First Year Technology Requirements


CAMERA / Several courses in our Foundations program require taking photographs—make sure you have a smartphone with a fully functioning camera. Take some time to get comfortable with the exposure settings before classes begin, so time/social pressures don’t negatively influence your technical/creative efforts. Students who already have a mirrorless or DSLR camera may use it as well.

LAPTOP / All first year design students are required to bring, to the very first class and every one after that, a laptop with the latest operating system and plenty of memory and storage. Student discounts are available at the UIC Bookstore, also located in Student Center East, 750 W. Halsted Street. Highly recommended is some sort of daily backup system—consider purchasing a portable hard drive and/or using Box for unlimited cloud storage, which is free to all current UIC students.

SOFTWARE / An Adobe Creative Cloud student subscription is required—the UIC Webstore offers a substantial discount over purchasing directly from Adobe. Before classes begin Fall semester, install Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Acrobat Pro, making sure to auto-update these apps so you’re always working with the latest versions.
     We believe in the power of self-led learning to acquire technical skills, allowing more class time for building your creative abilities. As part of our commitment to your success, all current UIC students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an on-demand library of instructional videos. Sign in with your campus email address and password to access this valuable resource.
     All first year design students are required to complete three essential training courses: Illustrator 2023InDesign 2023, and Photoshop 2021: The Basics. The goal is not just to complete these tutorials, but to gain a thorough understanding of the tools to enhance your creative problem-solving skills. 
     We strongly encourage you to complete the courses as early as possible so you’re able to make the most of the software in your work and improve your grade in DES110. Certificate scores are determined based on the time of submission: completing courses before the first day of class will earn you 100%; by the end of the first week, you’ll receive 95%, and there will be a 5% deduction per week after that. 
     Take advantage of this opportunity to develop your technical skills and lay a solid foundation for your design journey.