Skip to main content
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 26-credit Auto Body Refinishing Certificate, you will focus your attention on the artistic side of Auto Body Collision Repair! You will be trained in the most advanced levels of vehicle refinishing, including:

  • The study of color theory
  • Achieving blendable paint matches
  • Water borne paint technology
  • Tri-stage paint application
  • Custom painting techniques

The opportunity is available for students to explore custom painting techniques using air brushes, mini guns, and many other tools.

About Auto Body Collision Repair at MSC Southeast

In Auto Body Collision Repair at MSC Southeast in Winona, 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.

Count on career opportunities in several different specialties when you graduate – our placement rate is 100%!

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) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

2 crs
Technical electives (see advisor for approved electives)
Choose one or more Technical electives.
8 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)

Download the Course Outline

1 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)

Download the Course Outline

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)

Download the Course Outline

2 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)

Download the Course Outline

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)

Download the Course Outline

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)

Download the Course Outline

2 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)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
24 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 26 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$5,457
Minimum Tool Cost:$1,550
Estimated Total:$7,657


Career Opportunities

  • Auto Body Repair
  • Auto Body Refinishing
  • 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.


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.





© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

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 base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


Minnnesota State Logo - vertical

Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State

This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 507-453-2700.