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The CTS team is here to assist with academic and research purchases, including workstations, compute nodes, presentation equipment, and other peripherals.

For standard workstation purchases, we try to make use of Dell’s Business Outlet site — we’re able to secure ready-to-ship systems at roughly half the price of ordering it through Dell’s retail side. We can also quote out custom systems from Dell and Lenovo.

Most of our other purchasing is done through approved vendors using Drexel’s SmartSource system — for tech purchases, we rely mainly on Dell, Apple, CDWG, Connection, or Telrose/Office Depot.

We can assist in obtaining competing quotes for large purchases if required.

Purchasing Policies

Please consult CTS before purchasing computers

All computer purchases should be cleared by CTS prior to purchase to ensure supportability and compatibility with Drexel systems.

Minimum system requirements

We recommend that all newly purchased systems come with at least a late generation mid-level CPU (Core i5-equivalent or better), 8GB of RAM, and a solid-state hard drive.

Data security

All University-owned computer systems must include a TPM chip or comparable hardware to support full disk encryption as required by Drexel's data security initiative.


CTS highly recommends that all systems be purchased with the appropriate warranty protections (a minimum of 3 years of on-site service). For laptops and mobile devices, accidental damage plans are advisable.

Limited support for non-approved computer purchases

For computers purchased without CTS approval or with reduced warranty protections, support is limited to installation of an operating system and other software as required by university policies and standards. CTS may assist with basic troubleshooting, but the purchasing group will be responsible for any warranty services required including shipping the unit offsite (if a mail-in warranty was purchased), as well as purchasing any necessary replacement parts.

Staff purchasing restrictions

Due to the higher cost of Apple computers compared to comparable hardware, the increased complexity of integration with Drexel enterprise applications and services requiring workarounds, and the lack of standard on-site enterprise warranty repair services, the College does not support the purchase of new Apple systems for staff use. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the College's Directors of IT and Finance.

Faculty refresh

The University provides faculty with a new computer system of their choice once every 4 years. Faculty are notified around October/November of each year and given a chance to view the systems available on campus before making their selection. The computers are then ordered, imaged, and delivered around the following February/March.

Software purchases

CTS is available to consult on new software being purchased for teaching or research use. We maintain multiple license servers able to host any floating network license as required by the software vendor.