Student Computing Policies and Information

Laptop Ownership Requirements

All students at the School of Nursing are required to own a MacBook** or Windows laptop** to bring to class, to interact remotely with faculty and student teams (including via voice and video), and, as needed, take to clinical placements.  The laptop must meet the following functional requirements:

  • be in good working order at all times
  • be no more than five years of age (four years of age recommended) at any time during your program of study
  • have a functional camera and microphone
  • have a working battery capable of charging to at least 80% of full charge
  • be able to connect to the UVA Facuty/Staff/Student wireless infrastructure
  • have a University-supported, English-language OS X or Windows operating system installed.  Some software applications that you may need to use on your laptop do not support non-English operating systems
  • have functional, up-to-date anti-virus software installed, be free of malware, and be free of other applications and services that may impede the use of the laptop for academic work or which may compromise the University network.  The recommended anti-virus/anti-malware software for Windows is Windows Defender and for Macs is Gatekeeper, both pre-installed with modern versions of the operating systems
  • be continuously patched with all critical and important updates for the operating system and all installed applications
  • have an activated encrypting file system: FileVault on Macs; BitLocker for Windows

BitLocker (Windows only) requires a laptop with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip (this must be present at time of purchase):

  • The following operating system editions of Windows 10 offer BitLocker: Education, Pro, and Enterprise editions.  Windows 10 Home edition does not support BitLocker encryption.  BitLocker is a requirement; other whole disk encryption products may present performance issues or technical challenges
  • If you are considering a Microsoft Surface, the easiest option is to purchase a business edition machine (this will come with Windows 10 Pro).  Alternately, you may upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro for $99

**The laptop must be a MacBook series (MacBook Air or MacBook Pro) or traditional Windows laptop or Microsoft Surface with keyboard or keyboard attachment.  Touch model Windows laptops and the Microsoft Surface are acceptable provided they have an attachable keyboard.  Tablet computers (such as iPads and Chromebooks) do not meet the laptop requirement because of incompatibilities with some software applications.  The School's recommended laptop models are MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, and Microsoft Surfaces (business editions).

Our spring 2020 survey of currently enrolled nursing students indicated that 80% of undergraduates and 65% of graduate students owned a Macbook.  MacBooks most easily satisfy the technical requirements listed above.  Windows laptops also are supported, provided all of the criteria listed above are satisfied; Microsoft Surfaces (business editions) most easily satisfy the technical requirements listed.  If you never have used a MacBook computer before, please consider your tolerance for learning something new and different before making a purchase decision.

Software Available to Students

The University offers select, site-licensed software, to students.

Public printers

Public, fee-based printers and copiers are available in libraries across Grounds.

Computing at Virginia (CAV) Laptop Purchase Option

The CAV Program offers pre-configured, recommended laptops for on-Grounds delivery.  The CAV Program also offers enhanced warranty services, including accidental damage insurance, an on-Grounds repair depot, and free loaner for use when your laptop is in the repair depot.

Please note: you are not required to own any of the specific brands and models listed at the CAV Program Website, or to purchase from the Cav Program or Cavalier Computers; we provide this information for your consideration only.

Financial Assistance

Students with financial aid awards who wish to apply financial aid funds toward the purchase of a laptop may obtain a written quote for a laptop purchase (from the CAV Program or another vendor), and then present the quote to your financial aid counselor in order to obtain aid distribution to purchase a laptop. Contact your financial aid counselor or Student Financial Services at (434) 982-6000 for further information and assistance.

Contacts for Questions and Further Information

Students with specific questions about computer ownership should address those questions to your School of Nursing program manager or program director.  Names and contact information for the program managers are available from the School of Nursing’s Website.

Technical Support

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk provides technical support to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact the Help Desk at (434) 924-4357 or (866) 469-4866, or from the ITS Help Desk Website.

The School of Nursing’s technical staff, depending upon staffing availability and the required expertise, may offer limited support.  School technical staff cannot assist with issues that require more than a nominal amount of time (typically 15 minutes) to resolve. 

THE SCHOOL EXPECTS STUDENTS TO KEEP THEIR PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES IN GOOD WORKING ORDER, INCLUDING FREE OF VIRUSES AND MALWARE.  STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO INSTALL CURRENT CRITICAL AND URGENT OPERATING SYSTEM AND SOFTWARE PATCHES ON THEIR COMPUTING DEVICES.  STUDENTS, PROACTIVELY, MUST ENSURE THE PROTECTION AND BACKUP OF THEIR DATA (DATA LOSS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME).  STUDENTS SHOULD UTILIZE APPROVED CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES SUCH AS UVABOX OR ONEDRIVE (WHEN AVAILABLE) FOR DATA STORAGE PURPOSES. BY SEEKING TECHNICAL SUPPORT FROM UNIVERSITY STAFF, STUDENTS ABSOLVE THE UNIVERSITY OF ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR DATA LOSS, SYSTEM FAILURE, OR DEVICE LOSS THAT MAY OCCUR DURING THE COURSE OF RECEIVING TECHNICAL SUPPORT.

File Storage

The University offers UVA Box, a cloud-based file storage and collaboration service, to students.  Students in the near future will be offered OneDrive.  Students are encouraged to utilize Box or OneDrive (when available) for storage of all academic work.  STUDENTS MUST NOT STORE PROTECTED HEALTH IDENTIFIERS (PHI) ON THEIR COMPUTING DEVICES OR IN ANY ONLINE FILE STORAGE SERVICE.

Data Security

The collection, storage, and transport (including emailing) of data containing Personal Health Identifiers (PHI) and other highly sensitive information is restricted, requires pre-authorization, and requires a data security plan.

Students (most typically DNP and PhD students) planning to collect or analyze highly sensitive data must consult with School of Nursing technical staff in McLeod 3014 to obtain the necessary approvals, access privileges, and to develop a data security plan. UVA Box is not approved for storage of PHI or highly sensitive data.