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System Requirements for Online Courses

Minimum system requirements.      

Students must have a computer with the following hardware and software (additional equipment and software may be required for some courses):     

Sufficient technology and Internet access is required to complete online classes. The following list will help verify that you are adequately equipped.      

PC Requirements      

  • Windows XP (service pack 3 for 32-bit, service pack 2 for 64-bit), or higher
  • Intel Core-2 Compatible processor or higher
  • 2 Gb of RAM required
  • 80 GB hard drive or greater

Mac Requirements      

  • Mac OS X  10.6 (Snow Leopard) and higher is supported for most online course materials, but there may be applications that require a supported Windows Operating System. You should be prepared to run a virtual machine environment such as Parallels desktop, VMWare fusion, Oracle VirtualBox with an installed and supported Windows Operating System (as mentioned above) if you elect to use a Mac.
  • Intel, Mac OS X-compatible processor or higher
  • 2 Gb of RAM required
  • 80 GB hard drive or greater

You may experience difficulties (for example installing plug-ins) using public computers (for example at library or a workplace). We highly recommend that you have administrative rights to the computer used for your college coursework.  Check with your workplace IT department to ensure that you may access course materials through your company’s network.      

Supported Internet Browsers:      

The following are supported browsers. (Due to the rapid release cycles of some supported Internet browsers, update your browser often. When using older versions of a browser, users risk experiencing problems with the course software.)      

  • Windows OS Users
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer
    • Google Chrome
    • Mozilla Firefox
  • Mac OS Users
    • Apple Safari
    • Google Chrome
    • Mozilla Firefox

The most recent version of the following plug-ins is required for many of the resources used in your online courses:

  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Player
  • Java v7 or higher

Internet Access
Internet access is required for all online courses. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) will provide you with the software and access necessary to utilize the Internet in order of preference:

  • Broadband: (LAN, Cable, or DSL) connection is highly recommended for optimal student experience and is required for all technical programs.
  • Satellite and/or Cellular (3G/4G) may also be used.
  • City Colleges of Chicago 7 campuses open computer labs can also provide access to the Internet and can be used as a backup in case of your ISP has an interruption in service.

If you connect to the Internet through your company, you may need to ensure that appropriate plug-ins and access rights are available to you. Check with your IT department to ensure that you may access course materials from your company's network.      


While tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may allow for some completion of coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all areas. Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac based computer available to complete coursework in the event your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course.      

For questions regarding these requirements, please phone the Help Desk at 312-553-3030.