Digital Technologies-Art+Design

Professional designers and artists today rely heavily on digital technology. Technology is also central to much of the work that our students create while in school. The College of Art integrates significant digital technology into its studio classes, starting in the first year and moving to the more individualized projects of the senior year. In the first semester or two, most students will take a required course called Digital Studio that relies on regular access to a laptop equipped with a software package called the Adobe Creative Suite.

We strongly encourage Colege of Art first-year students to acquire a computer and software that meet or exceed the specifications noted in the guide below. These two components are the digital foundation for all majors in the College of Art. Once you select your major during your second year, specific supplemental purchases (monitors, scanners, tablets, etc.) may be requested. Communication design, fashion design, and photography, for example, all ask that students acquire additional equipment the summer before the junior year. Further details about these expectations are included in the guide, as well.

New this year all first-year students are required to purchase Adobe CC through the University. The University has secured a highly reduced annual cost of $50 per license (regular retail cost is $240 per year). This cost will be billed to your WashU student account and a license will be issued to you at the beginning of August to your email. You will continue to be billed each year while you are a student for this license.

Download our Guide to the College of Art Computer Requirements for 2020-2021>>

Assistance & Advice

We understand that these are significant, weighty purchases for many families and we request them only because of their critical relevance to the fields of design and art. We are here to help you work through this, both in strategizing the timing and also the financing.

For timing/strategy/technology questions, please contact Enrique Von Rohr, Director of Research and Technology, at or 314.935.6826.

For assistance with finances related to these purchases, please contactt a counselor in Student Financial Services at 314.935.5900, 888.547.6670, or

Washington University wants to help all students have the tools that they need to take full advantage of their college education in architecture, art, and design, and to be prepared to be the best in their field.