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Computer-Assisted Design Technology


Computer-Assisted Design, or CAD, is a field that utilizes specialized computer software to graphically communicate (or “draft”) ideas into technically precise drawings. CAD drafting is used in the design and documentation process by architects, engineering and construction professionals. Additionally, the software is used to create the three-dimensional images used in animation and rendering. In this program, students master the CAD software packages used most commonly in design, documentation and presentation, with an emphasis on the architecture, design and building construction fields.

The curriculum is designed to help students develop strong marketable skills. Students acquire excellent computer graphic skills, as well as the technical background that allows for accurate, informed decisions. Students become versatile draftspeople who have diverse job opportunities. Graduates are prepared to enter the professional and technical services as drafters and technicians, primarily in architecture, engineering and construction, or in architectural animation. Drafters translate ideas, sketches and technical information into complete, accurate drawings needed to make buildings, structures or products. Technicians assist design, construction or art professionals to create renderings and animations or other three-dimensional simulations. They also can create the computer drawings and data required for the execution of creative ideas in a wide range of disciplines, such as film and industrial design. Graduates may also become CAD software support specialists, customizing software for specific companies or providing technical support to the computer users.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Develop drawings and models utilizing manual and computer drafting in both two and three dimensions.
  • Interpret architectural and construction drawings and documents.
  • Develop solutions for design and construction problems by utilizing graphic techniques including rendering and animation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of various building materials and methods and related building technologies.
  • Communicate effectively and work as part of a team, using graphic, oral and written modes.

Program Entry Requirements:

The program is open to all interested students, assuming space is available. Students selecting this curriculum will be assigned a faculty mentor who will guide them throughout their course of study. Students are required to take the College's placement tests at the time of entry. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses in addition to the requirements of their degree program.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the A.A.S. degree in Computer-Assisted Design Technology, a student must complete a minimum of 65 credits as prescribed and attain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 ("C" average).

Computer-Assisted Design Technology Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.

First Semester

ADC 101 - Introduction to Design and Construction   3 Tech Comp*
ADC 103 - CAD Basics   3 Tech Comp*
ADC 109 - Design Studio I   4  
MATH 137 - Geometry for Design1 or higher level Mathematics course   3/4 Mathematics
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3 ENGL 101

Second Semester

ADC 112 - Construction Materials and Detailing: Properties ADC 103 or ADC 109 3  
ADC 159 - Design Studio II ADC 103, ADC 109 4  
ADC 163 - Digital Documentation in Architecture and Construction ADC 103 3  
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3 ENGL 102, Info Lit
ADC 160 - Presentation Techniques ADC 103, ADC 109 3  

Third Semester

Directed Elective2 - Select two of the following:   6  
ADC 136 - Building Codes      
ADC 186 - Surveying ADC 101    
ADC 212 - Construction Materials and Detailing: Methods ADC 103 or ADC 109    
ADC 226 - Structures I - Analysis ADC 101 and MATH 118 or higher    
ADC 227 - Structures II - Design ADC 226    
ADC 246 - Contracts and Specifications ADC 101    
ADC 253 - Environmental Systems I ADC 101 and ADC 103 or ADC 109    
ADC 254 - Environmental System IIs ADC 253    
ADC 286 - Building Rehabilitation and Energy Retrofit ADC 101    
CIS 105 - Computer Systems Maintenance   3  
ADC 263 - Digital Animation and Rendering ADC 103 or ART 150 3  
ADC 260 - Advanced Presentation Techniques ADC 160; and ADC 209 which may be taken concurrently; or ADC 163 which may be taken concurrently 3  
Social Science Elective1   3 Social Science

Fourth Semester

Science Elective1   3/4 Natural Science
Directed Elective2 - select two from the list above   6  
ADC 273 - Advanced CAD Applications ADC 163 3  
Humanities Elective   3 Humanities
Social Science Elective   3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 65

General Education Requirements:

All General Education requirements are met through required courses (as indicated above) except for the Writing Intensive, Interpretive Studies and American/Global Diversity requirements. Therefore, in order to graduate, students in this program must choose one course that is designated Writing Intensive, one course that is designated Interpretive Studies and one course that is designated American/Global Diversity. The same course may be used to fulfill all three requirements. View the courses that fulfill all degree requirements and receive a more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements to help in your selection.

*Students must complete ADC 101 and ADC 103 to meet Technological Competency requirement.

1Transfer institutions vary on the courses accepted for transfer. Consult with departmental advisors or the specific schools to determine choice.
2Selection of Directed Electives will be made in consultation with departmental advisors.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.