please contact the WGU Service Desk.