The Graphic and Animation Design (GAND) program at Longwood University requires its students to have a new laptop suitable to the demands of the Adobe Creative Suite software in addition to other specialty software. GAND students prefer using their personal laptops because of transportability, software familiarity and the convenience of working from one computer.

Teaching Spaces = Smart Studios

The GAND program is in a new building where the teaching spaces are “Smart Studios” which are not traditional computer labs but rather flexible and forward-looking workspaces that take advantage of the mobility and flexibility of current technology.

Your software and computer should be obtained for use in the first year at Longwood. The software and computer that you purchase should easily satisfy a student’s needs for their entire college career.

Graphic Design

In general, Apple's Mac is the choice of most graphic design professionals, therefore, students leaning toward the Brand, Identity and Media Design track should buy a Macbook laptop computer.


Students leaning toward the Animation, Simulation and Time-Based Media track should buy a Windows based gaming computer which are available under a variety of brand names. Computers designed for gaming purposes typically have a better video card, a faster processor and more RAM, all of which are needed for professional modeling and animation programs used in the GAND program’s Animation, Simulation and Time-Based Media track.

Here are some recommendations for purchasing a Macbook or Windows Gaming computer.

Purchase a Mac via Longwood's Apple portal
Purchase a Dell Gaming Computer via Longwood's Dell portal

Learn about Longwood's laptop program, support and services


The GAND program requires that all students purchase the following:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite software
  • Adobe Font Folio Education Essentials
  • Microsoft Office

Software can be purchased through the Longwood Bookstore or at the Adobe Educational website. The Creative Cloud offers the entire Adobe library for a year’s subscription at a student price rate billed monthly. All of this software can be purchased from an educational software discounter such as Journey Ed or Studica.

Learn more about Adobe Font Folio Education Essentials.

Animation, Simulation and Time-Based Media Track students are required to download the following Autodesk Software that comes with a FREE three-year license.

  • Maya
  • 3ds Max
  • Mudbox

Animation, Simulation and Time-Based Media Track students are also required to subscribe to one of the options listed on the Toon Boom Harmony site when taking particular animation courses.


Students in the Brand Identity and Media Design track may need to purchase supplies for design projects. Usually, the purchases are nominal.

It is strongly advised that students purchase all the required materials listed on the instructor's syllabus. Doing so will ensure the student is prepared for class. While instructors make every effort to inform students of what supplies are needed for what class, it is difficult to predict from week to week. 


We try to limit the amount of printing required of students. However, senior students in the Brand Identity and Media Design track should prepare to pay for high-quality printing to best showcase their designs as they seek employment.

Flash Drives

Aside from the laptop and software requirements, all GAND students will need flash drives (for porting files and short-term storage) and external hard drives (to make regular backups of their work). We suggest students consider the purchase of a Wacom tablet and stylus, or other similar product. A tablet permits greater versatility in computer design and drawing.

Lab Fee

Students also pay a lab fee which goes to the maintenance of the studios and equipment, software purchases, specialty papers, etc. Depending upon the course and the materials needed, these fees may pay for some supplies.

Art Supplies

Farmville, while growing, is still a small town, and has limited opportunities for the purchase of art supplies. Students should be prepared to plan ahead and purchase materials in a timely fashion.

Art Supply Stores (pdf)

Class Participation

Students without the proper equipment basically miss the class, because they cannot participate in the class exercises, and can't take advantage of the class time to work on their projects.



Mac computers and software:

Windows gaming computers and software: