Technology Requirements & Specifications

Technical Requirements

In order to be able to take an online class, you will need to maintain a minimum level of capacity and flexibility with computer equipment and other technological issues. Minimally, you'll need to be comfortable with these programs:

  • Microsoft Word (or compatible word processing software)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Internet Explorer, Chrome or Mozilla FireFox browser with Flash, Shockwave and Java plugins
  • The ability to use a web-based email program to send and receive messages and attachments

These courses assume you already have

  • Equipment - a Pentium-based computer running Windows XP/Vista/7 or 8, a printer, and Internet access (modem, wireless or cable).
  • Software* - Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software to support file exchange between students enrolled in the course and the instructor.
  • Communication software that lets your computer interact with the Internet, e-mail software, and a World Wide Web browser. If you need any additional software, it will be stated in the course syllabus.
  • Computer skills to use these software tools--remember, your professor is not a computer trainer! You should have experience sending and receiving emails with attachments.
  • For general computer questions, please contact your local Internet provider or hardware/software vendor.

*Note: UMC is using Office 2007/2010. If you use Office 2003 you should save any documents you submit in an Office 2007 compatible format (i.e. .docx).

You will also need

Familiarity with the online part of your course. Some online courses may use ordinary websites written in HTML, while others will use special course management software that you access through the Web. Using course management software may take time to get used to. Instructions will be provided by your instructor once you have started a course. Some classes may require the purchase of additional software as outlined in the course syllabi. For more information see the course's respective syllabi.


  • Student questions related to UMC email, Moodle, Internet ID and password issues should be directed to the Office of Admissions at 218-281-8569 or
  • Questions related to your local Internet access should be directed to your local Internet Service Provider.
  • University of Minnesota 1-HELP (Technology Help Service Desk) is available by phone & email (24 hours, 7 days a week) and chat (hours vary).