Recommended Software – Students

Although the only software Central requires is an antivirus software, we recommend that students install a number of the programs listed below. While none are required, they will all help to enhance what you are able to do on your computer.

IT Services recommends that you update your installed programs as you receive update notices. The best practice is to visit the software’s website to download updates.




Mac Users

Newer Mac computers have a security setting that needs to be changed before installing 3rd-party software. Open your System Preferences and go to Security & Privacy.  Look for the locked option that forces users to download Mac developed products. Unlock this option, and click load software from anywhere, and then lock that setting again when done. This allows programs outside of the Mac App Store to download and install successfully.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office software is available from the

 Be sure to remove any existing Office software, including the trial version that often is loaded on new computers.

Hints from the staff at the ITS Help Desk:

  • Some Mac users need to remove the restriction limiting downloads from other non-Apple sites (Preferences –> Security)
  • Office products can be loaded on two different computers. DON’T SHARE because if your computer crashes you’ll need to reload the software on a new computer – another reason to keep the download and the product key!

Software Availability

The programs listed below, and more, are available on campus computers.  Some are only available in specific labs, as indicated in parentheses.

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Lubbers 126, Roe 221, Kruidenier 112)
  • ArcGIS (VSC 120, 240, 241)
  • ChemDraw Pro (VSC 240)
  • Core Math Tools
  • Fathom
  • Finale (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • Garage Band  (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • GeoGebra
  • IDRISI Selva (select machines in VSC 120, 240, 241)
  • Matlab
  • Microsoft Expression Studio
  • Microsoft Office 2013 (except VSC 241)
  • Minitab
  • Python 3
  • TurningPoint
  • VectorWorks (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • Vision (Weller 102)


Vermeer Room 243 – specialized programs:

  • Gimp
  • IDLE
  • jGRASP
  • Netbeans
  • Pep8 & Pep8CPU
  • WingIDE
  • Xcode


Edited: 9/22/2020