Open Laptop Program

All students enrolled in academic programs on the San Francisco campus  are required to have a laptop that meets the "Open Laptop Program" minimum requirements by the first day of class. Students must pre-register their private laptop. Instructions on how to pre-register will be emailed one to two months before class starts.

If students do not currently have a personal laptop, we strongly recommend that they purchase through our links under Recommended Laptops and take advantage of onsite support.

Minimum Laptop Specifications

The following are the minimum specifications required to be in compliance with this program:


NO Chromebook laptop.  Your laptop must have the following:

  • CPU Intel Core i5 or higher
  • Memory 8 GB or higher
  • Solid state drive 256 GB or higher
  • Windows 10 (Pro, Enterprise or Education version)
    • If you have the Home version, you can upgrade to the Education version.  See instructions when you register your laptop.
  • Microsoft Office 
  • Security software with an up-to-date virus definition file
  • Wireless capability (wireless adapter A/B/G and N)
  • Internet Explorer (IE) version 11 or above or current-version Firefox 
  • An Ethernet port, or a USB-ethernet port adapter, which would allow you to get an Ethernet connection, when needed
  • Laptop must be encrypted
  • OS Mojave or above
  • Microsoft Office
  • Security software with up-to-date virus definition file
  • Wireless capability (wireless adapter A/B/G and N)
  • An Ethernet port, or a USB-ethernet port adapter, which would allow you to get an Ethernet connection, when needed.
  • Laptop must be encrypted (e.g. FileVault2)
Recommended Laptop

The recommended laptops for students are Apple and HP, which may be purchased through the following links:

Benefits of Purchasing a Recommended Laptop

The use of a recommended laptop has a number of benefits. Recommended laptops are pre-configured and pre-tested to insure that they are able to effectively work with network communications, printing resources, and other services supported by the dental school.Recommended laptops will receive the following support, through the dental school's IT Help Desk services:

  • Installing school software
  • Assistance in connecting to the wireless network, printing, etc
  • Removing and preventing viruses and spyware
  • Troubleshooting and tuning up (running updates, etc.)

IT Help Desk support does not include repairs to laptops. For that you must find an off-campus repair facility.

Getting Help

To ask for assistance with your laptop or other IT issues, please use ServiceNow. (If you need something fixed, choose the “Incident” option; otherwise, select “Request.”) A helpdesk staff person will arrange to assist you, connecting to your computer remotely, whenever possible. The helpdesk will provide basic support, including installing software. If other problems are present, such as viruses or spyware, which may prevent connection to the wireless network, or if you are requesting more advanced troubleshooting assistance, your laptop will need to be examined in person.

If it is determined that your laptop needs to be physically examined, a staff person will arrange to safely pick it up, following proper CDC protocols for social distancing. Please clean your laptop before giving it to the HelpDesk staff. Do not drop in at room 107 unless asked to do so.

Technology Fee

The "technology fee" paid by students at the dental school covers the cost of a number of items that comprise the School of Dentistry Open Laptop Computer Program, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Commercially developed software
  • Software developed by the school
  • Network access

IT Help Desk staff are available 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please request assistance via ServiceNow. Contact the helpdesk by phone at 415.929.6514 or by email at