MD Program

Equipment Requirements for First-Year Medical Students

First-year medical students are given dissection kits and clean lab gowns to protect clothing (in the Gross Anatomy Lab) and can rent microscopes for coursework, so required supplies to purchase in preparation for the first year of medical school are minimal.

Required Supplies

  • Textbooks
  • One box of Nitrile or Latex rubber gloves
  • Scrubs and a pair of old shoes (for Gross Anatomy Lab)
  • Ophthalmoscope and Otoscope kit

Note: Traditional is adequate; a Pan-Optic is not required and is quite expensive.

  • Stethoscope (Cardiology Grade)
  • Reflex hammer
  • Sphygmomanometer

Note: Adult cuff is fine. Some students may also want to get a large adult cuff and a pediatric cuff depending on their needs and future career plans.

  • Tuning forks (512 Hz and 128 Hz)
  • A penlight is useful.
  • Measuring tape (metric or metric and English units)
  • Hand-held Snellen eye chart

Students can purchase equipment and supplies at the instrument sale held at the Indianapolis campus at the start of each school year. Company representatives demonstrate each item and give significant discounts to students who purchase instruments at this sale.


Students should purchase the textbooks for each course before the first day of class. Visit the Medical School Bookstore in Indianapolis, buy books from other students or try an online bookstore. Whenever selecting books, always purchase the newest edition.

Laptop Computer

All IU School of Medicine first- and second-year medical students are required to have a personal laptop for classroom purposes. Note regarding tablet computers: While tablet computers may be used for general and personal tasks, they do not meet the minimum requirements for all systems used at IU School of Medicine. For portability, a laptop is necessary for medical education course work.

Several computer programs and web-based applications are required for medical education. To use these applications, students must ensure that personal laptops for education meet the minimum requirements. For existing laptops, ensure that the computer meets the minimum requirements in the list below. If purchasing a new laptop, it is strongly recommended that the computer meets the optimal requirements.

These requirements are based on applications used in IUSM courses statewide. Campuses or departments might make use of other computer programs or web-based applications. Be sure to check with your campus contact and academic instructors for any other requirements.

Minimum Computer Requirements


  • Laptop
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise Edition
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Hard drive: 64GB
  • Processor: 2GHz
  • Screen: 10.6″ at 1024×768 resolution
  • Wi-Fi capable: 802.11b/g


  • Laptop
  • Operating System: OS X 10.9
  • Intel processor
  • Wi-Fi capable: 802.11b/g

Optimal Computer Requirements


  • Laptop
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 Professional or Windows 10 Education Edition
  • Memory: 4GB min
  • Hard drive: 320GB+
  • Processor: 2GHz
  • Screen: 13″ min
  • Wi-Fi capable: 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth


  • Laptop
  • Operating System: OS X 10.11
  • Processor: Any currently shipping Apple laptop or desktop
  • Wi-Fi capable: 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth

Tips on Purchasing Required Supplies

IU students can access discounted hardware. See An IU Network ID is required on some sites to view discounted prices.

Do not unnecessarily order software from vendor sites when purchasing hardware, as many products and software packages (including those offered by Adobe and Microsoft) as well as antivirus products are available as free downloads to IU students, faculty and staff via IUware, and on disc at campus bookstores. Students do not need to purchase any Microsoft packages (such as “trial” or “student edition” versions). Additionally, students may use IUanyWare to run Windows software virtually on a Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or BlackBerry device without downloading. For more information, see