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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Undercar Specialist - Certificate

Career Area: Transportation
Program: Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology
Campus(es): Winona

Get a head start on a career in automotive technology

Now more than ever, it's important to get a top-notch education that will get you into the workforce and earning a living quickly. In just one semester at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona, you can earn a 15-credit certificate in Undercar Specialist that will get you on the fast track to employment in a high-demand field.

In this certificate, you will focus on:

  • Shop safety, the use of service manuals, preventative maintenance, and the use of automotive tools and equipment
  • Basic automotive engine construction and maintenance, including light duty diesel and hybrid vehicles
  • Suspension and steering systems diagnosis, replacement and alignment
  • Brake systems including hydraulic systems, disc and drum brakes, parking brakes, and power assist units

The course load in Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology is flexible enough to allow part-time employment while going to college. And if you already have a job in the field, you may be able to coordinate with your employer and the faculty to receive lab credit for hours worked in industry.

Where will you be in a year? With a certificate from Minnesota State College Southeast, you can be working in an exciting career that will always be in demand. Apply today!

Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Pathway: Facility & Mobile Equipment Maintenance

Download the Program Plan



As a stand-alone 15 credit certificate, Undercar Specialist is not eligible for financial aid. Please contact the MSCS Financial Aid department if you have questions.

1) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

0 crs
General Auto Service Theory
This course is designed as a prerequisite for all technical automotive courses. Major emphasis is placed on shop safety, use of service manuals, preventative maintenance, use of automotive tools and equipment. (Prerequisite: None) (1 Credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
General Auto Service Lab
This course will let the student apply knowledge and skills learned in general automotive service. (Prerequisite: AUTO1105) (2 Credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
Introduction to Light Duty Diesel and Hybrid Service
This course teaches basic fundamentals of diesel engine construction and maintenance of engine and the power plants used in hybrid vehicles. Major emphasis on engine construction, fuel systems, hybrid safety, service and maintenance. Materials and information will be presented in a manner related directly to the occupation. (Prerequisite: AUTO 1105, AUTO 1106, or instructor approval) (2 credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
Suspension & Steering Lab
This course will develop skills the student will need for diagnosis and replacement and alignment of suspension systems needed in the technology of automotive and light duty truck repair. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106, AUTO1204 or instructor approval) (3 Credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
Brake Systems Lab
This course will enhance the students' knowledge in developing skills and procedures learned in Brake Systems. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106 or instructor approval) (3 Credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
Suspension & Steering Theory
This course instructs the student in steering component diagnosis and component replacement/adjustment. Emphasis is placed on all components of automotive steering and suspension. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106, or instructor approval) ( 2 Credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
Brake Systems Theory
This course includes principles of hydraulic systems, disc and drum brakes, parking brakes, and power assist units. Emphasis on anti-lock operation, diagnosis, and repair of various types of braking systems. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106, or instrtuctor approval) (2 Credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
15 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 15 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$3,069
Minimum Tool Cost:$3,000
Estimated Total:$6,269


Career Opportunities

  • Certified Technicians
  • Service Managers
  • Service Writers
  • Vehicle Inspectors
  • Shop Owners
  • Specialists
  • Insurance Adjusters
  • Instructors

Career Information


Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate safety practices and policies in an environmentally safe and compatible environment.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to diagnose related vehicle repairs using problem solving techniques.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to operate electrical diagnostic equipment.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to process information from service manuals and technical service bulletins to complete automotive repairs.
  5. Define the use of service manuals and technical service bulletins related to automotive repairs.
  6. Develop a plan for a career path in the automotive technology trade.


  • State-of-the-art lab in the Norris P. Abts Transportation Center operates as a live shop
  • Students work on customer vehicles, get real hands-on experience
  • Emphasis on diesel, hybrid, and automotive technologies and computer controlled systems
  • Possible to receive laboratory credit for hours worked in industry
  • Text and curriculum designed around Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification


Brady Brink
Brady Brink obtained his Automotive Technology Diploma from Minnesota State College Southeast and has been working as a service technician through the Winona area. He brings a vast amount of experience to his teaching role with our college. Brady has achieved and maintained his ASE Master Certification.
Amanda Griffin
Amanda Griffin obtained her Automotive Technology Diploma and an Associate Degree in Individualized Studies from Minnesota State College Southeast. She is familiar with the college not only from having been a student, but also from having served as an adjunct instructor for several years prior to becoming a full-time instructor in 2019. She also brings several years of field experience to this position, having served as an Auto Center Service Writer and Technician, Driver’s Education Instructor, and Automotive Technician at several businesses in the Winona area.


Other Majors in the Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology program

Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology DIP

Automotive Technology Foundations CERT



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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

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.


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