Our Technology Services Office has put together the following information as you prepare to attend Houghton. If you have further questions, please contact the Technology Services Office at 585-567-9349 or via e-mail:

New Student Questions

How do I create my Houghton email account?

Printed instructions can be found among your Enrollment Forms or can be found on the Email and Student ID Setup page.

How do I find out what my student ID number is?

You can log in to Student Self Service. In the "username" field, enter the part before "" Enter the same password you use to log in to your Houghton email account. After you have logged in, select the "My Profile" tab on the far-right. Then select "Account Information" on the left-hand side (should be right underneath the "Home" tab. Your student ID is your System ID and is sometimes reported with a 'P' at the beginning.

Do I need to bring a computer to Houghton?

Certain programs (music, math, science and science honors) do require students to bring a laptop. While other programs do not require that you bring a computer, studies have shown that more than 95% of students will bring a computer to college. It is a significant advantage for students to have their own computer on campus.

What programs or majors require a computer, or a specific computer platform?

Music Majors
Music majors must have a laptop.

Math & Science majors and Science Honors Program participants
All students who plan to major in math or sciences or participate in the Science Honors Program need a laptop. This requirement is due to the need for data collection and software operation in class.

PC laptop requirements: Windows operating system (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1); MS Office Suite (2010 or later); and multiple USB ports. 

Mac laptop requirements*: MS Office Suite (2011 or later); multiple USB ports; for Science Honors and Physics, it must also run a Windows operating system.

Houghton College will make available to students a copy of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus free of charge.

Note: We are currently in the process of transitioning from a standard Microsoft Campus Agreement to the Office365 ProPlus distribution model for this program, which should be in place by Mid-August.  We will notify students when the transition is complete and provide instructions for downloading and installing this software.

Please contact our Helpdesk with any questions.

*New Macs come with a utility called Bootcamp that creates a space for the Windows operating system and allows you to choose between operating systems on start-up. Of course, one must buy the Windows operating system if you wish to use a Mac in this way.

Desktop or Laptop?

We recommend a laptop. Most students will probably desire the portability and flexibility of a laptop. Laptops can be taken to class (with professor’s approval), to the library, and across campus, allowing you to work anywhere. However, the portable nature of laptops makes them very susceptible to damage, loss, and theft. For this reason, we strongly recommend insurance and at least a three-year warranty.

Windows or Mac?

This is mostly an issue of personal preference. Some are more comfortable with Mac, and some are more comfortable with Windows. Certain departments may be more Mac- or Windows-oriented; you may wish to discuss this with your advisor.

What minimum specifications should I look for in a computer?

We have prepared some basic specifications that will assist you while shopping for a computer. For the most part, any new computer that you purchase would probably serve you for most, if not all, of your college career. While there is a myriad of choices available, here are some basic specifications that should help you get started. Note – You do not need to purchase Microsoft Office with your computer. Houghton College will provide this software to you.

Windows-based PC recommendations: 

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 4 GB or more of RAM
  • 320 GB or more hard drive space
  • DVD Burner
  • Ethernet card
  • Wireless card with minimum 802.11 g/n and recommended 802.11 a/g/n
  • Windows 7 or higher
  • At least a three year warranty

Mac OS-based recommendations:

  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 4 GB or more of RAM
  • 320 GB or more of hard drive space
  • DVD Burner
  • Ethernet network interface card
  • Wireless card with minimum 802.11 g/n and recommended 802.11 a/g/n
  • OS X 10.7 or higher Intel-based processor
  • At least a three-year AppleCare Protection

Can I get on the internet from my dorm room?

Yes! Houghton College has an extensive wired network that includes a data jack for every person in their dorm room. Network jacks can also be found all over campus. An Ethernet cable is required to plug your computer into the campus network. 25-foot Ethernet cables can be purchased in the Bookstore when you arrive or at any office and computer supply store prior to arrival. This length should be sufficient for any room on campus.

Does the campus have wireless network connectivity?

In addition to the wired network, we also have a campus-wide wireless network. Our network is available in all buildings with a few exceptions (for example, the Chapel). There are also several locations outside where you can receive a wireless signal.

What software does Houghton College provide?

Houghton College will make available to students a copy of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus free of charge.

Please contact our Helpdesk with any questions.

Can I bring my own wireless access point or router to campus?

No. Please leave any wireless access points and routers home. There have been several occasions when a personal access point or device, configured incorrectly, has disrupted service to a number of students.

Are there computer labs at Houghton?

We currently have several public kiosks in the Campus Center basement, in addition to the Student Print Center. The majority of these computers are in the hallway adjacent to the Helpdesk entrance, and there are additional machines located outside the Student Government Association, Boulder, and STAR offices. The library houses several public kiosks on the first floor, and there is a small general-purpose lab that is located on the second floor.

Discipline-specific labs are also available for communication (Chamberlain Center), art (Stevens Art Studio) and computer science (Paine Science Center).

Do I need to bring a printer to campus?

Some students will find their own printer to be beneficial so they can print in their room at any time. Houghton College has nine print stations in various buildings on campus. These print stations consist of a desktop computer and a printer that will let you login to your email, network drive or use a thumb drive and print to the attached printer. The only thing that the college does not supply is paper to print on; you will need to supply this.

How can I get help while on campus?

You can contact the Helpdesk in several ways. Feel free to stop by the Helpdesk; our hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m on weekdays. (We are closed during chapel.) You can email us at For more information on the services provide by the Helpdesk, please visit our website at