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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
Auto Body offers a challenging career using both technical and artistic skills.

Career Area: Transportation
Program: Auto Body Collision Technology
Campus(es): Winona

Major Details

Auto Body offers a challenging career using both technical and artistic skills

In the Auto Body Collision Technology program at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona, our students learn all aspects of working with damaged cars and trucks. The 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree gives you 4 full semesters (52 credits) of in-depth, hands-on training experience in auto body collision repair. You will also take 15 credits of college-level general education requirements and electives. Count on career opportunities in several different specialties when you graduate – our placement rate is 100%!

Auto body collision technology is both a skill set and an art. Restoring vehicles to their pre-accident condition involves:

  • Refinishing, repair, replacement, and adjustment of body panels
  • Structural, mechanical, and electrical repair
  • New technologies such as working with aluminum and carbon fiber

Our students develop strong problem-solving skills through hands-on learning and classroom instruction. You will learn how to access and interpret product data sheets, service information, and estimating guides. Students have the opportunity to take the coursework to earn I-CAR industry accreditation. Most importantly, you'll work on real vehicles in our state-of-the art facility.

Auto Body Collision Technology is certified by the ASE Education Foundation (formerly NATEF), making the program at Minnesota State College Southeast one of only a handful of schools in the United States certified in the four major areas of Auto Body: Refinishing, structural, non-structural, and mechanical/electrical.

Apply now for admission to MSC Southeast

Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Pathway: Facility & Mobile Equipment Maintenance
Recommended high school classes and basic job/program skills

Download the Program Plan


1) Must complete a minimum of 3 different MnTC goals in Liberal Arts and Sciences

2) 1100 or higher Liberal Arts and Sciences courses required unless specified

Goal 4: Mathematics
Choose one Goal 4 course
3 cr
3 cr
15 crs
Technical electives (see advisor for approved electives)
Choose one or more Technical electives.
4 cr
Introduction to Transportation Careers
Intro to Transportation Careers covers departmental procedures and practices as well expectations of the students in the programs. Safety, environmental concerns, and simulated Right to Know training are a significant part of the course. Basic tools, tool usage, basic power tools, and care of them are included. Threaded fasteners, drive types, torquing, thread compounds, cutting methods, gluing, and adhesives are covered from a generic point and not vehicle specific. (Prerequisites: none) (1 credits: 1 lecture/0 lab)

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1 cr
Auto Body Welding 1
Auto Body Welding 1 focuses on welding of thin gauge sheet metal utilized for the outer body panels of vehicles. Welding will be performed in the flat, vertical, and overhead the purpose of heating and cutting operations. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Auto Body Mechanical 1
Auto Body Mechanical 1 focuses on the mechanical systems that are often involved with the collision event and need to be disassembled or removed from the vehicle for the purpose of replacement or access for repairs. Safety concerns for mechanical system removal is critical to the learning as well as environmental issues. System protection during removal and storage is covered to help insure parts and the vehicle are not damaged or effected by the removal or repairs. Refilling and bleeding of many of the systems are covered so as to ensure proper operation and life of the components in the system. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Auto Body Disassembly/Reassembly
Vehicle repairs require correct disassembly, damage assessment, and reassembly procedures to complement structural, body, and refinishing procedures. The need to document conditions prior to repair as well as at the completion of repairs is required as part of vehicle work files. Vehicles that have repairs performed need to be cleaned and detailed prior to delivery to the owner at the completion of repairs and the skills and techniques to do this are included in the course. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Refinishing 1
Introductions to refinishing products, equipment, terminology, safety, corrosion protection, and product application are part of this course. The main focus will be the stages of refinishing that deal with repaired areas, bare metal, and the back side of these areas or panels. Primer surfacer work will focus on getting repaired areas leveled and free of imperfections through block sanding techniques. This course will prepare panels and build knowledge needed for Refinishing 2 which is top coat applications. This course is highly suggested prior to taking refinishing 2 but is not required. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Sheet Metal Repair and Replacement
Outer body panel repairs and replacement procedures will be included in this course. Straightening techniques will focus on contour correction for use of body filler materials which are also part of the course. Paintless dent removal will be covered in theory and participants will be able to attempt to use the techniques. Body fillers will be completed so as to be prepared for application of primer surfacers. Body panel replacement procedures will be introduced and practice opportunities provided for adjustable sheet metal including doors, hoods, deck lids, hatches, slider doors and fenders. Welded on body panels including roof skins, quarter panels, and door skins will also be included. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115, ABCT1125) (5 credits: 1 lecture/4 lab)

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5 cr
Plastics and Composites Repair
The plastics and composites repair course provides opportunity to learn the identification of plastic and composite types and locations used on late model vehicles. Once identified repair methods available for each are presented with hands-on assignments using a variety of methods and materials available in the collision repair industry. Repairs are completed to the point of refinishing readiness. This course utilizes many resources located at various web based sights so that knowledge of future plastics and repair methods can be learned after completion of the course. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Refinishing 2
Refinishing 2 starts with cleaning of vehicle or panels to be refinished and then the development of a paint plan. Preparation of the panel(s) for top coat application, pre-paint cleaning procedures, set-up of spray equipment, mixing of paint materials and application are all part of the processes covered. Additionally paint detailing, paint problems and defects, vehicle protection, masking methods, color identification, and personal safety are included. This course start with top coat systems where refinishing y 1 ended with application of primer materials needed to treat bare metal and correct minor panel imperfections. (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1115, ABCT1155 is highly recommended but not required) (5 credits: 1 lecture/4 lab)

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5 cr
Refinishing Lab
This lab is intended to provide time needed to perform refinishing procedures for parts and vehicle areas needing refinishing for a variety of reasons. This includes pre-sanding cleaning, paint plan development, abrading of panels, mixing of paint products, application procedures, maintenance of spray equipment, and detailing of paint defects. (Prerequisites or concurrent: ABCT1115 and ABCT1255) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Production Lab 1
This lab allows student to work with skills learned in earlier courses dealing with body repairs on customer vehicle projects. Skill development and refinement is focused on with the idea of moving toward decision making on repair methods and quality control of one's own body repairs. This includes disassembly/reassembly, metal straightening and finishing, body panel adjustments, and detailing of vehicles for customer delivery. Students will utilize references and Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.'s) to make decisions and confirm with instructor(s) so as to gain confidence with processes. (Prerequisite: ABCT1115 and 10 additional ABCT credits) (4 credits: 0 lecture/4 Lab)

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4 cr
Auto Body Welding 2
The second welding course in the auto body program delivers information and hands-on practice of advanced welding methods for collision repairs. The MIG welding procedures will focus on structural parts and full frame welding procedures. Resistance spot welding techniques for late model collision repair are covered as well as silicon bronze welding using wire feed welders. Plasma arc cutting and induction heating procedures are included in the course. (Prerequisites: ABCT1115, ABCT1125, ABCT1165 (Prerequisite or concurrent: ABCT1345) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Auto Body Mechanical 2
The second mechanical course in the auto body program advances the knowledge base and hands on of many systems introduced in Auto Body Mechanical 1. Air conditioning, cooling systems, steering and suspension, brakes, and computerized body and mechanical systems are worked with from a collision damaged perspective. Hands-on assignments are involved in addition to the theory of the systems physics. Scan tools are used in the diagnostics of many of the systems as well as other specialized tools. Utilization of service procedures and service data bases are significant part of the experiences in this course as well. (Prerequisites or concurrent: ABCT1135, ABCT1115, ABCT1125, ABCT1315) (3 credits: 2 lecture/1 lab)

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3 cr
Structural Repair
This structural course focuses on preparing vehicles for structural straightening and parts replacement. Vehicle anchoring systems are used to hold the vehicle for pulling procedures and are set-up following specifications and measuring system data. Measuring is a major emphasis in structural repairs and developing of repair plans as well as documentation of the repair process. With pulling and parts replacement completed corrosion protection and restoration is applied. Wheel alignment is a final step in the structural repair process to ensure drivability. Structural glass replacement concerns are addressed during the course as well. (Prerequisites or concurrent: ABCT1115, ABCT1125, ABCT1145, ABCT1165, ABCT1325) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
Refinishing 3
Refinishing 3 is third in a series of refinishing courses and is intended to provide experience in the most advanced levels of vehicle refinishing. Included are the study of color theory and achieving blendable paint matches. Water borne paint technology is introduced and students switch to use of it for color application in this course and advanced labs. Tri-stage paint application and custom painting techniques and materials are introduced. The opportunity is available for students to explore custom painting techniques using air brushes, mini guns, and many other tools. (Prerequisites: ABCT1155, ABCT1255, and 6 credits of refinishing and production labs) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Production Lab 2
Production Lab 2 provides the opportunity to continue to develop body and paint skills learned in earlier courses. Lab time is also used to prepare vehicles for structural repairs when enrolled concurrently in advanced courses. Emphasis is now being placed on accountability for use of the lab time and recording tasks by time to weekly logs in preparation for industry flat rates. Planning of repair steps are shifted toward the student's involvement working toward setting goals for the week as part of weekly logs. (Prerequisite: ABCT1115 and 20 additional ABCT courses or instructor approval) (2 credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Collision Lab
Collision lab is designed to perform task related to collision damage involving some degree of structural analysis and repair procedures. This course is available to complete larger collision projects which may have been begun in the previous term or that are started at the beginning of the term enrolled in course. Emphasis is placed on repairing vehicle utilizing vehicle manufactures recommended repair guidelines and procedures. This course is generally taken along with other lab courses that provide time to perform the refinishing tasks, detailing, vehicle assembly, and preparation for customer delivery. (Prerequisite: 27 credits of ABCT or instructor approval) (4 credits: 0 lecture/4 lab)

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4 cr
47 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 62 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$14,063
Minimum Tool Cost:$2,050
Estimated Total:$16,813


Career Opportunities

  • Auto Body Repair
  • Auto Body Refinishing
  • Structural Repair
  • Damage Claims Writer
  • Shop Manager/Owner
  • Parts and Supply Industry
  • Related Manufacturing

Career Information


Auto Body Collision Technology Program graduates will be able to:

  1. Perform body panel and minor structural repairs and parts replacement.
  2. Perform vehicle refinishing preparation, application, and paint detailing.
  3. Dismantle and reassemble vehicle body parts, trim, interior components, and non-structural glass.
  4. Demonstrate safe and professional work habits.
  5. Perform minor mechanical and electrical collision-related procedures.
  6. Assess a vehicle's damage and develop a repair plan utilizing service information.
  7. Using the written damage report, interpret the procedures for the repairs and check all replacement parts for correct matches to the vehicle and the damage report.


  • National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) certified program.
  • Instructors are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.
  • The program follows Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) recommended guidelines and offers the students the opportunity to gain I-CAR course credits.
  • The program is continually upgraded to maintain the latest technology used in industry.
  • 70% of coursework is hands-on in a lab setting.
  • You will enjoy the opportunity of a broad career range within the auto body/collision repair and related fields.


Brandon Boynton
Auto Body Collision Repair instructor Brandon Boynton is ASE Master Certified in Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing and holds multiple certifications through various vehicle manufacturers as well as through I-CAR, the industry standard in continued education. As a successful technician coming out of the industry, he brings a wealth of fresh ideas to the classroom and lab, bringing out the best in his students and pushing them to create a work ethic that partners with the skills they develop in the program. He hopes to share his passion for the Auto Body industry with his students, knowing that they will be able to take pride and satisfaction from performing repairs that align with vehicle manufacturer standards.
Thomas Brandt
Tom Brandt is ASE Master Certified in Auto Collision Repair as well as Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collison Repair (I-CAR) trained. He has worked in the auto collision industry for several years and has continually upgraded his training since he started teaching for Minnesota State College Southeast. Tom feels the best way to learn the trade is to be provided the opportunity to get involved in repairs. His students gain skills thorough hands-on experience and quality coaching from the instructor.





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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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