Program Overview

Computer Requirements for Berklee Students

Entering Students

Berklee College of Music requires all entering students to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer that meets certain standards established by the college. The Berklee Laptop Package has been designed to best meet students' curricular needs. Transfer students are considered entering students by the college and will also be required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

Berklee purchases and configures the Berklee Laptop Package for entering students and includes a "Berklee Laptop Purchase" charge on students' first semester tuition bill. For more information, refer to the Financial Information page in this section. Students pick up their laptops during orientation at the beginning of their first semester, prior to the start of classes.

Students Attending Only the 12-Week Summer Session

Students who attend only the 12-week summer session will not be required to purchase a Berklee Laptop Package, but should be aware that some classes require a computer, enrollment in those classes may be precluded without a computer, and the required coursework may be extremely difficult without an Apple laptop that meets the college's minimum requirements. Should a 12-week-only student become fully enrolled in a subsequent semester, they will be required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

Non-Matriculating Students

Non-matriculating students are those individuals from Professional Arts Consortium (ProArts) schools or other institutions who are enrolled in Berklee courses but not enrolled in a degree or diploma program at Berklee. Non-matriculating students are not required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

Why is a computer required, and why an Apple Macintosh?

For more than 50 years, Berklee College of Music has been committed to preparing our students for the musical, technological, and business necessities of the world into which they will enter. It has become increasingly clear that to continue this commitment, Berklee students must be well versed in computer technology and specifically music technology.

Berklee uses Apple Macintosh computers throughout our curriculum because much of the software that supports our curriculum runs exclusively on the Macintosh platform. In addition, we have found that students who have experience working on the Macintosh platform at Berklee are better prepared when they enter the music profession, where the Macintosh platform and the same software used in our coursework are prevalent and vital tools. As part of the education process, students not only learn about music technology, but also how to utilize their computer for managing their studies, organizing their schedule, developing an effective network of contacts, and ultimately learning how to manage their career.

Why should Berklee specify the computer type, specs, and configuration?

Our experience with the laptop requirement combined with research on the experiences of other universities indicates that Berklee students enjoy numerous benefits as a result of this requirement.

  • Coupled with a laptop computer, entering students have a year to learn the basics of music technology and are better prepared when declaring a major, particularly one of Berklee's technology-heavy majors.
  • The core first semester course Introduction to Music Technology, which is mandatory for all students, requires the use of a laptop computer and music software during the semester. In addition, many courses feature internet-based materials.
  • Students see a more realistic representation of the way course content is applied in the working world.
  • Students become more accustomed to working in the manner of their chosen profession.