University of Southern Indiana

System Requirements

What hardware & software do you need for taking online courses?

When taking online courses, there are some additional materials that students need to make sure they have access to before committing to taking such a course. 

Computer (2)

Operating System

Students taking one or more online courses should have dedicated access to a computer using a modern operating system such as Windows 7 or Mac OS X. They should also have access to a backup computer in case of equipment failure.


Internet Connection

A high-speed Internet connection (e.g. DSL or Cable) is required for online students. Sometimes a wireless connection can be unstable or have poor signal quality. Check your Internet Connection Speed by clicking here.


Web Browsers 

A minimum of two web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari) is required for online students. Please note Internet Explorer is not compatible with Blackboard.

Recommended Browsers:


Microsoft Office

Make sure your computer has Microsoft Office Suite installed to enable you to view the word documents, powerpoints, etc. The University of Southern Indiana offers a free version of Microsoft 365 that can be installed on up to five computers. For more information, please visit



Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Lots of applications and websites won't work unless you have Java installed.


Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader enables users to view and print PDF files but has negligible PDF creation capabilities. Most research articles and online journals are saved in PDF format.


Anti-virus software

Anti-virus software is a computer program that detects, prevents, and takes action to disarm or remove malicious software programs, such as viruses. To avoid the most current viruses, students must update their antivirus software regularly. Students can set up most types of antivirus software to update automatically. For on-demand protection, the Microsoft Safety Scanner allows students to scan their computer for viruses and other malicious software for free.

If you are using Windows 8 or 10, please turn on Microsoft Defender. Additional instructions can be found at 

If you have Windows 7 or older version, you may download Microsoft Security Essentials

Other antivirus software: 

Additional items that may be required for some courses are:

  • Headset: A headset/earphone can separate the audio input (microphone) and output (speaker) to avoid feedback/echo. 
  • Webcam: A webcam either attached or embedded in your computer.

Contact Web Services


Send Email to