Technical Requirements 


UNF expects all distance learning students to have moderate proficiency and ready access to a personal computer, as well as the software required in his or her program of study.  


Required Skills

  • Students should be able to reliably connect to the Internet, and be able to use an Internet browser. A high-speed Internet connection is required. 
  • Students should be able to use standard office applications (like Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Students should be familiar with their computers, and be able to navigate Windows Explorer/File Manager with ease.
  • Students should be able to regularly check their E-mail account (provided by UNF or other.)
  • Students should be able to back up their files to an alternate location (SkyDrive, Dropbox, secondary hard drive, etc.)


Required Hardware

A PC (Windows) computer should have:

  • Windows 7 or 8, or higher 
  • 512 Megabytes of RAM  
  • 20 Gigabyte Hard Drive  
    • 100 MB or more of free disc space; 1 GB recommended 
  • USB port(s) 
  • High-speed modem (such as DSL or cable) 
  • Microphone


A Macintosh computer should have:

  • Mac OS X 10.8 or higher 
  • 512 Megabytes of RAM 
  • 20 Gigabyte Hard Drive  
    • 100 MB or more of free disc space; 1 GB recommended 
  • USB port(s) 
  • High-speed modem (such as DSL or cable) 
  • Microphone


Recommended Hardware

  • Webcam – some courses will have required activities that will require a webcam for compliance, such as: 
    • video-conferencing, student-developed video assignments/presentations, etc.
    • remotely proctored testing where visual identification is required.

A Note About Tablets & “Light” Devices

  • Tablets – like iPads, Surface RT’s & Android tablets - are great for browsing the Internet, and using apps that are built to be mobile. They are not ideal for working seriously in word processing or spreadsheet applications (like MS Word or Excel.) Additionally, while Canvas provides a robust mobile app platform, there are still some limitations in functionality.
  • “Light” Devices – like Netbooks or Chromebooks – are great option for an “underpowered” laptop. Light, fast, long-lasting, and stylish - most of these devices provide enough power and memory to perform quite well in standard Office applications*. They do sacrifice a little in versatility, customization and graphics/audio in order to keep their weight down – so don’t expect the same performance in all areas.

  • *A note about Office applications on “light” devices: some of these devices run the Office applications natively (on the machine), while others run them through the web, which can affect functionality.

Required Software

  • Administrative access to the computer is required to install & update software
  • Operating System: Windows 7, 8 or higher; OR, Mac OS X 10.8 or higher
  • Internet browser: required to access the Learning Management System (Canvas)
    • a Canvas supported browser deemed as ‘Certified’ or ‘Compatible’ is required after Fall 2016; click here to view the Canvas Guide on approved browsers
      • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome are recommended for use with Canvas
  • Document authoring software: Microsoft Office (includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint), or access to the open source (free) platforms GoogleDocs or OpenOffice
    • UNF offers a Virtual Lab, which provides faculty & students free access to a wide selection of software applications from any computing device. 
  • File backup software: Microsoft OneDriveDropbox
  • Up-to-Date Virus Protection Software
  • Adobe Flash Player  - version 11 (or higher)
  • Adobe Reader - version 11 (or higher)
  • Java (JRE version 7 recommended)
For additional information on Office 365, virus protection software, UNF's Virtual Lab, and other free software for currently enrolled UNF students, see the ITS webpage: Technology for Students .