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 below for 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 dropping it off at Lesley’s IT Dept, and Micros will pick it up from 815 Somerville Avenue and assess/fix.

Recommended laptops for other students can be found on the Information Technology's page. 

Learn more about our Laptop Purchase Program through Information Technology.

    Technology Requirements by Major

    • Animation & Motion Media

      Computer requirements:

      13.3" MacBook Pro
      Touch ID and Touch Bar

      • Retina display
      • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 8th Gen, Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz
      • 16GB 2133MHz memory
      • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
      • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
      • Touch Bar & Touch ID
      • Integrated wireless
      • Integrated camera & microphone
      • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

      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:

      13.3" MacBook Pro
      Touch ID and Touch Bar

      • Retina Display with True Tone
      • 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8th Gen, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
      • 16GB 2133MHz memory
      • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
      • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
      • Touch Bar & Touch ID
      • Integrated wireless
      • Integrated camera microphone
      • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

      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:

      13.3" MacBook Pro
      Touch ID and Touch Bar

      • Retina Display with True Tone
      • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 8th Gen, Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz
      • 16GB 2133MHz memory
      • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
      • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
      • Touch Bar & Touch ID
      • Integrated wireless
      • Integrated camera & microphone
      • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

      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.

    • Illustration

      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
    • 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

      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
    • 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