AutoCAD Design Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Drafters use AutoCAD (Computer-Aided Design) software to create drawings with a wide range of industrial applications. Training programs are available at the undergraduate level.

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Certificate, diploma and degree programs in AutoCAD are provided by community colleges, technical schools and four-year universities. They may focus specifically on AutoCAD or incorporate training into a broader engineering technology program.

10 Schools with AutoCAD Programs

These schools offer programs that cover AutoCAD:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-16)*
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Associate's, Undergraduate Certificate $2,805 in-state, $9,450 out-of-state
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $10,417 in-state, $27,712 out-of-state
University of Alaska - Anchorage Anchorage, AK 4-year, Public Undergraduate Certificate $5,545 in-state, $17,177 out-of-state
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private Associate's $37,124
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public Associate's $10,970 in-state, $17,562 out-of-state
Idaho State University Pocatello, ID 4-year, Public Associate's, Bachelor's, Undergraduate Certificate $6,784 in-state, $20,182 out-of-state
University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,322 in-state, $13,767 out-of-state
Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI 4-year, Public Associate's $9,620 in-state, $15,020 out-of-state
Southern Utah University Cedar City, UT 4-year, Public Associate's, Undergraduate Certificate $6,300 in-state, $19,132 out-of-state
Olympic College Bremerton, WA 4-year, Public Associate's, Undergraduate Certificate $3,837

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for AutoCAD schools:

  • Students should research if the program emphasizes the use of AutoCAD for use in a particular industry, such as architecture or aeronautical, architectural, civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical or pipeline engineering.
  • Students who are considering certificate programs should check if credits are transferable to an associate's degree program, and prospective associate's degree students may want to find out if they can eventually advance to bachelor's degree programs.
  • It can be helpful to learn more about the school's computer lab facilities, in order to ensure that students have the opportunity to train on up-to-date equipment with the most recent versions of CAD software programs.
  • Students may want to inquire about the pass rates for graduates on voluntary professional certification exams, such as the one offered by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA).

Associate's Degree Programs

Most associate's degree programs that cover computer-aided drafting and design confer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students may choose to major specifically in CAD, or the topic may be covered extensively within a more general engineering technology program. In addition to studying AutoCAD, students may also gain experience with other software applications, such as Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks and CreoParametric. General education requirements must also be fulfilled prior to graduation.

Certificate Programs

Basic certificate programs in CAD generally cover the same introductory topics as associate's degree programs, but without any general education requirements. There are also more advanced specialty certificate programs that focus on a particular aspect of CAD use, such as CAD for 3D printing, CAD for mechanical drafting and CAD for animation and visualization.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

While bachelor's degree programs in the field are rare, there are a few schools that provide majors in CAD. These programs give students the opportunity to pursue more in-depth studies in CAD use, placing a heavier emphasis on 3D CAD than 2D CAD. Students can also choose electives based on their career goals, such as architectural or civil design.

AutoCAD is useful drafting and design technology used in many industries. If you are interested in technical drafting and design, a certificate or degree in CAD technologies may be a valuable asset.

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