2024/2025 School Year

The following software programs are required and used by students in their studies and design work. As you will see below, many are free, but Rhino requires purchase.

Primary software

These products are required for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Software Platform Cost Notes
Microsoft Office
(Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
Win/Mac Free SU provides Microsoft Office for free to all active students. Click here for info. 
Digital Imaging
Adobe Creative Cloud
(Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro + other products)
Win/Mac Free The school now provides Adobe Creative Cloud to matriculated Architecture students. Get it here. All Adobe products are included with the subscription.
AutoCAD Architecture Win/Mac Free

Obtain through the Autodesk Education Community.*

If you don’t see AutoCAD Architecture on the list of products, do these steps:
1. Download the regular AutoCAD installer.
2. Don’t install it (cancel the installer if it starts after you’ve downloaded it).

3. Now go to your Autodesk account.
4. AutoCAD Architecture should appear under your list of products to download and install.

AutoCAD Architecture is not available for Macs. Regular AutoCAD is available but is not as feature complete.

3D Modeling
Rhinoceros 8.0 Win $95 SU Bookstore price. Rhino 8 also includes a Rhino 7 license if needed. After purchase, the license will usually be emailed to you within a few hours, or next day if the order is placed near closing or over the weekend. Detailed purchase & install steps.
V-Ray for Rhino Win Free Obtain the V-Ray installation software from the G drive in G:\ARCH\Student Resources\Software. Then follow the installation instructions.


* Once you have an syr.edu email address, register for free to obtain and download the Autodesk software. Visit the Autodesk Education Community and look for the “Sign In” link. Fill out the registration form using your syr.edu email address. When creating a password, please pick a different one than your SU NetID password. After logging in with the new account info, go to the software download section to obtain the free programs.

additional SOFTWARE

These products may be used by 2nd-5th year undergraduates and graduate students.

CAD / BIM / Environmental
Autodesk Revit Win Free Obtain through the Autodesk Education Community.*
Autocad Map 3D Win Free Obtain through the Autodesk Education Community.*
ArcGIS Pro Win Free Visit this link to obtain the free license.
Google Earth Pro Win Free Download & install. The pro version allows for higher quality printing of maps.
Digital Modeling
Maya Win/Mac Free Obtain through the Autodesk Education Community.*
Cinema 4D Studio Win/Mac $60/yr To obtain the software, visit the Cinema 4D Student website.
Real-time Rendering
Lumion 3D Win Free Visit this site to obtain a free license.

Software Copyright

Students must keep the original receipt of purchase of all software. All instructors of course work that use computing media may require students using machines and software not in School computer clusters to provide a copy of the purchase receipt(s) of the relevant application(s). The School requires this to avoid software copyright violations.

Important Note to Macintosh Users

We no longer recommend purchase of a Mac, as some essential software used in the program requires Windows (namely certain Rhino plugins, ArcGIS Pro, Autodesk Revit, ClimateStudio, etc.).

In the past, Mac users could install Windows through Boot Camp, but this option is currently unavailable on the new M2/M3 Macs. The are a couple of 3rd party apps such as Parallels and Fusion that run Windows inside macOS, but we’ve seen many cases where poor performance and graphical glitches cause problems and frustration. Fusion is now free for personal use (must create a Broadcom account to download). If you choose to try Parallels/Fusion, Windows 10 is free for students.

* Rhino for Mac does not support essential plugins used in the school and is missing commands found in the Windows version.

* The Mac version of AutoCAD isn’t as feature complete as the AutoCAD Architecture version for Windows.