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College of Art and Design Computer Requirements

MacBooks are required for most students at the College of Art and Design by the start of freshman year – requirements vary depending on each student's major. See specific technology needs by program.

While students are welcome to purchase their machines at any vendor, Micros offers these benefits as part of the bundle:

  • Warranty upgraded to 3 years (Apple Care/HP Care Pack)
  • Accidental damage coverage for three years (drop protection!)
  • Protective carrying case
  • Loaner pool – Qty. 1 loaner per 25 units sold (this is applicable if the student has purchased their computer through Micros)
  • Service your laptop by contacting MicrosNE directly at mycomputer@lesley.edu.

Learn more about our Laptop Purchase Program through Information Technology.

Technology Requirements by Major

  • Animation & Motion Media

    Computer requirements:

    2D Animation:
    14-inch Macbook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 12-Core CPU
    • 19-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 1TB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 96W USB-C Power Adapter


    3D Animation and Motion Media:
    PC that meets the following minimum specifications:

    • i7 Quadcore or better
    • Dedicated GPU: Nvidia recommended GTX or RTX with at least 4 GB VRAM
    • 1TB Hard Drive, SSD recommended
    • 32GB RAM or better


    Most departments are asking to add at least a 1TB portable hard drive to the package and a wireless mouse.

    Note: PCs are not available for purchase via Micros Northeast.

    Required software:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud

    Recommended technology:

    • 3-button mouse
    • Padded travel bag
    • Wacom Intuos5 Tablet and pen: Small or Medium

    We also provide a variety of tablets, cameras, and other technology that students can check out for short periods of time. If you want information about specific technology, feel free to ask Academic Computing.

  • Design

    Computer requirements:

    14-inch Macbook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 10-Core CPU
    • 16-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 512GB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 67W USB-C Power Adapter

    Required software and technology:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud
    • Wireless mouse

    Recommended technology:

    • External portable hard drive (500GB or larger)
  • Digital Filmmaking

    We provide all of our students a hard drive and cards that work in our cameras. These are yours to own.

    Computer requirements:

    14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 12-Core CPU
    • 19-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 1TB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 96W USB-C Power Adapter

    Required software:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud

    Recommended technology:

    • Additional media cards for camera and case for your cards
    • Tripod
    • Backpack or camera bag for your gear

    Academic Computing also provides computer labs outfitted with software, a variety of cameras, film gear, and technology that you can check out for short periods of time. If you are planning to buy a camera or memory cards, please check with them for compatibility and recommendations.

  • Fine Arts

    Computer requirements:

    14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 10-Core CPU
    • 16-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 512GB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 67W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Game Design & Immersive Technologies

    Computer requirements:

    PC that meets the following minimum specifications:

    • i7 Quadcore or better
    • Dedicated GPU: Nvidia recommended GTX or RTX with at least 4 GB VRAM
    • 1TB Hard Drive, SSD recommended
    • 32GB RAM or better


    Most departments are asking to add at least a 1TB portable hard drive to the package and a wireless mouse.

    Note: PCs are not available for purchase via Micros Northeast.

  • Illustration

    Computer requirements:

    14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 10-Core CPU
    • 16-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 512GB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 67W USB-C Power Adapter

    Required software:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Photography

    Camera requirements:

    There are many good choices of cameras; we suggest a few specific models based on our experience and feedback from both professionals and students.

    Here are several good choices:

    • Canon EOS Rebel Digital T5 18.0 Megapixel
    • Nikon D3200 SLR Digital Camera
    • Any digital camera that is in good working order and no more than 2 to 3 years old may be adequate.

    Minimum camera requirements:

    • DSLR camera with Prime lens
    • 35mm lens for crop sensor, 50mm for full frame sensor
    • It must be able to shoot in both RAW and jpg formats
    • It must have the ability to operate in a manual exposure mode
    • It must have a working light meter

    Suggested equipment:

    • Memory cards: 8GB or larger
    • A remote release cord ('cable release')
    • A second camera battery
    • A clear filter for the lens, such as UV or Skylight filters

    Computer requirements:

    14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

    • 10-Core CPU
    • 16-Core GPU
    • 16GB Unified Memory
    • 512GB SSD Storage
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
    • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, headphone jack, MagSafe 3 port
    • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • 67W USB-C Power Adapter

    Required software:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Visual Effects (VFX)

    Computer requirements:

    PC that meets the following minimum specifications:

    • i7 Quadcore or better
    • Dedicated GPU: Nvidia recommended GTX or RTX with at least 4 GB VRAM
    • 1TB Hard Drive, SSD recommended
    • 32GB RAM or better


    Most departments are asking to add at least a 1TB portable hard drive to the package and a wireless mouse.

    Note: PCs are not available for purchase via Micros Northeast.

  • Visual Narrative

    Computer requirements:

    15.4" MacBook Pro
    Touch ID and Touch Bar

    • Retina Display with True Tone
    • 2.6GHz six-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    • 16GB 2400MHz memory
    • 512GB PCIe-based Solid State Drive
    • Radeon Pro 555X Graphics with 4GB memory
    • Touch Bar & Touch ID
    • Integrated wireless
    • Integrated camera & microphone
    • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

    Required software:

    • Adobe Creative Cloud

Wireless networks are available in most classrooms and work-areas across campus. Your laptop can print or go online in almost any area of the school.

If you who wish to expand your computer, look into options for more RAM or Storage. Please note that technology and software purchases qualify for educational rates. Ask for educational prices before purchasing. Contact your department’s faculty or Academic Computing before using alternative equipment or technology.

We suggest getting extended AppleCare warranty (3 years phone and hardware support). It’s important to be covered for accidental damage, like equipment getting wet or dropped. If you have renter’s insurance, check to see if it covers accidental damage or contact these companies:

Equipment and Facilities

Academic Computing provides you with state-of-the-art equipment for learning and producing comprehensive digital works. Utilize these facilities to develop professional portfolios and access a variety of creative mediums beyond a traditional studio atmosphere.

The digital media studios are designed to support the needs of illustrators, fine artists, photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers, and animators during their time at the College of Art and Design. The facilities are equipped with industry-standard hardware and software that you will encounter in the professional world.

There are over 100 computers available for student use at the College of Art and Design. For more details regarding other computers on campus, please visit the Information Technology site.

Contact Academic Computing

Lunder Arts Center, Lower level
1801 Massachusetts Ave
617.349.8037
LUCADcomputingstaff@lesley.edu