Drafting technology, which may also be referred to as computer-aided design (CAD), is commonly used in a variety of applications in the manufacturing and engineering industry. While there are 11 schools in Minnesota that offer degree programs in drafting technology, this article outlines the programs found in the nine public and private not-for-profit schools.
These schools offer associate's degrees in CAD studies, engineering drafting and design, architectural drafting and estimating and mechanical design technology. In these programs, students gain hands-on skills in the use of drafting software, including Softworks and/or AutoCAD. In addition, participants may study mathematics, robotics, blueprints, machinery, and electronics. Get details about drafting technology degrees and programs in Minnesota below.
Anoka Technical College
Located in Anoka, this technical college serves more than 2,000 undergraduate students each year. Many of Anoka's programs can transfer credits to a variety of 4-year colleges and universities. The school offers an Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Drafting and Design Technology. This 69-credit program covers CAD drafting with industry-standard AutoCAD and Solidworks software. The degree program also explores machinery and other industry-related topics. Graduates of this program seeking to continue their education can do so at the University of Minnesota - Crookston and pursue a bachelor's degree in manufacturing management.
More than 10,000 students attend Century College in White Bear Lake. This learning institution offers an Associate in Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology. The degree program teaches students to create drawings for engineering and manufacturing purposes using CAD. The core courses in this program explore drafting, mathematics and AutoCAD software. An internship course is available as an elective, in addition to classes in advanced software programs such as Solidworks.
Dunwoody College of Technology
Dunwoody College of Technology is a 4-year school in Minneapolis. An Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Drafting and Design is available at this technical school. The degree program focuses on using the most up-to-date CAD and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software. Much of this program includes courses in the metrology and machine labs, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with the equipment. In addition to the associate's degree, graduates complete the requirements of the Certified Solidworks Associate program. Dunwoody also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting and Design. This degree program teaches students to create drafted materials and budgets for architecture purposes. Students gain real-world experience through projects and presentations during each term.
Hennepin Technical College
Brooklyn Park's Hennepin Technical College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. An Associate in Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology is available. This program focuses on the design of manufactured goods. Forty-eight of the total credit hours are dedicated to technological study. Some of the courses cover AutoCAD and Solidworks while others explore blueprints and robotics.
Lake Superior College
More than 5,000 students attend Lake Superior College in Duluth. This MnSCU school offers an Associate of Applied Science in Integrated Manufacturing - Engineering CAD Technology. This degree program teaches students how technical drawings and computer-aided graphics are used in engineering applications. Beginning with introductory drafting lessons, students are taught more advanced software programs and design techniques to increase their chances of success in the manufacturing and engineering industries.
Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical
Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical College in Winona has an 18:1 student to faculty ratio. This MnSCU school offers an Associate of Applied Science in CAD Drafting Technologies that is only available online. The CAD faculty brings more than 40 years of combined drafting experience to the program. The 60-credit hour curriculum requires 44 credit hours of technology-focused courses. These classes cover industry-standard software and CAD drawing.
Wilmar's Ridgewater College is a 2-year school with more than 100 programs available. An Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design is offered completely online. This degree program prepares students for a career in engineering through the study of mechanical drafting. This is achieved through training on modern industry-specific equipment and CAD software. Additionally, students learn how to read blueprints and work with software packages, such as Inventor, Solidworks, AutoCAD, and others.
Rochester Community and Technical College
More than 6,000 students are provided an education each year at this community college in Rochester. The Associate in Applied Science in CAD Technology is a 72-credit program. Using the school's state-of-the-art equipment, students learn to design and draft mechanical prototypes using the most current Solidworks software program. The degree program includes classes in illustration, machine design, and 3-dimensional CAD.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Located in St. Cloud, this technical and community college serves more than 4,000 undergraduate students each year. This MnSCU school offers an associate's degree in mechanical design technology. Its 65-credit program teaches students to illustrate mechanical products on paper and digitally. With the use of industry-standard software, students learn 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional drawing. The addition of lessons in welding, electronics, and machinery are designed to give students a well-rounded education in the industry.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Drafting Technology Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Anoka Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Drafting and Design Technology||$5,584*|
|Century College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology||$5,435*|
|Dunwoody College of Technology||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Drafting and Design,
Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting and Design
|Hennepin Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Engineering CAD Technology||$5,248*|
|Lake Superior College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Integrated Manufacturing - Engineering CAD Technology||$5,166*|
|Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical||2-year, public; distant town||Associate in Applied Science in CAD Drafting Technologies||$5,628*|
|Ridgewater College||2-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Computer Aided Drafting and Design||$5,765*|
|Rochester Community and Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in CAD Technology||$5,639*|
|St. Cloud Technical and Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Mechanical Design Technology||$5,377*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.