Introduction to Civil 3D Practical Application

Course Dates and Format

The 10-week virtual course will begin with a live, instructor-led orientation on:

Tuesday, September 10, 2024, 7:00–11:00 am

Then, weekly self-paced course lessons and live Friday discussion sessions will run through November 15, 2024 

About the Course

Two people standing over a table with technical plans and a laptop

This 10-week virtual training course teaches students how to use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to design a simple county highway.

During the course, students will complete the layout of a two-lane roadway and learn how to plot to scale in the layout space. Real survey data for a two-lane county road will be used, and students will design their road using current Minnesota Department of Transportation standards and guidelines.

The course will provide an introduction to Civil 3D, the civil CADD software. Before taking this course, students should have a basic knowledge of AutoCAD software and an existing understanding of road design principles and practices.


Course Format

The course starts with an instructor-led live orientation. Then, each week of the course will include a two-hour prerecorded lecture and self-paced classroom lesson as well as a live, instructor-led discussion. The self-paced lessons will be accessible each Monday, and the live discussions will be held each Friday from 7–9 a.m. Central. Students are encouraged to attend the discussion sessions to hear a recap of the week’s lesson, get help with their assignments, and ask questions.

In addition to the weekly lectures, the course includes Civil 3D assignments that must be completed during the same week as the lesson. Students are expected to watch the weekly recorded session and complete the assignments prior to each Friday’s live discussion session. All assignments will be turned in by email to the instructor.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe how Civil 3D works in an AutoCAD drafting environment
  • Import survey data
  • Create a base 3D surface and topographic map from the survey data
  • Create a horizontal alignment
  • Create a vertical alignment and profile
  • Create subassemblies and assemblies for use in cross-section development
  • Create a corridor and cross sections
  • Plot their civil construction drawings to scale

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for anyone who would like to learn how to use computer software to draft or design civil projects. Students should have a basic knowledge of AutoCAD and an existing understanding of road design principles and practices before taking this course.

Course Instructor

Ann Johnson, PE, is a course instructor for Minnesota LTAP and the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is a professional engineer registered in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has served as a teaching specialist in the University's civil engineering department for many years, teaching CADD, highway design, AutoCAD, and surveying. She owns and operates a consulting business, Professional Engineering Services, where she focuses on writing and teaching and employs several people to conduct construction monitoring and testing and plan preparation. Ann has written more than 20 publications and presentations on road design and maintenance. She holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and an MS in civil engineering with a pavement emphasis from the University of Minnesota.

Accessing the Course

This training is offered via the course management system Canvas. Upon completing your online registration, you will receive an email confirmation. To access the course, please visit Canvas and login with your University of Minnesota internet ID and password. Once you have been enrolled, your course will appear on your Canvas dashboard.

If for any reason you do not have access to the course after enrolling, please contact Natalie Niskanen at for assistance.

Technical Requirements

Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer work best for this course.

In addition, access to any version of AutoCAD software is required to complete the coursework.



This workshop is presented by Minnesota LTAP at the Center for Transportation StudiesUniversity of Minnesota. Minnesota LTAP is sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This course is subsidized through funding from LRRB and FHWA.