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Student drawing on-site during the Irish Study-Abroad Program, Slea Head Peninsula, Ireland

Tech Requirements, Graphic Design and Digital Art Majors

Graphic design and digital art majors should be prepared to enter coursework with the required tech tools.

Welcome to the Graphic Design and Digital Art Majors.

Our goal is to give you the skills necessary for success in the competitive world of Graphic Design and the creative emergent field of Digital Art. In fact, we’ve had many students who have been hired right out of our internships or right after graduation by companies including Boeing, NASA, EA Games, and Navy Federal. Of course, success means dedication and hard work, but it also means having the right tools to accomplish the job. We train you in all the industry standards, but as you start the program there are some minimum expectations for what will aid in your success which you will need to consider. 

Department Contact

  • Department of Art and Design
  • Building 82, Room 253
  • 11000 University Parkway
  • Pensacola, FL 32514
  • 850.474.2045

Adobe Creative Cloud

Both of these disciplines are technology-based.

Because of that, Graphic Design and Digital Art, students will need access to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Adobe XD, and Acrobat DC. This is the “industry standard,” which you will need throughout the major and as you enter into the workforce.

Whereas there is access available on campus, that access is sometimes restricted by variables (limited lab hours, campus closure, etc). We strongly suggest that students purchase licenses to Creative Cloud. The cost is $20-$30 per month. Adobe CC is the industry standard, and much of your time will be spent learning how to master these tools.

All students entering the program in their Second Year are recommended to have access to a MacBook Pro or equivalent Windows based model. Desktops are fine though potentially limiting (i.e. you may be limited to finding lab computers while on campus). Courses are taught using Mac computers.

Computer Requirements

Since you will be creating content like images, videos, and 3D models on a daily basis, you will need access to computers with specific speed and memory requirements. Whereas there are labs on campus, computers are variable and access can’t always be relied upon due to campus or building closures or class use. Because of that, we strongly recommend that students purchase or have access to a computer with the following minimum requirements (if you prefer Windows, use the following as a guideline for necessary minimum capabilities). Also, be aware that whereas these are minimum requirements, they could become outdated sooner. We recommend getting the fastest computer budget can allow. Apple often offers special pricing and low-interest loans for students. 


(in keeping with the recommendations of the University of Florida School of Art and Art History. 8/2020):

13-inch MacBook Pro

  • 4GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645

 16-inch MacBook Pro 

  • 3GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 2TB SSD storage
  • 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • USB-C adapter for peripheral devices if needed

13-inch MacBook Pro

  • 0GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 32GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
  • 2TB SSD storage
  • USB-C adapter for peripheral devices if needed

Additional Considerations

Optional peripherals to consider depending on your art practice and budget:

  • If you choose a 13" MacBook Pro, you may want to plan to purchase an external monitor
  • Graphics tablet
  • DSLR camera to document and shoot videos 

Backing up your data

It is important to back up your work regularly. Plan to back your computer up to an external hard drive and an Online service. You will find many economical options on the Apple website. Many students opt for drives with capacities starting at 1TB.

  • Western Digital makes a 1TB ultra portable external hard drive.
  • Dropbox and iCloud are excellent for cloud storage options. UWF offers access to G Suite including Drive storage.
  • Carbonite and BackBlaze are online backup systems that will backup your internal hard drive starting at $50/year per computer. This is not a cloud but a backup service. It is useful in case of loss, damage, or theft.