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BUSM Laptop and Tablet Requirement

Boston University School of Medicine requires incoming MD students to have a laptop computer. Students are advised against purchasing Tablet Computers as their only computer (please see details on next section) as some required software (such as ExamSoft) is not fully supported on many types of tablets. Student laptops are required for the BUSM I Histology course (virtual microscopy), course examinations, and testing by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Wireless and cable internet connections, and power outlets support laptop use in the Alumni Medical Library, large lecture halls, and common spaces and study spaces throughout the medical campus. Wireless and Mobile (smartphones, tablets etc.) printing is available in the Library and in the L-Basement.

Student laptops must meet the minimum requirements listed below. Additional suggested options for consideration are likewise included below. Please visit the BU Sourcing & Procurement website for recommendations. You may also visit BU Information Services & Technology (IS&T) Shop Online site for links to Lenovo BU, Dell BU, and Apple BU (Apple requires BU login) as well as Adobe and Microsoft software.

Students can have their laptops registered with the Boston University Police Department to aid in theft deterrent and enable return of stolen or lost laptops. Registration for students is free of charge.

Once students have obtained a BU login name and Kerberos password, McAfee anti-virus software can be downloaded and installed free of charge and should be set to automatically run and update at least once weekly. This includes the spyware portion and all future updates. Other anti-virus software must be removed before installing McAfee. Also, MS Office is available for a free download, Microsoft Office for BU Students, with one license per student available for download and use on a personal computer (BU login required).

Minimum Requirements for BUSM Tablet and Laptop Computers

ExamSoft’s SofTest Requirements:

NBME Requirements:

Both ExamSoft’s Softest and NBME requires an External Keyboard, either USB or Bluetooth. Bluetooth keyboards must be paired prior to launching exam. An external mouse might be easier to use compared to built-in touchpad mouse but it’s not a must.

Both ExamSoft’s Softest and NBME’s web based tests cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft's Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments.

ExamSoft’s SofTest & NBME PC (Windows) and Mac (OS X & macOS) Requirements:

The Alumni Medical Library's Computing Services Help Desk staff, based in L-1109, will provide assistance with student laptops after matriculation, including providing a laptop loaner service for students whose computers are being serviced by BU or outside repair shops. For more information about school or department related software, please contact your school's administrator. Please contact Jason Yee, Head of Library Computing Services, by email at or telephone (617) 638-4279, or Selim Hascelik, Assistant Director of Library Computing & Systems by e-mail at or telephone (617) 638-6696 for additional information.