CAD Design Schools in Minneapolis with Program and Course Info

Research CAD design courses in Minneapolis, which currently has six colleges offering programs. Read an overview of academic programs, admission info, and program requirements for three Minneapolis schools that are within 25 miles of downtown, and decide which program is right for you.

Minneapolis Schools for CAD Design

Students interested in computer-aided design (CAD) courses in Minneapolis and the surrounding area have several school options. This article looks at three schools that are within a half-hour's drive of the city center. A table of information, including costs, size and graduation rates, allows prospective students to compare them. At the end of the article is a listing of more area schools that offer CAD programs.

  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is almost a mile from downtown Minneapolis and offers both a diploma and continuing education courses in CAD-centered architectural technology.
  • About a mile from downtown is Dunwoody College of Technology, a private school that offers an associate degree program in drafting and design and has a metrology lab on campus.
  • Century College is a public school around 15 miles from downtown Minneapolis that offers an associate degree program in engineering CAD technology. Century College houses the Digital Fabrication Laboratory, a facility that is open to all students and contains machines with CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software.

Comparison of Schools

The following table shows important aspects of these three schools. Individuals can use it to decide which might be the best fit for them.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College Dunwoody College of Technology Century College
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 7,486* 1,301* 8,745*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Suburban
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $5,396* $21,610* $5,417*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 81%* 88%* 70%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions 73%* N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 56% for full-time students* 82% for full-time students* 56% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students beginning studies in 2011) 16% (23% transfer-out rate)* 64% (1% transfer-out rate)* 18% (26% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

MCTC's architectural technology program has an articulation agreement with Minnesota State University - Moorhead, allowing MCTC students to transfer their diploma to the university's Bachelor of Science (BS) program in construction or operations management.

Architectural Technology Diploma

Students in the architectural technology program at MCTC take courses in subjects such as architectural orientation, AutoCAD, and computer modeling. The curriculum additionally includes several levels of architectural technology laboratory classes, as well as a similar progression of courses in building technology. Students may undergo an internship for academic credit.

Dunwoody College of Technology

Dunwoody's engineering drafting and design program is centered around the latest CAD software. As they complete the program, students earn a Certified Solidworks Associate (CSWA) certification.

Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Drafting and Design

The engineering drafting and design program at Dunwoody comprises coursework on topics like product design, engineering drawing, and fundamentals of machine tools. Math courses that cover principles of calculus, geometry, and trigonometry are also part of the curriculum, as are elective courses in disciplines such as behavioral sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Students also study power transmission, geometric dimensioning and SolidWorks CAD software.

Century College

Century College's engineering CAD technology program provides training in various CAD software programs for use in developing engineering drawings. While some courses may transfer to 4-year institutions, the curriculum is mainly structured to be a terminal degree program.

Associate in Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology

In Century's Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Engineering CAD Technology program, students undergo mandatory study in such subjects as engineering drafting, descriptive geometry, engineering drawing interpretation, and geometric tolerancing. In addition, students receive instruction in software technologies including Creo Elements/Pro and AutoCAD. Elective course options cover topics like SolidWorks CAD software, and students may also choose to partake in an internship for program credit. General education requirements in areas such as communication, fine arts, and history complete the curriculum.

Other School Options

Students can also find CAD design courses at Hennepin Technical College, which has two campuses within 20 miles of downtown Minneapolis, and at Anoka Technical College and Dakota County Technical College's Rosemount campus, both less than 30 miles from the downtown area. All three are 2-year public institutions.


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