The College of Art and Design is Lesley's college of visual arts. It has been providing bold and innovative art education and preparing students for creative and fulfilling professional careers for more than a century.
The College of Art and Design at Lesley University was founded by Roy Atherton Davidson in 1912 as the School of Practical Arts. Roy Davidson - a pioneer in the field of commercial art education - founded the school to train students to become professional artists so they could put their talents to work in rewarding creative fields. The school opened in Davidson's own studio in Boston's Back Bay. Davidson remained the director of the school until 1940.
In 1967, the school added programs in Fine Arts, Photography, and Liberal Arts and changed its name to the Art Institute of Boston (AIB). In 1998, AIB merged with Lesley University. The merger allowed AIB to continue to focus on developing students' creative ideas, artistic ability, self-expression, and professional skills - adding undergraduate programs in Animation and Art History as well as graduate programs in Fine Arts and Photography.
In 2013, the university officially changed the name from The Art Institute of Boston to the Lesley University College of Art and Design.
Since our founding in 1912, we have educated students for professions in the arts by balancing personal aesthetic development and intensive studies in the humanities with practical career preparation. Our challenging curriculum emphasizes solid foundations in traditional art and design principles, time-proven methods of creative process, and strong intellectual concepts.
We offer multiple Undergraduate degrees, two-year Advanced Professional Certificate, the Master of Fine Arts degree (both a low residency visual arts program and a full residency Photography program), dual degree programs, as well as continuing and professional education, intensive workshops, and pre-college courses.
The College of Art and Design, at its heart, is an intimate school, more an indie workshop than a factory. For us, tight teacher-student relationships are at the core of a great art education. In our studio classes (of about fourteen students), there's always a front-row seat: the chance to get up close and personal with some of the best teaching-artists and designers in the business, ask questions about technique, and develop the skills needed in the visual and media arts industries.
The College of Art and Design, part of Lesley University since 1998, is dynamic enough to provide a variety of perspectives within each major as well as diverse influences outside each major. You will move beyond the traditional curriculum and take courses across the University; many study abroad for a semester or enroll in a dual degree program, and our required internship program provides you with real world experience during your junior or senior years.
Graduates of Lesley University leave with the confidence to respond creatively and effectively to the constantly changing career landscape. A College of Art and Design education prepares you for a variety of creative professions including: graphic design, web and multimedia design, book, advertising and editorial illustration, animation, documentary photography, photojournalism, fine arts photography, fine arts, and art education. Our alumni create opportunities for themselves in other professions as well, from television and film production to performance art.
College of Art and Design
Meet Our BFA Students and Alumni
About College of Art and Design
Directions to Campus
Animation and Motion Media Student Work
Digital Filmmaking Student Work
Fine Arts Student Work
Foundation Student Work
Graphic Design Student Work
Illustration Student Work
Illustration Student Competition Work
Photography Foundation Student Works
Photography Student Work
Request more information
Request a campus visit
Get your application started today!
A new adventure for two members of the MFA Photography program:Alicia Turbitt and Cotton Miller'13 found themselves teaching photography workshops in the small barrio of Sonrisa de Dios, Nicaragua.
Design students redesign campus maps for individuals with physical, sensory, visual and/or impairments.
13 Reasons: Lesley University College of Art and Design