2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

The College of Art and Design

The Lesley College of Art and Design was founded in 1912 as the School of Practical Arts to primarily teach commercial art skills. In 1967 the school changed its name to the Art Institute of Boston (AIB) and added fine art programs to establish itself as a professional art and design school. In 1998 the school merged with Lesley University. In 2013 AIB changed its name to Lesley University College of Art and Design in anticipation of its move from Boston to Cambridge. The Boston-Cambridge area has on average 98 cultural events per day, bringing art and design education outside the studio and classroom. In 2015,The Lesley College of Art and Design (LA+D) moved into the new Lunder Arts Center in Cambridge to join its sister colleges at Lesley. This merger and move strengthened and broadened the college’s curricula as one of the few professional art and design schools within a university that provides a strong liberal arts education to complement its art and design education. Art and design students are educated, not just trained, in liberal arts courses.

An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the college's mission remains focused on providing artists and designers with rigorous studio education and training grounded in the liberal arts. Its goal to produce contributing and responsible citizens is supported by professional art and design careers and a 94% post graduate employment rate. Students are able to work in the art and design community with one of over 50 community partners, gaining experience teaching, organizing, and exhibiting their work. Three gallery spaces feature over 20 exhibitions per year by professional artists and designers, community artists, and students. Undergraduates benefit from studying with graduate students in the LA+D MFA programs, ranked in the top 20 in the United States. With 600 students, the college is not too big, not too small, but rather just right - a close, inclusive, supporting community.