IT Requirements and Guidance

Access to NDU information systems is predicated on user compliance with DoD/NDU cybersecurity regulations. No student will receive access to any NDU system until the student has accurately, fully and verifiably completed all mandatory DoD/NDU cybersecurity requirements.

Cybersecurity Compliance

All NDU students must register, complete a profile, and complete cybersecurity compliance requirements in the Joint Staff's training system of record -- Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) -- according to their college/program and student type.‚Äč

Minimum Computing Requirements for Student Devices

All NDU students are required to have a Windows or MAC laptop. Tablets and Chrome OS are not adequate to complete the coursework required by NDU programs. NDU provides wireless access on campus to enable students to access NDU’s Online Courseware (Blackboard) and productivity applications (Office 365). Students are also required to have Internet access outside of school. All laptops must have a modern web browser, the ability to run web-based applications, and up-to-date antivirus protection.

The use of Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) is not possible. Neither NDU nor students have sufficient rights to configure or connect GFEs to NDU's network or to its online courseware

Although handheld mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are permissible in the NDU Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment, they are not adequate to complete the coursework required by NDU programs

Students must keep their devices updated in order to connect to NDU’s Academic Wireless network. NDU offers technical support for access to the BYOD network and online courseware at our Service Desk, in-depth technical support is not available  Warranty, security, insurance, and maintenance is the responsibility of the student.

Multi-factor authentication: To access NDU’s cloud infrastructure, students must have a mobile device capable of running Microsoft’s Authenticator application. Read the specific requirements.  

NDU recommends that laptops meet the following minimum specifications:

 Minimum Laptop Specifications


Windows Laptop or Apple Notebook

Screen Size

13” or larger


Intel 10th Gen Core i3 and greater, AMD Ryzen 3 1300x and greater, or Apple M1 and greater


8Gb or higher

Hard drive

128 GB or higher

Operating System

Windows 10 and greater, or macOS 11 and greater

On Campus Networking: 

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and greater. NDU highly recommends that students utilize our BYOD wireless network. If your device does not have an ethernet (LAN) adaptor, it is recommended that students acquire a USB network adaptor with a minimum speed of 100mbps (mega bits per second)

Productivity Tools

Microsoft Office is available as part of your NDU enrollment for the duration of your coursework. Adobe Acrobat reader, and a modern web browser.

Virus Protection

Windows Defender (built in to Windows) or Apple XProtect (built into macOS)

Smart Card (CAC) Reader

While not required to access NDU courseware, a Smart Card (CAC) Reader is required to access restricted websites such as the Defense Travel System (DTS).

***JFSC STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: JCWS US students will need a CAC Reader to access FOUO reference material. Army JCWS students will need a CAC Reader to sign AERs generated at the completion of their training.

Audio/Video Capability

Devices must include a built-in or external High Definition (HD) webcam with a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720; a microphone, sound card and speakers (a noise-cancelling headset/microphone combination is recommended); and a video card and monitor (1024 x 768 or greater resolution).

Internet Connection

Students must ensure that they have access to a reliable, accessible, off-campus, high-speed internet connection with a recommended upload/download speed of 4 megabytes per second (Mbps) and a minimum of 2 Mbps. This speed is crucial to your timely ability to download reading assignments and upload completed course work. NOTE: The use of satellite, cellular, or public access internet connections may result in slowness or errors when accessing the classroom and course materials.


Smart Card (CAC) Readers and DoD Certificates

To access CAC-restricted websites such as the Defense Travel Service, military service personnel files, etc., from your personal device, you will need to install a Smart Card (CAC) Reader and DOD Certificates on your computer.

Apple Pro macOS/iOS X 10.13 or Newer

PC Windows 10 or Newer

IT Services Provided by NDU

NDU’s Information Technology Directorate (ITD) provides the following services to 10-month and short course students:

  • NDU accounts
  • Wifi access, classroom wired access, and wireless printing
  • Help with NDU IT environment
  • Personal device support is limited account and access issues

Students in 10-month and short course programs receive Blackboard Learning Management System accounts as well as a web-based email account with cloud-based storage for use during their course of study at NDU. Please note that some College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) eResident and DL students do not receive email/storage accounts.

How to Get IT Help:

  • Call 202-685-3824  (0600-1800 M-F)
  • Email:
  • Visit the Library, or Marshall Hall Room 104 if the Library is closed (0600-1800 M-F)

Additional Guidance

All Devices

Windows/PC Devices

Apple macOS/iOS Devices

For questions about NDU’s technology and computing environment, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 202-685-3824.