Student Resources

Computer Purchasing Guide

Students studying architecture work extensively on computers, and a personal laptop computer is an essential tool for that education. Students may use a laptop they already have or buy a new laptop from any vendor. Familiarize yourself with UNC Charlotte’s Niner Ready Laptop Initiative as well as specific requirements for the School of Architecture. Chromebooks, iPads, and mobile devices DO NOT meet the laptop requirement.

Storage Requirements

Students are required to use the University’s cloud-based backup platforms (Google Drive and OneDrive) instead of external drives for routine backups. This is the safest and most reliable way to store your day-to-day files. External hard drives are useful for long-term archiving and for some large file types. Students are therefore encouraged to have a large external hard drive (1TB or more) on hand for those purposes, but they should not rely on external hard drives for day-to-day usage.

Software Requirements

Foundational software suites required for all students:

Additional software suites required for all graduate students and most upper-level undergraduate students:

These additional software suites may not be used every semester, and students may wait for classes to begin before purchasing their licenses for these suites, depending on the requirements outlined in the syllabi of their classes; however, these suites are industry standards used by students in many classes.

Computer Labs & Loaner Laptops at Atkins Library

The David R. Ravin School of Architecture has several computer labs that provide all of the software suites listed here. These labs complement students’ laptops, offer spaces for group work, and provide backup hardware for when personal laptops are being serviced. Students should not consider the labs as their primary computing platform.

Students may borrow a laptop from Atkins Library, the UNC Charlotte main library through the short-term loaner laptop program.

Laptops circulate for a 24-hour period. AC adapters are also available. Only one laptop can be checked out per patron at any given time, and there is a four hour wait before a patron can check a laptop out again. Laptops are available for currently enrolled UNC Charlotte students only. UNC Charlotte ID must be presented for checkout (temporary IDs are not acceptable) and a student’s library account must be in good standing (no fines or overdue items).

Important links

Use of Student Work

The CoA+A may use digital copies of student work for educational purposes, including archival, teaching, research, recruitment, promotion, and fundraising. The Student Works Form serves as notification of this protocol and your rights.

Directed Independent Study

The directed independent study (ARCH 4890/6890) enables individual study and in-depth analysis of a special area related to the interests of the student and the expertise of the faculty advisor. The objectives and learning outcomes of the directed independent study should supplement the student’s architectural education by exploring and researching a topic not otherwise offered within the curriculum.

Submission Deadlines: Fall (August 1st) / Spring (December 1st) / Summer (April 1st)

Download Form

Transient Study

If you plan to take courses at another institution over the summer, then you will need to complete a Transient Study Form. Instructions and the form are available below.

Download Instructions > Instructions for Completing the Transient Study Form

Download Form > Transient Study Form

Course Equivalency > Transfer Credit Advisor

Conference Travel Support

The School of Architecture Director offers awards to support graduate student participation in academic conferences to present the results of their research. A student must have a paper accepted for presentation in order to submit a request for funding. Interested students must submit their paper abstract, the acceptance/invitation letter from the conference, and a projected budget with their request for funding. Award amounts are determined according to conference costs. Requests should be sent directly to Director Brownell.

Support resources

Who should you talk to if you need support? If you need classroom support, have questions about a classroom topic or approach, or have witnessed something in class you’d like to speak about, the instructor is a highly recommended first point of contact. If you cannot approach the instructor, you may consider communicating with the unit head (chair or director) as a facilitator. See more resources, below.