CAD Design Schools in NYC with Degree Program Overviews

The New York City area has several colleges within 15 miles of the downtown that offer CAD (computer-aided design) programs. Learn about three of these schools' admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

NYC Schools with CAD Design Programs

Students in computer-aided design (CAD) programs learn how to work with computer hardware and software to produce architectural, industrial or other types of drawings and images. In the New York City area, there are three public schools that offer programs in apparel and interior design, architectural technology and industrial design that include training in the use of CAD and other related software. All three schools can be easily accessed by public or private transportation. Find summaries of these programs below, along with a fact-filled comparison table and a paragraph about other school options for CAD students.

  • One of many schools in the City University of New York (CUNY) system, the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn is also the largest public institution of its kind in the state. Located less than two miles from downtown New York City, the college offers corresponding 2-year and 4-year degree programs in industrial design and architectural technology, both of which include training in CAD.
  • Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens, is also part of the CUNY system, and in addition to the liberal arts, the school offers transferable, pre-professional and career-training programs. Its campus is located a little over 15 miles from New York City's downtown, where students can earn an associate degree in mechanical engineering technology.
  • The Fashion Institute of Technology, located less than three miles from downtown New York City, is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) and offers career-training programs in business, communications and design. CAD-related programs in industrial and textile design lead to associate or bachelor's degrees; standalone CAD courses for fashion design are also available.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Architectural Drafting and Design
  • CAD Drafting and Design Technology
  • Civil Engineering Drafting and Design
  • Mechanical Drafting and Design

Comparison of Schools

Degree-seeking undergraduates can use the following table to compare the cost of attendance and other factors at the three featured schools. Note that the Fashion Institute of Technology admitted less than half of its applicants for Fall 2011, while Queensborough Community College has open admissions.

CUNY New York City of Technology CUNY Queensborough Community College SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology
School Type 4-year; public 2-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (Fall 2017)* 17,279 15,400 8,846
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $6,920 for in-state students; $14,310 for out-of-state students $5,210 for in-state students; $8,090 for out-of-state students $5,483 for in-state students; $14,863 for out-of-state students
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 82% 78% 73%
Acceptance Rate (Fall 2017)* 77% N/A (open admissions) 47%
Retention Rate (2017)* 78% for full-time students; 60% for part-time students 67% for full-time students; 49% for part-time students 89% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students
Graduation Rate* 18% (for students who enrolled in 2011) 23% (for students who enrolled in 2014) 77% (for students who enrolled in 2011)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

CUNY New York City College of Technology

At the School of Technology and Design, students can pursue degree programs in architecture or civil engineering, communication design and mechanical engineering. Basic freshman admission requirements apply to these programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Design Technology

The industrial design technology program requires 60-61 credits to complete and emphasizes the use of CAD software in 2-D, 3-D and animation design. Students also have to take general education courses in algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus and physics.

In addition to becoming familiar with orthographic projections, future professionals learn how to create technical illustrations for online publications and find out how to transfer computer design data to computer-aided manufacturing systems (CAM). Successful completion of the program may qualify students for positions as CAD/CAM programmers, CAD systems managers, CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) operators or mechanical designers. Although this is essentially a career-training program, it can also serve as a prerequisite to the college's Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering Technology program.

Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Technology

The program in architectural technology is unique to the university system, and the curriculum emphasizes the use of current applications to conserve and restore existing buildings. It requires a total of 120 credits to complete. To be admitted to the upper-level program, students must first complete the Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Technology.

Through courses in architectural design, management and technology, aspiring professionals acquire computer-based design and drafting skills while becoming familiar with the current terms and protocols found in today's firms. In addition to the required courses, students may pursue electives in 3-D modeling and rendering, building information modeling and computer-aided architectural animation. Successful completion of the program may qualify students for positions as job captains or project managers or for graduate studies in architecture.

CUNY Queensborough Community College

This 2-year city college offers a number of computer-related programs in architectural and industrial design, digital art and engineering technology. Basic freshman admission requirements also apply to these programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

This specialized program requires 64 credits to complete and includes general education courses in math and physics. The purpose of the program is to provide students with the general and specialized training they need to work in a variety of industries, including those associated with engineering and manufacturing. During the program, students will study strength of materials, computer-controlled manufacturing, engineering analysis, technical layout, parametric computer aided design, and CADD.

SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology

At the School of Art and Design, career-oriented students can pursue a broad spectrum of degree programs in, among other areas, clothing, fabric and interior design. High school students must apply directly to an associate program, and application materials include a portfolio. Credit-bearing certificate programs are also available through the institute's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Because these are primarily designed for professionals with a degree or prior experience, students don't need to submit a formal application or a portfolio.

CAD for Fashion Design in Art

This 8.5-credit program is targeted towards professionals who want to acquire the advanced computer skills necessary for producing color presentations, concept boards and digital portfolios. It provides hands-on instruction in the use of a number of current software programs, including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation has accredited the institute's interior design programs, and the curricula can help students prepare for both the state and national certification exams. The 2-year program requires a minimum of 66 credits to complete. In addition to two courses in CAD, the curriculum includes topics in color, lighting design, furnishings and space planning.

Associate of Applied Science in Textile/Surface Design

The 2-year program requires 62 credits of coursework. In addition to color and nature studies, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of computer-based and traditional media, including CAD programs, dyes and fibers. Through the computer-aided design courses, students design both printed and woven fabrics and learn how to work with Adobe Illustrator.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

The 4-year interior design program requires an additional 60 credits of coursework beyond the associate degree and includes a third course in CAD. At this level, students have the chance to acquire advanced design skills and work with more complex structures, including government buildings, retail stores, religious facilities and vacation homes. It culminates in a senior project and a presentation to a professional jury.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile/Surface Design

Students who would like to earn a 4-year degree in textile/surface design have to complete an additional 60.5 credits of coursework beyond the associate degree and an internship. Through two advanced courses in computer graphics, they can learn how to create patterns and repeats, design woven fabrics and manipulate images, while a study of tabletop products will give them the chance to design ceramic, glass and paper items. Additional curriculum requirements include topics in jacquard fabrics, knits and the use of Adobe Photoshop.


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