Nashville-Area CAD Design Schools
Most of the schools in the Nashville area offering CAD courses are affiliated with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology system, a network of vocational institutions across the state that offer low-cost professional training. This article examines three schools, none more than 30 miles from downtown Nashville. Students who are looking for a school can use the table of important facts to review data that includes enrollment, graduation rates and tuition. There is also a little information about one other Nashville-area school that offers CAD courses.
- The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro, approximately 28 miles from Nashville, offers certificate and diploma programs with credentials in CAD design.
- Just five miles from the city center, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville also offers diploma and certificate programs in CAD design and other drafting specializations.
- Nashville State Community College is one of the few schools in the Nashville area that offers CAD courses through associate's degree programs in addition to certificate programs. It is about five miles from downtown.
Comparison of Schools
Students should look at many aspects of a school as they decide where to pursue their education. The following table displays important facts about these three schools.
|Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro||Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville||Nashville State Community College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (Fall 2019)||552||847||7,885|
|Campus Setting||Midsize city||Large city||Large city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)||$5,248 (for these programs)*||$5,649 (for these programs)**||$4,294 in-state; $16,870 out-of-state***|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2018-2019)||98%***||91%***||95%***|
|Acceptance Rate (2019)||N/A-Open admissions||N/A-Open admissions||N/A-Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2018)||79% full-time; 54% part-time***||73% full-time; 71% part-time***||49% full-time; 49% part-time***|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students who entered in fall 2016)||79%***||67%***||19%***|
Sources: *Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro, ** Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville, ***NCES College Navigator
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro is a vocational center that offers programs in 16 different areas of study. The school offers courses in CAD design through certificate and diploma programs.
This program is available in a part-time format, and students complete the required coursework over a period of 16 months. Online and night classes are available, and the programs confer either a certificate or a diploma. Students will learn how to design drawings of architectural plans that will be used by architects. Program credentials include a 432-hour assistant drafter certificate and an 864-hour detail drafter certificate. Additionally, students can earn their 1,728-hour diploma in residential architecture drafting, mechanical drafting or as a drafting and CAD technician.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville
As with its associated school in Murfreesboro, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville offers the same certificate and diploma programs. The only differences are that these programs are delivered in a full-time format during the day. Various certifications are also available, including AutoCAD Certified User, Revit Certified User and American Design Drafting Association Certified Drafter.
Assistant Drafting/Detail Drafter Certificate
This certificate program helps those with previous experience in drafting develop CAD skills. The assistant drafter certificate requires 432 hours of coursework. Students interested in the detail drafter certificate will need to finish 864 hours of classes.
Drafting and CAD Technician/Mechanical Drafter/Residential Architecture Drafter Diploma Programs
Students who are looking to complete one of these diploma programs at the Nashville location will be required to complete 1,728 hours of daytime courses.
Nashville State Community College
Nashville State provides professional training at six different Tennessee campuses, including its main campus about 5 miles west and a little south of downtown Nashville.
Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) Technical Certificate
This certificate program offers two concentrations: electrical engineering technology and architectural engineering technology. The 29-credit electrical engineering technology certificate requires coursework in topics like technical graphics, digital animation, DC circuits, AutoCAD and solid modeling. The 30-credit architectural engineering technology certificate will explore areas like residential design and construction, 3-D design, commercial design and codes. Students will also need to complete a CAD final project for these concentrations.
Associate of Applied Science in Architectural, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology
This associate's degree is also offered in the form of two areas of specialization. Students can choose from either civil and construction engineering technology or architectural engineering technology. The civil and construction engineering technology concentration requires 65 credits of coursework in topics like residential design and construction, geographic information systems, surveying, structural mechanics and site design with civil 3D. The architectural engineering technology specialization requires 64 credits of classes in areas such as the history of architecture, materials/methods of construction, specifications and estimating, environmental control systems, architecture design processes and architectural presentations.
Other School Option
Middle Tennessee State University has CAD courses about 32 miles away from downtown Nashville.