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Schools with Architectural Drafting and Design Programs: How to Choose

Architectural drafting and design programs help students develop skills in computer-assisted drawing for several industries, such as construction, manufacturing or city planning. Students interested in acquiring basic knowledge in the field could look for programs designed to provide job-skills training or segue into an advanced degree. Several options should be considered before choosing a drafting school or program.

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Education in architectural drafting and design, also referred to as computer-assisted drafting (CAD), prepares students for careers in the fields of architectural drawing and planning. Several technical schools and community colleges offer certificate of completion or associate degree programs in the field with varying levels of instruction.

10 Schools with Architectural Drafting Programs

These institutions offer architectural drafting programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,448; Out-of-state $6,704
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,598; Out-of-state $7,554
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $5,275; In-state $10,885; Out-of-state $12,985
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $3,913; Out-of-state $7,825
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $9,056; Out-of-state $29,774
Long Beach City College Long Beach, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,182; Out-of-state $7,398
Macomb Community College Warren, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $3,169; In-state $4,945; Out-of-state $6,641
Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $2,046; Out-of-state $7,830
Montgomery College Rockville, MD 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $4,728; In-state $9,156; Out-of-state $12,432
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI 2-year, Public Certificate In-district $2,745; In-state $5,235; Out-of-state $7,305

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when selecting a program in this discipline.

  • Review a program's course options to ensure desired training areas are met.
  • Look for a program that offers hands-on opportunities through work co-ops or internships.
  • Search for programs that provide transferable credit within the school to a 4-year college or university.

Certificate of Completion in Architectural Drafting

Certificate programs are designed to help students acquire the skills required for an entry-level position in a drafting firm or company. Students learn board drafting, computer-assisted design, 3-dimensional modeling and architectural sketching. Lab work includes both manual and computer drafting.

Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting

A 2-year associate degree program combines the study of architecture, geometry, physics and civil engineering and emphasizes theory in conjunction with technical training. General education is required, such as classes in English composition, social sciences and humanities. Some programs offer an internship through an affiliated architectural design technology firm.

With a certificate or associate's degree in architectural drafting, it's possible to pursue a career in this field. A number of public colleges offer architectural drafting certificates or associate's degree programs that can be completed in two years or less.

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