A career in drafting allows experts to contribute in crucial ways to mechanical and civil engineering, electronics, architecture, and product design. Drafting can provide an attractive path for creative, focused, and detail-oriented individuals. When you pursue an associate degree in drafting, it allows you to look for entry-level drafting jobs. On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree qualifies a person for engineer and management roles.
Reasons to pursue a career in drafting
The best drafters are creative and detail-oriented people who can take direction and provide feedback into their work. They also use technology and software in their activities, meaning they should have computer knowledge.
When you pursue a career in drafting, you’re able to solve issues, and you’re interested in building materials, architecture, and construction techniques. As a drafter, you need to focus on one task for long periods, mostly under strict deadlines. Drafting has broad disciplines. Depending on your specialization and the program you choose, your drafting degree can help you land several jobs like electronics drafter, mechanical drafter, and more.
Best 17 Drafting Programs
1. Georgia Institute of Technology (97 points)
Georgia Institute of Technology is located in Atlanta and sits on 400 tree-lined acres. The school is ranked 7th among all public universities in the USA in one world report. The institution focuses on technology and provides innovative undergrad and graduate programs to more than 25,000 students. One of the leading undergraduate programs at the institute is Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design.
- The tuition fee is $14,927 per year
- The graduation rate is 81.54%
- Students must take between 16-18 credit hours in most semesters to graduate in 4 years.
2. University of Notre Dame (96 points)
The University of Notre Dame has been around since 1842. It is one of the best research institutes safeguarded by catholic values. Its campus sits on 1,250 acres of land and is opposite South Bend, IN. The institution is home to over 12,000 students. Their Industrial Design program offers undergraduate students a chance to study abroad, participate in popular award competitions and internships.
- The tuition fee is $32,096 per year
- The graduation rate is 95.73%
- Admission is competitive at Notre Dame.
- BFA track needs 67 credit-hours within the major, and the B.A. track needs 36 credit-hours within the major.
3. Carnegie Mellon University (93 points)
The school is a renowned institution for people who want to study drafting. In 2018, Times Higher Education ranked Carnegie Mellon University at number 17 in the USA in the World University Rankings. The institution’s School of Design has been in existence for many years and is one of North America’s most reputable. The school’s undergraduate programs allow students to customize their learning based on what they aim to achieve. Students can opt to earn a bachelor of design and specialize in communications, products, or environments. Additionally, they can choose an interdisciplinary degree. Whatever a student chooses, everything at the university is flexible.
- Tuition fee is $32,674 per year.
- A graduation rate of 88.3%
- Most graduates have reported earning over $40,000 in starting salaries.
4. Brigham Young University (88 points)
Brigham Young University is a top-ranked university located in Provo, UT, that enrolls approximately 30,000 undergraduates and 2,800 graduate students. Its comprehensive academic programs include over 170 undergraduate majors and more than 100 undergraduate minors. One of its highly acclaimed programs is the Industrial design program.
It prepares students to create, develop, and communicate product and service concepts. Interior Design students may be eligible for departmental scholarships based on talent, need, and leadership. Available coursework for this degree includes Tools, Materials, and Processes for Interior Design and Exploration in Innovation Design Techniques, amongst others. The institution has capped admissions to under 40 students.
- Tuition fees – $13,181 per year
- A graduation rate of 54.84%
- Undergraduates have to learn and complete all 100-level foundation subjects to be eligible to apply for the program.
- Limited enrollment program.
5. Purdue University (87 points)
The flagship campus of Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, US. It was recently ranked at #18 on the list of the best public universities by News and World Report. It offers an Industrial and Interaction design Program that helps students learn how to utilize problem-solving innovation to develop products systems and services.
Students can take advantage of industry-standard Modeling and rendering software such as Rhino 3D, Solid Works, and 24/7 hour access to design studios. Additionally, access to work with practicing industrial design professionals on corporate-sponsored projects.
- The tuition fee is $12,527 per year.
- The graduation rate of 71%
- Students have to completes a 36-credit-hour course in Industrial Design.
- Course work includes Lighting Fundamentals of Photography, Computer Modeling, and Animation, amongst others.
6. California State University Long Beach (84 points)
California State University Long Beach is a 23-school CSU system and a hub of innovation and discovery. The greater Long beach area is home to companies spun off from the campus-originated research projects. The university offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design.
The program consists of 120 semester-units. The degree curriculum covers rapid visualization, materials and processes, design methodology, financing principles, and other vital skills. Specific course titles for Industrial Design majors include Modeling and prototyping techniques and advanced idea generation for designers, amongst others.
- Tuition fee of $8,982 per year
- Graduation rate 78%
- Students participate in corporate-sponsored projects by companies like Unisys, General Electric, Toyota, Hewlett Packard, and many other big brands.
- Graduates of this program from California Stae University Long Beach proceed to careers in transportation technology, computer and microchip technology, medical design, motion picture special effects, and many more.
7. Rochester Institute of Technology (83 points)
Rochester Institute of Technology is among the best North Eastern Colleges ranked by the Princeton review in 2018. It occupies a 1300 acre campus in Rochester, New York, with international campuses in Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo. It offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design with the following notable features: Foundational coursework in art history, studio electives, liberal arts, open elective, and major-specific courses. Art history electives are diverse, with Renaissance Painting in Flanders and Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome, amongst many others. Students through the campus attain membership to many professional organizations such as Industrial Designers Society of America, Society of Environmental Graphic Designers, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and others.
- Tuition fee per year is $30,068
- The graduation rate is 70%
8. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (75 points)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University were ranked first among 382 schools in “Their Students Love These Colleges” by Princeton Review. The institution has nine colleges and a graduate school and offers a record 110 bachelor’s degree courses and 170 doctoral and master’s degree programs. When you join the nationally famous School of Architecture and Design at the institution, you can take up undergraduate degrees in Interior Design, Architecture, Industrial Design, and Landscape Architecture. Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design aims at enhancing the independence of a student. It focuses on real service delivery and emphasizes ethical responsibility and creative technological development.
- Tuition fee is $20,964 per year
- The graduation rate is 82.58%
- Majors in Industrial Design should complete six credit-hours in professional electives.
9. North Carolina State University (74 points)
North Carolina State University was opened in 1887 and is now one of the leading research institutions in technology, science, engineering, and mathematics. The main campus is in Raleigh. Forbes has ranked this city as the 3rd best city in the USA for aspiring professionals. The university provides a world-class program in Industrial Design. The program helps students learn the foundations of design and design terms. As they continue, they’ll learn more things like digital product modeling, human-centered design, and more.
- The tuition fee is $16,404 per year
- The graduation rate is 74.98%
- Students in the sophomore year get a chance to work with leading partners in the industry professionally.
- Students will also take supporting courses in design sketching and ideation, processes and materials of manufacturing, critical skills, and more.
10. Arizona State University (70 points)
U.S. News & World Report has ranked Arizona State University first among the Most Innovative Institutions for three consecutive years. The institution has a record six campuses and has an enrollment of more than 98,000. The design school provides top programs in Urban Design, Architecture, Industrial design, environmental design, and more. Industrial Design students can attend classes like 20th-century design, social equity and ecology, visual methods for problem-solving, and more.
- The average annual fee is $8,840
- The graduation rate is 58.33%
11. Dunwoody College (68 points)
Dunwoody College is a top-quality private institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although it is not a vast institution, it has an enrollment of 1,064 students for the undergraduate course. Some of the college majors include automotive mechanics, construction management, and automation and robotics engineering. The graduation rate is 58% at the college.
- The tuition fee is $22,853 per year
- Competitive admissions with an acceptance rate of 70%.
- Most graduating drafters at Dunwoody College have reported earning a starting salary of over $40,400.
12. LeTourneau University (66 points)
Located in Longview, TX, LeTourneau University is a reputable private university. The institution is not very large and enrolls around 1,315 undergraduate students. Some of the popular majors at the school include elementary education, business, and mechanical engineering. The graduation rate is 61% at the institution.
- The tuition fee is $22,105 per year
- The graduation rate is 57%
- Admission is competitive, with the acceptance rate being 46%.
- Most graduates have reported earning a starting salary of $42,500.
13. Western Iowa Tech Community College (62 points)
Western Iowa Tech is a top-quality public institution located in Sioux City, Iowa. The college is relatively small and has enrolled around 1,746 undergraduate students. The graduation rate at this institution is 41%.
- The tuition fee is $7,992 per year.
- The graduation rate is 41%
- The acceptance rate at Western Iowa Tech is 100%.
- Popular majors: Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing Assistant, and Automotive Mechanics.
- Graduates at Western Iowa Tech have reported earning a starting salary of $26,900.
14. University of Alaska Southeast (62 points)
Located in Juneau, Alaska, the University of Alaska Southeast is an excellent public university. Although it’s a small university, it has all the modern tools that students need to become great drafters. It has an enrollment of 644 undergraduate students.
- Tuition fee – $10,258 per year
- The graduation rate is 32%
- Competitive admissions with a 63% acceptance rate.
- Popular Majors: Business, Police and Criminal Science, Humanities, and Liberal Arts.
- Most graduates have reported earning a starting salary of $31,500
15. Utah State University (59 points)
Utah State University is a tremendous public University based in Logan, Utah. It is a big institution that has enrolled over 17,393 undergrad students. The common majors at the school include Economics, Humanities, Communication Disorders, and Liberal Arts.
- Tuition fee of $13,150 per year
- The acceptance rate is 89%
- The graduation rate is 57%
- Graduates have reported earning a starting salary of around $33,900.
16. University of Alaska Southeast (55 points)
The University of Alaska Southeast is an excellent public university based in Juneau, Alaska. It is not a huge school and has enrolled around 644 undergraduates. The famous majors at the institution include Business, Criminal Science, Humanities, and Liberal Arts. The graduation rate is 36%.
- Tuition fee is $10,258 per year
- Competitive admissions with an acceptance rate of 63%.
- The graduation rate of 32%
- Most graduates have reported earning a starting salary of around $31,500.
17. Montana State University (51 points)
Montana State University is an excellent public university based in Bozeman, Montana. It is a vast institution that enrolled over 12,515 undergraduates. Some of the famous majors include nursing, Business, Consumer sciences, and more.
- Tuition fee – $18,036 per year
- The graduation rate is 52%.
- Graduates at the institution have reported earning a starting salary of around $33,500.
Drafting Programs Ranking Methodology
This ranking was based on the analysis of best software data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the respective university websites. The schools were ranked based on tuition amounts per academic year and the graduation rate. Both factors were accorded 50 points and each school was assigned points based on how it compared with others on tuition amounts and graduation rate. The points earned for both ranking factors were then added together to get each school’s total score. In this case, the school with the most points lists first and the protocol is observed down the list.
We strive to provide current and accurate information to our readers to help them find their school of choice. If you’re associated with one of the schools we ranked above and you realize an error in the information provided, please feel free to contact us and let us know so we can make any necessary corrections.