Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing (COLL), AAS

At Dunwoody College of Technology, the Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing program prepares graduates for employment in the collision repair and refinishing industry. Students receive classroom and hands-on training in vehicle repair procedures and techniques. Students learn to use specialized tools, materials, and techniques to straighten or replace damaged body panels and structural components as well as perform related mechanical and electrical repairs, restraint system repairs, and stationary glass replacement. Students also learn the latest procedures for partial and complete refinishing of an automobile as well as custom painting techniques.

Arts & Sciences curriculum supports the technical skills students learn and enhances oral and written communication skills, fundamental math skills, and critical thinking ability.

In addition to the regular technical and Arts & Sciences courses, students complete two summer experiences.

The first summer features a production course at the College that focuses on customer vehicle work in the Collision Repair & Refinishing lab. The second summer features either an internship at an approved collision repair facility or another production course on site at the College.

Dunwoody’s programs utilize Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) training materials, and the program is an I-CAR Training Alliance Member. Instructors are certified as master technicians by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and are I-CAR Gold Class professionals.

The ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Education Foundation (previously known as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation or NATEF) which certifies and accredits automotive education programs, has accredited Dunwoody’s Collision Program in all areas of collision repair and refinishing -- the highest level of achievement recognized by ASE.

Credential Earned: AAS
Length of Program: 2 years (4 semesters + 2 summer sessions)
Classes Offered: Day
Available Starts: Fall Semester
Accreditation: ASE Education Foundation
Bachelor's Completion Option(s): Business Management Leadership (AMGT), Bachelor of Science
  • Analyze and report costs of collision repairs. 
  • Repair nonstructural damage to vehicles. 
  • Repair structural damage to vehicles.
  • Repair mechanical and electrical components.
  • Perform painting and refinishing repairs. 
  • Demonstrate effective customer satisfaction techniques. 
General Requirements
Natural Science/Mathematics3
Social Sciences3
General Electives3
Technical Requirements
ABDY1111Introduction to Auto Body1
ABDY1121Bolt on Panel Replacement I3
ABDY1131Panel Straightening & Paint Prep3
ABDY1140Auto Body Welding3
ABDY1151Plastic Repairs2
ABDY1211Brake & Suspension Repairs3
ABDY1221Introduction to Refinishing2
ABDY1230Automotive Refinishing & Detailing5
ABDY1311Damage Analysis & Estimating1
ABDY1320Summer Production Repair Lab I4
or ABDY1321 Summer Internship I
ABDY2111Aluminum Welding & Complex Panel Repair3
ABDY2120Electrical, A/C Repairs & Hybrid Safety3
ABDY2131Restraint Systems & Stationary Glass3
ABDY2140Finish Matching & Plastic Refinishing2
ABDY2211Panel Replacement II3
ABDY2222Structural Analysis, Measuring & Repair6
ABDY2231Custom Painting1
ABDY2310Production II Internship4
or ABDY2320 Summer Production Repair Lab II
Total Credits67

The following sample academic plan demonstrates how a student's schedule might look on a semester-by-semester basis, including elective courses. Your actual degree plan may differ from this sequence, depending on whether you start in the fall or spring semester, what transfer credits you may have (if any), and which General Education courses and electives you take and when you take them.

The sample academic plan is for informational purposes only. To determine your academic plan, please meet with an academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ABDY1111 Introduction to Auto Body 1
ABDY1121 Bolt on Panel Replacement I 3
ABDY1131 Panel Straightening & Paint Prep 3
ABDY1140 Auto Body Welding 3
Natural Science/Mathematics 2
 Total Credits12
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ABDY1151 Plastic Repairs 2
Spring Semester
ABDY1211 Brake & Suspension Repairs 3
ABDY1221 Introduction to Refinishing 2
ABDY1230 Automotive Refinishing & Detailing 5
Communications 3
General Electives 3
 Total Credits18
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ABDY1311 Damage Analysis & Estimating 1
Summer Production Repair Lab I
or Summer Internship I
 Total Credits5
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
ABDY2111 Aluminum Welding & Complex Panel Repair 3
ABDY2120 Electrical, A/C Repairs & Hybrid Safety 3
ABDY2131 Restraint Systems & Stationary Glass 3
Social Sciences 3
 Total Credits12
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
ABDY2140 Finish Matching & Plastic Refinishing 2
Spring Semester
ABDY2211 Panel Replacement II 3
ABDY2222 Structural Analysis, Measuring & Repair 6
Humanities 3
 Total Credits14
Plan of Study Grid
Second Year
ABDY2231 Custom Painting 1
Summer Production Repair Lab II
or Production II Internship
 Total Credits5


ABDY1111 | Introduction to Auto Body | Lecture/Laboratory (1 Credit)

Overview of the past, present, and future of the collision industry with emphasis on safety, equipment, tools, and body shop operations. Industry expectations and career opportunities are explored.

ABDY1121 | Bolt on Panel Replacement I | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Identify, remove, and install vehicle panels requiring bolt on or other mechanical fastener applications. Practice alignment techniques, identification of fasteners, use of industry and vehicle manufacturer approved methods.

ABDY1131 | Panel Straightening & Paint Prep | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Examine and practice industry acceptable methods of metal straightening, plastic filler application and contouring, use of primer surfacers, and sanding techniques. Preparation of substrates and existing finishes for refinishing on metal and plastic panels.

ABDY1140 | Auto Body Welding | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Relate safety, equipment, and welding techniques to collision repair. Special consideration to I-CAR welding procedures and tests.

ABDY1151 | Plastic Repairs | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Identify and practice techniques associated with welding, bonding, and cosmetic repair of automotive plastics. Prepare interior plastic for refinishing and re-texturing.

ABDY1211 | Brake & Suspension Repairs | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Identify automotive brakes, steering systems, and suspension systems. Remove and replace components. Examine systems for collision related damage. Wheel alignment theory and practice.

ABDY1221 | Introduction to Refinishing | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Identify personal safety issues and environmental concerns related to refinishing. Use of water-based paint and solvent-based paint systems and procedures. Practice refinishing procedures on metals and plastics as related to collision repair.

ABDY1230 | Automotive Refinishing & Detailing | Lecture/Laboratory (5 Credits)

Practice refinishing of automotive collision repairs, and vehicle masking techniques; identify paint problems and corrections.

ABDY1311 | Damage Analysis & Estimating | Lecture/Laboratory (1 Credit)

Practice in collision damage appraisal using industry accepted software and computerized estimating programs to prepare collision damage reports or estimates.

ABDY1320 | Summer Production Repair Lab I | Laboratory (4 Credits)

Practice the skills learned in the first year of coursework using customer vehicles.

ABDY1321 | Summer Internship I | Internship (4 Credits)

This Internship is offered for qualified students who are interested in fulfilling their 1st year production requirements for the Collision Program via a 192 hour internship rather than participating in ABDY 1320 Production Lab I at Dunwoody. Students must be able to secure an internship at a collision repair facility and have the approval of the Collision Program Faculty. Internship provides work experience as a technician in an automotive collision repair facility. A formal agreement will be developed between the student, the employer, and an advisor assigned by Dunwoody. Internship must be approved by the Department Director of the Internship Advisor.

ABDY2111 | Aluminum Welding & Complex Panel Repair | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Examine the properties of aluminum, aluminum alloys, welding processes and materials utilized in aluminum welding. Setup and adjustment of the MIG welder for aluminum, weld joint preparation, aluminum welding procedures and safety precautions. Welding on aluminum adhering to I-CAR aluminum welding standards and testing methods. Body panel damage assessment. Repair of steel and aluminum body panels with complex shapes and damage to style lines and attached inner panels. Procedures and products used to restore Corrosion Protection to repaired panels.

ABDY2120 | Electrical, A/C Repairs & Hybrid Safety | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Fundamentals of electricity and related automotive circuits, tracing of vehicle wiring diagrams and repair of collision related malfunctions of electrical components and wiring. Identification and usage of electrical test tools and head lamp aiming. Air conditioning theory of operation, properties of refrigerants, and safety procedures. Set up and use of air conditioning service equipment. Refrigerant reclaiming, recycling, evacuation and recharging. Diagnostic procedures for troubleshooting air conditioning systems. Safety precautions and disabling procedures for working on and around hybrid vehicle electrical systems.

ABDY2131 | Restraint Systems & Stationary Glass | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Explore the history of the development of restraint systems. Examine air bag theory of operation, function of components and wiring, deployment conditions, safety precautions, and inspection procedures for restraint systems. Practice service procedures for air bag and seat belt systems. Examine the role that glass plays in a modern vehicle. Demonstrate procedures for replacement of structural glass, correction of wind noises and water leaks, and removal and re-installation of interior trim.

ABDY2140 | Finish Matching & Plastic Refinishing | Lecture/Laboratory (2 Credits)

Collision industry procedures used for color matching, tinting and blending. Color theory, panel preparation and practical application of urethane (solvent based) and waterborne automotive paint products utilizing color mixing systems. Procedures, techniques, and materials used in tri-coat (three stage) finish repairs. Specialized products and procedures used to refinish automotive plastics. Identification and refinishing of flexible plastic panels.

ABDY2211 | Panel Replacement II | Lecture/Laboratory (3 Credits)

Identify, remove and install welded and adhesively bonded automotive body panels. Identify and use a squeeze type resistance spot welder and other specialized panel removal tools and welding equipment. Practice restoring corrosion protection to replaced panels using primers and anti-corrosion compounds. Identify and properly apply automotive body seam sealers.

ABDY2222 | Structural Analysis, Measuring & Repair | Lecture/Laboratory (6 Credits)

Vehicle collision damage analysis, inspection techniques, damage classification and types of vehicle construction. Measuring concepts, set-up and use of measuring systems, vehicle anchoring systems and structural straightening equipment. Industry (I-CAR) guidelines for structural repairs including frame and unibody straightening, structural component replacement, sectioning and restoring corrosion protection. Disassemble vehicles for repairs, develop a vehicle repair plan, perform structural repairs, including repairs to mechanical and electrical systems as well as replacement of structural glass.

ABDY2231 | Custom Painting | Lecture/Laboratory (1 Credit)

Surface preparation procedures, specialized refinish materials, spray equipment and techniques used for custom painting on vehicle panels or small projects. Materials utilized include standard urethane (solvent-based) base coats, waterborne base coats, candy colors, pearls, and metal flakes. Masking and design transfer techniques for custom painting.

ABDY2320 | Summer Production Repair Lab II | Laboratory (4 Credits)

Perform major and minor collision repairs; repair or replace structural members and exterior panels; remove and replace glass and upholstery; suspension and mechanical components; prepare panels for paint; refinish panels or vehicles as necessary. Create computerized repair estimates, discuss repairs with customers, order parts and assist in completion of repair orders for customer billing.

ABDY2310 | Production II Internship | Internship (4 Credits)

This Internship is offered for qualified students who are interested in fulfilling their 2nd year production requirement for the Collision Program via a 216 hour internship rather than participating in ABDY 2320 Production Lab II. Must be able to secure an internship at a collision repair facility and have the approval of the Collision program faculty. A formal agreement will be developed between the student, the employer, and an advisor assigned by Dunwoody. Internship must be approved by the Department Director of Internship Advisor.