Minnesota North College offers students a full complement of computer services, including modern equipment, a wide variety of software applications, wireless internet, printing, and email/file storage via Microsoft services. Students are issued a StarID, which is their single username/password for all Information Technology Services, including:

  • computer login
  • access to copiers and printers
  • wireless access
  • D2L (online learning platform)
  • eServices (transcripts, grades, registration, etc.)
  • Office365 (email, calendar, Office Suite, SharePoint, OneNote and more)

We have fully equipped computer labs, computers in the library, plus several grouping of computers located in informal gathering areas for small workgroups. These computers are currently running Windows 10, with Microsoft Office 2016, MS Visual Studio, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, Mathematica, Solidworks, assorted browsers, and web conferencing tools


Computer Recommendations

Recommended Computer Specifications

Minnesota North College is a Windows® college. We encourage you to bring a computer to campus and recommend one with Windows 10. Any computer capable of running Windows 10 should be adequate for general academic computing purposes. Students in programs involved in graphic intensive software applications (CADD/GIS/Engineering/Video Editing) may require faster computers with more RAM. The program director should be consulted for minimum computer specifications in these cases.

When shopping for a laptop, make sure it has at least the following specifications (or better):

  • Windows 10 64Bit Operating System
  • Intel Core i5 Gen3 or better processor
  • 8 -16 GB RAM (most people will not benefit from more than 16 GB)
  • 320+ GB disk drive
  • 15″ display
  • Integrated WebCam
  • Wifi, long battery life, DisplayPort or HDMI outputs, USB3.0 port

As for brand/model, you get what you pay for in terms of reliability. Before you decide to buy, do some research online and look at customer reviews. Sometimes the cheap laptop from a big box store isn’t the best for long-term investment. You may also find reputable companies that sell refurbished off-lease enterprise grade computers (highest quality available) for half the cost of a new low-grade computer..

A ChromeBook may be an option for some students, provided that the focus of your studies does not require any specialty software. These devices are really great at creating and consuming content from web-based resources, but will not work for such things like GIS, Engineering Software, or anything that would require an installation of software.

Your Apple or Android Tablet devices are great for consuming content, but we do not recommend them as your primary computing device. You will likely tire very quickly of trying to use the on-screen keyboard for creating any significant amount of content. However, they are welcome on our network and will likely suffice for all of your online social networking interests.


Our IT staff can provide technical support on issues related to Windows 7 and Windows 10. While Macintosh computers coexist fine in our environment, we can provide little support for end users and their Mac hardware. Personal devices used for entertainment are welcome on campus, and we provide Internet access to them as well.

If you plan to purchase a computer, make sure it will run the software you need.. We cannot assure that any software used by the academic programs will be compatible with non-supported Windows versions.

Information for accessing support will be provided by your campus IT staff.

You can also contact: 218-235-2143 or ITsupport@minnesotanorth.edu for assistance.

Recommended Software

Web Browser: We recommend using Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge as your primary browser for our academic learning systems and for resources that we provide to you.

Office Suite: We provide all MNC students with an online version of Microsoft Office and an Enterprise Version of Office for desktops. You can install Office 365 on up to 5 PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. Follow the instructions below to download and install Office 365 onto your desktop:

  • Click Here to Download Office 365 (Use: https://portal.office.com/account)
  • Another window will open.
  • Under “Office apps & devices,” select “Install Office.”
  • Click on the pop-up that states “OfficeSetup.exe” and run the download.
  • Allow at least an hour for the download to complete.
  • Once the download is complete, you can begin using Office 365 apps.

For further assistance, contact IT Support at 218-235-2143 or email itsupport@minnesotanorth.edu.

Anti-virus – We recommend that you use Windows Defender to protect your computer from viruses and malware. It is built into the latest versions of Windows. For a PC running an older version of Windows 7, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free.

Help Desk

The Information Technology Services Department provides assistance for all technology issues to MNC students and employees. While we do not maintain a formally staffed “help desk”, we do strive to assist users on a one-on-one basis when requested.

Students are welcome to use their own laptops on campus, and we provide both wireless Internet access and printing capabilities. Our staff has a “hands-off” policy for non-College owned equipment, but we do provide support to students in the form of coaching.