Athabasca University

Student Computer Requirements

Most AU courses require students to have access to certain computer hardware and software. AU's standard computing platform is a computer running Microsoft Windows with MS Office, so this is the primary system supported by AU's Technical Service Call Centre. Only very limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms is offered.

The minimum hardware requirements below are subject to change without notice based on rapidly changing industry standards and continuous development of state-of-the-art learning tools. Students may be required to upgrade their systems in order to maintain access to some course material. This is especially true if they elect to defer studies at any point in their program.

Students are responsible for all Internet Service Provider (ISP), phone, or any other communications service requirement.

eText Specific Requirements:

AU courses that use eTextbooks may have specific technical requirements. See the eText Initiative website for updated information.

ProctorU Requirements:

ProctorU has specific technical requirements for writing exams with them, for example, students cannot write their exams using a smartphone or tablet. See the ProctorU information page for updated information.

Minimum Computer Requirements:

The minimum requirements for students in most courses is a computer with a current web browser, email, and the software capability to submit assignments as Microsoft Word (.doc) documents.

  • Microsoft Windows 10 or 11 is recommended.
  • Apple OS with Microsoft Office will work for many of our courses, but Technical Service Call Centre support is very limited.
  • Other operating systems may work, but are completely unsupported by the Technical Service Call Centre.

Some courses have additional requirements, please see the online course syllabus for more information.

Recommended Computer System:

This system should meet the requirements of almost any AU course. Some items listed may not be required for all AU courses. Some courses may have specific requirements not listed below, please see the online course syllabus for more information.

  • A newer Windows computer, preferably not more than about 4 years old, including a monitor, mouse and keyboard.
  • Windows 10 or 11.
  • Microsoft 365 (Office suite).
  • Backup device or service.
  • Security Software. (Anti-virus/firewall)
  • Current Web Browser(s), Firefox, Edge, Chrome etc.
  • Internet Connection, preferably high speed ADSL, Cable, fibre or similar.
  • The following items may also be required or beneficial for some AU courses:
    • Colour Printer.
    • Scanner.
    • Speakers/Headphones.
    • Web Camera and Microphone.
    • Administrator rights.


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This page was updated by Information Technology