An Internet connection is needed to take all your courses and perform all communications to the University and faculty. We recommend broadband access (DSL, Cable or High Speed Satellite connections).

Students must have access to a computer with the following configurations in order to benefit from and easily navigate Hawthorn University’s learning platform. A broadband connection is required. The computer should have a soundcard and speakers, webcam, and microphone. Students will need Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (free download: and a Skype account.

Additionally Windows Users should have:

  • Windows 7 or higher;
  • Minimum of 8 GB Memory;
  • Browser: Google Chrome version 60.0 or higher (Recommended)

Mac Users should have:

  • Mac OS X or higher;
  • Minimum of 8 GB Memory;
  • Browser: Mozilla Firefox 50.0 or higher

Students may wish to purchase diet analysis software that is optimized for windows as part of the NC, MSHN, MHNE, SFHN, and MSTN programs. Suggestions for free diet analysis software is included in the syllabi.

Assignments in all programs are submitted in PDF format. Many students have word processing software that will convert documents to PDF format or students can download freeware programs that will convert documents to PDF format. Links to these programs can be found on the student portal.

Students receive instructions during Orientation and online instructions for each course are with the course syllabus. Technical support is available through our Help Desk (

Most questions are responded to within a few hours. Students should not have to wait more than twenty-four (24) business hours for a response and a resolution to their problem. We have had a high level of success in the past, and our support staff is willing to work with you until your problems are resolved.

Students may log in at any time that is convenient for them to work on their course.

Webinars are presented on Tuesday evenings at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. If there is a change in the Tuesday schedule, students will receive advanced notice. All Webinars are recorded and archived on the student portal and can be viewed at a future time if a student is unable to be present. A large library of archived webinars available on the student portal can be viewed by enrolled students at any time.

Students are responsible to providing their own computer.

Hawthorn University students are expected to:

1. Perform basic functions, including creating, saving, copying, and retrieving files;
2. Be able to upload and download documents;
3. Format documents;
4. Perform basic word processing activities;
5. Engage in basic Internet activities, including subject searches.

Should students experience any difficulty in navigating the system or in their general use of the website, technical support is available through Hawthorn’s Help Desk system.