AutoCAD is a software application released by Autodesk, Inc. for 2-D and 3-D computer-aided design (CAD). Frequently, AutoCAD classes are offered through architectural, engineering and interior design technology programs and individual courses at 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. Read below about seven San Francisco Bay-area schools with AutoCAD-related certificate and associate's degree programs that include:
- Computer-Aided Drafting and Digital Media for Engineering and Architecture
- Mechanical Computer-Aided Design
- Surveying and Geomatics
Chabot College is a 2-year school in Hayward with an associate's degree in engineering that's designed for those planning to transfer to a 4-year engineering program. The associate's degree program includes a required engineering design graphics class that focuses on training students in AutoCAD, which is often used by engineers. Students use the AutoCAD tool to learn orthographic and axonometric project drawing methods, product design, spatial skill development and 3-D solid modeling.
De Anza College
Cupertino is located about 12 miles west of San Jose and is home to De Anza College, a school that offers a program that requires classes in AutoCAD. An 18-credit Mechanical Computer-Aided Design certificate of achievement program is for students planning computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) careers in the industrial, design and mechanical engineering trades. Students must take a course in CAD applications as well as beginning and intermediate courses in SolidWorks and Creo Parametic.
Diablo Valley College
Diablo Valley College (DVC) is situated in Pleasant Hill and offers several programs through the school's engineering technology department that include AutoCAD coursework. The college has a computer-aided drafting and digital media certificate program for those working in engineering and architectural technology. This certificate program includes classes in introductory AutoCAD drafting and design, as well as an advanced class in AutoCAD drafting and design. The introductory AutoCAD class covers topics in 2-D drafting in orthographic projection and technical drawings, while the advanced course addresses surface and wireframe, as well as solid modeling uses of AutoCAD for 3-D modeling. Students also learn how to customize and use utility options in AutoCAD software. Other programs at the college that involve the same AutoCAD classes are a certificate in CADD civil drafting, a certificate in civil design drafting technology and an associate's degree in civil design drafting technology.
Evergreen Valley College
Evergreen Valley College, in San Jose, offers courses in AutoCAD, as well as other Autodesk-related classes. The AutoCAD fundamentals class teaches students how to layout, print and plot drawings, manipulate displays and manage files. The AutoCAD II course focuses on CADD and educates students in drawing and viewing 3-D space, 3-D modeling, using AutoCAD with the Internet and user customization of the software.
These courses are offered through the school's certificate program for those specializing in AutoCAD, along with a class in using Mechanical Desktop or using Autodesk Inventor. AutoCAD classes are also offered through an associate's degree program in CADD and surveying and geomatics, as well as the mechanical CADD certificate program.
Napa Valley College
Napa Valley College is about 46 miles north of San Francisco in Napa and offers several classes in AutoCAD through the school's Autodesk Premiere Training Center. Students can take each of the 2-week AutoCAD classes individually.
For those just starting out in CADD, the AutoCAD Fundamentals class trains students to draw, edit and layer using the program. AutoCAD Advanced builds on the first class and covers topics such as grips, object selection, block attributes, editing and 3-D drawing. The course in 3DS Max Fundamentals teaches learners about materials and lighting, 3-D wireframe and solid models, as well as the use of Boolean operations for construction.
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University, near downtown San Francisco, offers an Autodesk Training Center through the university's extended learning division. The center offers a non-credit Autodesk certificate program with some curriculum in AutoCAD. Students can take AutoCAD classes individually or as part of an Autodesk certificate program at the downtown campus. Students are granted 15 hours of free open lab access per course.
The required AutoCAD classes in the certificate program include AutoCAD 3-D modeling and rendering, fundamentals in AutoCAD, advanced AutoCAD and AutoCAD graphics production. Program participants might also take Autodesk classes in 3ds Max Design and Revit. Additionally, an elective is available in the certificate program that's designed to help students create a professional project portfolio.
University of California - Berkeley
The University of California at Berkeley offers a course in AutoCAD through its school of extended learning at the university's art and design center in San Francisco. This 12-week course trains students in drafting, editing, customization and plotting. The AutoCAD non-credit course can be taken individually, but may also be taken for credit as part of the university's interior design and architecture certificate program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||AutoCAD-Related Programs and Courses Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Chabot College||2-year, public; midsize city||AS in Engineering|| $1,142 in-state;
|De Anza College||2-year, public; small city||Certificate of Achievement in Computer-Aided Design - Mechanical|| $1,561 in-state;
|Diablo Valley College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Accomplishment in Computer-Aided Drafting and Digital Media for Architecture, Industrial Design and Engineering,
Certificate of Achievement in Civil Drafting - Computer-Aided Design,
Certificate of Achievement in Civil Design Drafting Technology,
AS in Civil Design Drafting Technology
| $1,312 in-state;
|Evergreen Valley College||2-year, public; large city|| Certificate in AutoCAD,
Certificate of Achievement in Surveying and Geomatics,
Certificate in Mechanical Modeling,
AS in Surveying and Geomatics,
AS in CADD
| $1,358 in-state;
|Napa Valley College||2-year, public; small city|| AutoCAD Fundamentals Course,
AutoCAD Advanced Course,
3DS Max Fundamentals
| $1,142 in-state;
|San Francisco State University||4-year, public; large city||Certificate in Autodesk|| $7,260 in-state;
|University of California - Berkeley||4-year, public; midsize city||AutoCAD course|| $14,184 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator