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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Diesel Maintenance - Diploma

Career Area: Transportation
Program: Heavy Diesel Maintenance
Campus(es): Winona

We are re-tooling the Diesel Maintenance Diploma during the 2020-2021 academic year, so we're not currently accepting applications. Contact our Admissions Representatives to learn more about how you can join us when it's back on the road!

Our accelerated Diesel Maintenance diploma will get your career on the road in less than a year!

Diesel technology is one of the hottest technical markets -- employers are looking for people who know how to work with diesel engines. With our accelerated diploma, you can begin your career in diesel maintenance faster than ever. In less than a year, you'll get two years' worth of training in Diesel Maintenance at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona.

You'll graduate with the training you need to jump-start a career working on heavy-duty vehicles and other heavy diesel engines, such as buses and large agricultural equipment. Our program is set up to get you into the workforce faster:

  • Diesel Maintenance runs for 2 full semesters and one 4-week summer session
  • Starts in August and finishes the following June -- less than 12 months
  • Diesel theory and laboratory sessions are staggered into 8-week terms
  • Emphasis is on hands-on experience in a real-world setting -- you'll be ready to work!

In this program, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of diesel technology spanning hydraulics, braking, engine performance, and diesel diagnostics. And because part of the job involves being able to move vehicles and test engine performance, we'll make sure you graduate with your CDL Class B license.

Save time and money in college so you can begin working in this high-paying, in-demand career field in under one year.

Apply now for admission to MSC Southeast

Download the Program Plan


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

English/Communications requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) English or Communications course.
2 cr
Math requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) Math course.
2 cr
4 crs
Auto Heating & Air Conditioning Lab
In this course the student will perform heating and A/C service and maintenance. The student will perform troubleshooting techniques on heating and A/C systems including automatic temperature control systems. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106, AUTO1207 or instructor approval) (2 Credits: 0 lecture/2 lab)

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2 cr
Auto Heating & Air Conditioning Theory
This course covers basic heating and A/C theory, A/C safety, A/C environmental concerns, component and control identification. System service, maintenance, vacuum, and electrical circuits are discussed. Troubleshooting techniques of A/C and automotive temperature control systems are also covered. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105, AUTO1106, or instructor approval) (2 Credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

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2 cr
Diesel Hydraulics
This course covers hydraulic principals along with basic components will be discussed. The physical laws of hydraulics along with the relationships of various components and common hydraulic circuits and symbols will be covered. (3 credits: 2 Lecture/1 Lab

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3 cr
Introduction to Diesel Technology
This course is designed as a prerequisite for all technical diesel courses. This course covers the basics of the diesel industry. It will cover employer expectations as well as common working conditions. (Prerequisite: none) (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Electrical Systems
This course builds on the knowledge gained from the Intro to Electrical and Battery Service course. This course will apply this knowledge and expand to cover other purposes and functions of the various truck electrical systems, including components and instruments. Electrical theory, application and diagnosis using typical test equipment will also be covered. (Prerequisites: AUTO1206) (4 credits: 2 lec/2 lab)

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4 cr
Diesel Chassis/Suspension/Steering
This course covers the identification, inspection techniques, repair and adjustment procedures, and alignment checks of the components associated with the variety of frames and suspensions common to heavy trucks. Students will be instructed in identifying the various types of truck steering systems and components. The students learn and practice inspection, disassembly, reassembly and alignment procedures. Manual and power steering sectors and pumps are included. (Prerequisites: AUTO1105) (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Tractor/Trailer Brake Systems
This course draws from previous knowledge gained in the automotive brake theory and lab courses, applies content gained in the intro to hydraulics and pneumatics and builds new related content and application to the heavy duty truck systems. Air system components will be identified and their functions studied individually and within the entire system. Multiple components will be removed, replaced, inspected, repaired and tested. Emphasis will be placed on general repairs and trouble-shooting. (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Diesel Preventive Maintenance
This course covers the importance of proper procedures of preventive maintenance and inspection schedules used for various types of heavy trucks and their applications. Students learn to perform inspections according to the standard of the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.). Prerequisites: N/A (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Drivetrain Systems
This course covers theory and operation of all drive system components including manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, clutches, drivelines and differentials. Other studies include component troubleshooting, inspecting, service, repair operations, removal, replacement and preventive maintenance practices. (Prerequisites: None) (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Schematic
This course addresses the description, operation, diagnosis, and service procedures related to all systems by interpreting schematic drawings used in the service industry. Major vehicle systems will be covered including, but not limited to: electrical, air, hydraulic, fuel, cooling, and diagnostics. (3 credits:1 Lecture/2 Lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Engine Service
This course is designed to give students an understanding of diesel engine system operation. Theory, operation, troubleshooting, and repair of diesel engine intake, exhaust, cooling, lubrication, and fuel systems will be examined. In-addition to tune up procedures will be performed on a variety of truck diesel engines. (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

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3 cr
Diesel Diagnostics
This course is designed to give the student an understanding of systems operation, service, diagnose, troubleshooting, repair, and programming of electronic computer controlled diesel engines. (Prerequisites: None) (4 credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

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4 cr
Straight Truck Proficiency
The Class "B" license can put you in the driver's seat of a dump truck, a delivery truck, or a van! If you are 18 years of age or older here is an opportunity to operate a straight truck with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) if 26,000 pounds or more. This hands-on course is designed to give you actual driving experience. In the final class, you take the test for your CDL Class B license. Students must have a Class B permit with air brakes to start the class. Students from Wisconsin need a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical before the start of the class. Arrangements can be made to take the Wisconsin test for an additional fee. Enroll early, class size is limited. (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab) (Prerequisite: CDL Class B Permit Required)

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2 cr
Trades Enhancement Welding
Students will be introduced to different welding and cutting processes. Covered in this course will be proper weld fusion, heat distortion, penetration, and their effects to the parent material. Students will learn the basics of proper welding and cutting machine set up from turning the machine on and off and identification of machine parts to demonstrating and identifying the differences between good quality welds and poor quality welds. Students will be introduced to and demonstrate weld shop safety and practice, and proper compressed cylinder transport and storage. (3 credits: 2 lecture/1 lab)

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3 cr
40 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 44 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$8,562
Minimum Tool Cost:$2,350
Estimated Total:$11,912


Career Opportunities

  • Heavy Truck/Diesel Mechanic
  • Parts Manager
  • Service Technician
  • Service Writer
  • Fleet Technician
  • Lead Technician
  • Shop Supervisor
  • Service Manager
  • Specialty Technician

Career Information


Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Know, understand, and apply the terminology common to heavy truck/diesel mechanics.
  2. Apply the safe and skillful use of common tools, test equipment, and technology for preventive maintenance.
  3. Diagnose/troubleshoot, service, repair, or replace components related to fundamental heavy truck and trailer systems.
  4. Demonstrate the professional/ethical behaviors of timeless and self-directed task completion.
  5. Master the general education program requirements for work and life goals.


  • Get your diploma in less than a year of full-time study
  • Program offered in our state-of-the-art Norris P. Abts Transportation Center
  • The program is continually upgraded to maintain the latest technology used in industry
  • You will graduate ready to work in a high-paying, in-demand field





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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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