All distance learners must comply with the following minimum requirements:
All users of VCSU computer and network capabilities are required to comply with NDUS (North Dakota University System) and VCSU procedures established in compliance with SBHE (State Board of Higher Education) Policy 1901.2.
Technical Skills:
All first-time online learners at VCSU must complete the VCSU online orientation course before beginning their first online course at VCSU.
Internet Access:
Distance learners must secure their own internet service. Free access may be available via local schools, libraries, cafes or other public locations. To secure a more convenient personal and private service, consult local listings for "Internet Access Providers" or "Internet Service Providers".

Minimum Requirement: 1.0 Mbps (typically offered as an economy speed by DSL and Cable Service providers)
Recommended Service: 5.0 Mbps or higher (higher speed internet service offered via DSL or Cable Service, and some wireless services)
Computer Access:
VCSU provides laptop computers to qualified distance learners upon request. The cost varies depending on the amount of mandatory technology fees accessed as part of the normal course tuition and fees. Some distance learners may be entitled to a VCSU laptop at no extra charge! Consult the following document related to eligibility, costs and procedures:

Rental & Buyup Procedures
If a VCSU laptop is not used, the computer must be either a Windows or Macintosh based computer. The following table lists our minimum and recommended hardware and software computing requirements. We feel these requirements will give the user an overall better experience while taking an online class with VCSU. Please feel free to contact the VCSU Help Desk at 701-845-7340 to discuss any computing questions you may have prior to enrollment.

Hardware/Software Requirements for Online Courses

PC Minimum configuration:
  • Operating System: Windows XP (Windows 7 recommended)
  • CPU: Intel Pentium M processor or newer
  • Memory: 1024 Mb RAM (2 Gb or higher recommended)
  • Hard drive: 20 GB free space
  • CD-ROM drive (DVD+/-RW recommended)
  • Headphone/Microphone (Webcam recommended)
  • Software:
    • Microsoft Office 2003 or equivalent suite (Microsoft Office 2007 or higher recommended)
    • Browsers (Internet Explorer 8.0 , Mozilla Firefox 3.5 or higher)
    • Browser plugins (Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, Java, Media Player, Quicktime, etc.)
    • Audio Recording/ Video Editing ( depends on requirements of course)
    • Class specific software (Please contact professor for needed applications)
Macintosh Minimum configuration:
  • Operating System: Mac OS 10.5 or higher
  • CPU: Intel or PowerPC G5 or newer
  • Memory: 1024 MB RAM (2 Gb or higher recommended)
  • Hard drive: 20 GB of free space
  • CD-ROM drive (DVD+/-RW recommended)
  • Headphone/Microphone (Webcam recommended)
  • Software:
    • Microsoft Office 2008 or equivalent suite (Microsoft Office 2011 recommended)
    • Browsers: (Safari 4.0 or higher, Firefox 3.5 or higher)
    • Browser plugins (Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, Java, Quicktime, Silverlight, Flip4MAC)
    • Audio Recording/ Video Editing ( depends on requirements of course)
    • Class specific software ( Please contact professor for needed applications)
Mobile Devices such as Apple iPad - Recommended Apps:
  • Blackboard Mobile Learn
  • Citrix Receiver
  • Pages, Numbers, Keynote (Used for creating or reading Office documents)