Online CAD Design Master's Degree Program Overviews

Find out about online CAD design courses and in which programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

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Essential Information

Online graduate degree programs in CAD do not exist. Distance learning training specifically in CAD is available in the form of online undergraduate certificate programs, which are typically offered through private distance learning institutions or public community and technical colleges. Some schools have associate's degrees or diplomas in this field of study as well. Although CAD design in a master's program isn't available online, many fully online engineering degree programs are available at the master's level, including masters' of science in electrical engineering and industrial engineering.

Most online certificate programs focus on AutoCAD, which is the most popular CAD software package available. Online AutoCAD training programs are aimed at working professionals who would like to switch careers or enhance their knowledge in computer-aided design. In most cases, students can receive a certificate in AutoCAD in less than one year. Up-to-date Windows computers and CAD software (such as AutoCAD) are required to take these courses.

Common Coursework

Though many schools offer online CAD certificate programs, AutoCAD certificate programs are different from other certificate programs offered by colleges. Most AutoCAD online programs do not consist of multiple courses; instead, the program is one long class that is broken up into different topics. AutoCAD courses are typically presented using pre-recorded media. This allows students to proceed at any pace they choose.

Course Topics

Online CAD design certificate programs cover all necessary topics for students to become proficient in AutoCAD. These topics have extensive ties to architecture and engineering, including the following areas:

  • Basic drawing
  • Layered drawing
  • Geometric construction
  • Mathematics of AutoCAD
  • Structural drafting

Learning Requirements

There are no professional or academic requirements for signing up for an AutoCAD training program. However, students who take online certificate programs in CAD design must have up-to-date PCs. Since AutoCAD is a resource-intensive program to run, it is important that students have computers that are capable of handling the software. Furthermore, AutoCAD is not compatible with Macintosh computers, meaning that students must be sure to have Windows PCs. Schools may have partnerships with companies to provide online students with CAD software for the duration of their studies.

Beyond the hands-on training in the design software, students can navigate through their course requirements in a virtual classroom available on their schools' Web sites. These typically contain lectures, visual aids, assignments and communication tools.

Even though no online CAD design master's programs exist, students can receive diplomas and undergraduate certificates online in this field, especially in AutoCAD. Students can pursue degrees in engineering fully online as an alternative.

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