Student Laptops and Software

Students in all degree programs of the School of Architecture and Planning are required to own or have unlimited access to a laptop computer. The School recommends that all laptop computers meet a minimum specification. The minimum specification is published on the School’s website. Software requirements are specific to each academic program and/or to individual instructors. Software requirements should be communicated in program policies and faculty syllabi.

Students may elect to use an Apple or Windows-based PC. If you decide upon an Apple computer, you will need to purchase a copy of Windows to run on your Mac (some software is only available for Windows). Please consult your program to evaluate how much of your time you will spend using Windows-based software.

See a Dell or Apple Campus Representative at the UNM Bookstore for additional information regarding educationally-priced laptops identified for the School of Architecture and Planning. 

Minimum Requirements

  • 16GB of RAM
  • 500GB or Greater Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Video Card with 4GB of Designated Memory or Greater.
  • Windows 10 or MacOS with Boot Camp Running Windows 10.
  • 15” Screen or Larger.
  • Extended Warranty Highly Recommended.
  • 1TB or Greater External Drive for Backup and Storage.
  • USB Drive

Studio Culture Policy

The Studio Culture Policy provides guidance to faculty and students so that a positive academic climate – one conducive to desired learning outcomes – is realized at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. It is the desire of the School that all students and all faculty will be provided an environment for education that is committed to achieving a harmonious and supportive community of scholars. The Policy endeavors to develop and sustain a studio environment and culture that is highly conducive to group and individual discovery and learning. Toward those aspirations, this document provides an overview of some of the expectations for students and faculty.

Six specific values are incorporated in this Policy to promote the ideas critical toward achieving a successful studio learning environment: optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, innovation, and the worth of time. These six values will provide the basis for the School to sustain a community that is enriching and highly beneficial to the students and to the faculty members. For this outcome to be realized, the inherent worth of all individuals must be recognized and valued.

To create and maintain an environment that is rich in energy, passion, and idealism, faculty and students must work cooperatively in sharing the values and perspectives that each individual brings to the education process.

Students have the right to expect that the faculty member will value each student’s contributions to the studio. The faculty member will endeavor to encourage students toward the achievement of both their progress in specific course assignments as well as professional career choices.

Faculty have the right to expect that students will also promote a sense of optimism, with each valuing the efforts and contributions of other classmates.

Faculty members have the right to expect that each student will value, and thus benefit from, the diversity afforded by each individual classmate. These opportunities include differences in cultural history, formal education, ideas, religious beliefs, and experiences.

Students have the right to expect that each faculty member will regard every student as a unique individual – one who is deserving of special concern and attention.

Students have the right to expect that faculty (as well as critics invited to the class and review sessions) come with the best interests of each student as his/her primary focus, and that students will be treated fairly and in a positive and consistent manner. As such, each faculty member is expected to direct his/her efforts toward making each student in the class as successful in his/her endeavors as is reasonably possible.

Faculty and invited critics will endeavor to develop and express constructive comments regarding the work and effort, and seek to note successes as well as shortcomings in this regard. While a faculty member or reviewer is expected to sensitively and insightfully critique the work of a student, he/she will judiciously avoid criticism of the individual student or his/her abilities in a public or classroom forum.

Faculty have the right to expect that each student comes to the studio with the desire to learn from others and the desire to assist others with their learning needs, creating a robust shared experience where thoughts, concerns, and ideas are advanced by the community as a whole.

Students have the right to expect that each faculty will share not only his/her knowledge, but also direct students to other faculty and professionals, literature, and examples that will help the students’ understanding and enrichment.

Students have the right to expect that faculty members will organize critiques and reviews in a manner that encourages the collective learning of the class, rather than providing a forum intended primarily for grading work or for faculty “showmanship.”

Faculty have the right to expect that, during the studio hours, each student will be fully engaged in the task at hand or topic being discussed or presented. Additionally, students shall be expected to be adequately prepared for scheduled recitations, pin-ups, and formal reviews.

Students have the right to expect of faculty a clarity of purpose, clearly articulated evaluation/grading procedures, a definitive schedule, and specific learning objectives for the course and for each assignment, as well as written commentary and evaluation summaries at established benchmarks during the semester. Students have the right to expect that during the studio hours the faculty member will devote his/her focus solely on the needs of the students and the studio.

To ensure a responsive climate at final reviews, submission deadlines will be given well in advance of the time for the critique session. The critique and review sessions will be carefully structured to illicit the desired engagement of students. The “ground rules” and schedule for these events will be thoughtfully constructed and carefully followed. A student whose work is submitted late or is incomplete, or who is otherwise unprepared, will not assume the right to publicly present his/her work to external reviewers.

To prepare students to serve as future leaders and active citizens, faculty will promote engagement of students with society beyond the studio. Faculty members are expected to foster a climate that both encourages and allows students to become involved and engaged with activities and organizations within the school, in the university, and in the community.

An innovative studio culture embraces the assumption that learning can be achieved through a variety of processes, and that these will vary from student to student and with each assignment. Students and faculty will recognize that the primary rationale for the design studio experience are not the “end products” completed by the students, but rather the skills and knowledge that project and other assignments have provided.

Faculty have the right to expect that a student will be willing to take and accept risks in the design process in seeking ideas that that are new and unique. In the studio context, faculty will provide opportunities and encouragement for exploration, inventiveness and creativity.

One of the most important attributes of a successful student or professional is effective time management skill. Toward this end, faculty will endeavor, by deed and by example, to infuse the students with the importance and value of time.

Faculty members have the right to expect that each student will endeavor to meet the course expectations and specific assignments in a timely manner, and will use the scheduled studio class time efficiently.

Students have the right to expect that each faculty member will value the time of students -- by establishing and adhering to fair and reasonable schedules for class time activities and by assignments that are directed toward efficient learning as well as reasonable products.

Studio faculty will also understand and be sensitive to the reality that most students have other academic obligations and, in many instances, demanding responsibilities apart from the university. The amount of time that is reasonably necessary for the successful completion of assignments and achieving the learning objectives is to be consistent with the credit hours for the studio course.

While accepting that a level of competition is inherent in most human endeavors and often beneficial in the studio context, in order to safeguard the health and safety of the students the faculty will wisely limit the scope or amount of work to be submitted. In this regard, care will be taken in grading to ensure that students do not assume that “quantity” of work is equated with “quality” of work or learning performance.

Ultimately, the goal of a highly positive studio culture can be achieved only by the stakeholders’ full appreciation of the benefits of this shared interest, as well as a long-term commitment to the attainment of these objectives.

As such, this Policy document is not expected to remain static. At least once each academic year, the Student Council will conduct an informal roundtable session on this Policy with interested students. This assembly will review the studio culture climate in the School, noting successes and shortcomings. Following this session, the Student Council is encouraged to develop specific recommendations/suggestions for both the implementation of various aspects of this document, as well as possible revisions.

Similarly, at least once each academic year the faculty will devote meeting time for a similar review, discussion, and recommendations for revisions to the School’sStudio Culture Policy. Both the faculty and the administrative council will also address implementation strategies.

[Note: This Policy is not intended as a substitute for expectations and requirements of students and faculty as delineated, respectively, in the most recent editions of the UNM Pathfinder (specifically, the “Student Code of Conduct” section) and the UNM Faculty Handbook. The Studio Culture Policy is expected to complement the School’s “Classroom and Studio Use – Guidelines and Expectations” policy document (August 9, 2002).]