Drafting with AutoCAD

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of courses written to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you’ll need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 10 or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:


Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The program provides students with the necessary skills for entry into the field of drafting. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to create mechanical and architectural drawings, both by hand and using AutoCAD software.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the occupations that use drafting language, basic techniques used in sketching and computer-aided design fundamentals
  • Recognize different sketching methods, various measuring tools and proper notation, and basic drafting math
  • Identify the principal views of orthographic projection; the perimeter, area, and volume of different geometric shapes; tolerancing techniques; and dimensions
  • Illustrate the capabilities, applications, and development of AutoCAD to draw basic objects using lines, circles, arrays, and arcs
  • Illustrate the advanced applications of AutoCAD including plotting/printing, drawing file storage and sharing, software personalization, and basic 3D modeling
  • Prepare complete sets of architectural and civil drawings including a site plan, transit lines, and plans and profiles from survey information
  • Prepare complete HVAC drawings, electrical diagrams and cable assemblies, industrial electrical schematics, and electronic block and schematic diagrams

Instruction Sets

Starting Your Program
In this course, you’ll develop the necessary skills to ensure your success in the program. You'll learn how you can improve your study skills, so you're able to use a number of tools that will help you to be successful.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Computer-Aided Design
Did you ever build anything? Before building anything, you would have to picture how it would look when finished. You would have to imagine how the item would look from the front, the top, the sides, and the rear.

Throughout the ages, there have evolved many different languages; the variety reflects the wide range of cultures and communities in our world. Similarly, a drafter is effectively using a graphic language — a language of pictures. Because these pictures can be understood by people throughout the world, the graphic language of drafting can be thought of as a "world language."

This course will help you understand how to draw different views of an object and the relationship between different views along with how you can use the drafter’s world language to accurately convey your ideas to others.


  • Categorize the various application of drafting in communicating ideas
  • Analyze the fundamentals of making an orthographic projection
  • Analyze the geometries and print-reading applications involved in various drawings and prints

Sketching and Drafting Fundamentals
This course focuses on the basic concepts and skills you'll need to understand drafting. First, you'll learn about the importance of sketching and why this is a pivotal skill to develop and practice. You'll also learn about the instruments and notations you'll use to create complete and accurate sketches. This course ends with a brief overview of basic mathematical concepts you'll come across in sketching and drafting.


  • Distinguish between the different sketching methods and their importance
  • Discover various measuring tools and proper notation for sketching
  • Apply the basic concepts of numerals, mathematical operations, fractions, and geometry in solving drafting problems

Geometric Drawing, Dimensioning, and Tolerancing
In this course, you'll study orthographic projection, applied geometry, and dimensioning and tolerancing. You'll start by learning the fundamentals of drawing orthographic projections. Then, you'll learn about calculations in applied geometry, such as how to find the perimeter, area, and volume of different geometric shapes. The last lesson in this course covers basic concepts in dimensioning and tolerancing.


  • Point out the fundamentals of drawing various orthographic projections
  • Solve perimeter, area, and volume for a variety of geometrical shapes
  • Differentiate between the various concepts of dimensioning and tolerancing

Basic AutoCAD Software Functions
In this course, you'll learn about basic, introductory AutoCAD software functions. This includes essential tools and how to draw lines and circles. You'll also learn about layers, colors, linetypes, and a variety of other commonly used functions to create AutoCAD drawings. At the end of this course, you'll practice all of these things and more in a graded project.


  • Identify the procedures of creating simple line drawings through the fundamentals of drawing window
  • Prepare drawing layers in AutoCAD
  • Classify the procedures of creating drawing template through various commands in the AutoCAD
  • Show the methods of creating and modifying plot layouts and scale viewpoints through commands
  • Create a drawing using various AutoCAD tools and settings

Software:  Students will have access to a free, 3-year student version of AutoCAD® from Autodesk.®
Textbook: Discovering AutoCAD® 2017

Advanced AutoCAD Software Functions
This course continues your learning of AutoCAD software with more advanced functions. Building off of what you've already learned, you'll now look more at text and dimension functions. You'll also learn about functions for blocks, polylines, and attributes. You'll be instructed how to create isometric drawings, customized panels and macros, and 3D modeling. At the end of this course, you'll get a chance to practice all these new AutoCAD skills and more with a graded project.


  • Categorize how to create tables, text, and fields through various commands
  • Summarize the procedures of polylines in drawing complex shapes and objects
  • Point out the methods of creating groups and blocks in AutoCAD
  • Categorize the functions of AutoCAD DesignCenter in context to attributes, blocks, and tool palettes
  • Prepare a 3D wireframe box model
  • Show how the polysolid, pyramid, torus, and cone shapes are drawn in AutoCAD
  • Create a drawing using various AutoCAD tools and settings

Structural and Civil Drafting
In this course, you'll learn about special symbols, callouts, and designs for structural drawings built from an engineer’s calculations and sketches. The structural drawings will be based on components associated with various types of commercial construction methods involving concrete, wood, and steel. You'll also get an in-depth look at civil drafting by developing drawing plans, site plans, and profiles from survey information.


  • Identify a commercial structural drawing correctly made from an engineering sketch
  • Create a structural drawing used in planning and constructing a small storage building
  • Analyze survey information to use in drawing site plans and profiles, including cut and fill work for civil drafting
  • Create a set of civil drawing plans that includes a driveway and a residence

HVAC and Electrical Schematic Drafting
This course covers topics in HVAC and electrical schematic drafting. In this course, you’ll learn about special symbols and drawings used in HVAC drafting. Some concepts include pattern development, intersections, and material bending and chassis layout. You also learn about the fundamentals of electrical schematics and diagrams, including electric power substation design drawing, residential and commercial electrical plans, and printed circuit technology.


  • Identify appropriate HVAC and sheet metal drawing solutions for engineering problems
  • Create a detailed HVAC drawing
  • Explain how to prepare an electronics drawing from an engineering sketch
  • Create a detailed drawing of an electrical system and electronic diagrams


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

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