College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Physician Assistant Program

Technology Requirements for the PA Program

In order to be successful in the Physician Assistant Program ALL PA students are required to have a mobile computing device throughout the program.  Students will be able to choose and purchase a device from any manufacturer they with that meets their learning needs, as long as it meets the minimum requirements as outlined below.  it is the student's responsibility to ensure that he/she has a functioning device in all classes at all times, no exceptions.

It is highly recommended that the student purchase a hardware warranty to match the length of the PA Program to cover any unforeseen hardware repair needs.  Butler does offer hardware discounts on purchases through HP, and Apple (excluding iPads).

The program recommends two technology options:

Option 1: iPad AND laptop (PC or Mac):

The iPad is typically the primary device used in the classroom and for taking notes.  However, due to limitations of the iPad, students must also have a laptop in order to have full computing abilities.

Option 2: Windows dedicated tablet:

A dedicated tablet is a standalone device that requires an external keyboard/touch pad/mouse and may or may not have onboard ports.  Some devices have external docks/sleeves that provide the device with additional ports and battery life.


Minimum Hardware Requirements:

Specifications iPad Windows (PC) Macintosh (Mac)
Processor Any 2 Hz Dual Core or better 2.4 GHz Duo or better
Memory (RAM) Any 4 GB or more 4 GB or more
Storage 16 GB 250 GB or more 250 GB or more
Wireless/Network Card N/A Wireless: Dual Band N, Ethernet Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n, Ethernet
Removable Storage N/A 8 GB USB Flash 8 GB USB Flash
Operating System iOS 5 or better Windows 7 or 8 OS 10.8 minimum
Integrated Webcam Yes Yes Yes


Things to Consider:

Many PA classes require students to watch recorded lectures prior to attending class.  iPads do not allow dual screens, therefore watching the recorded lecture and taking notes on the iPad  is not efficient.  Student tend to watch the lecture on the iPad and take notes on the laptop (or vice versa).

iPads are ideal for taking notes during class  as they are light weight and easy to carry back and forth.  They also have longer battery life on average.

If you have two devices and one "goes down" you have a backup

iPads typically have to be replaced rather than repaired if there is a hardware problem, where laptops are easier to repair or replace if needed.

No ability to print from an iPad on campus