Audio Engineering Schools and Universities in the U.S.
Audio engineering integrates computer engineering, math, digital technology and production practices. Those interested in studying this field can pursue a certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree.
How to Select an Audio Engineering School
Audio engineering programs are commonly available through music or engineering departments at community colleges, music schools and 4-year colleges and universities.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Program options and career goals
- School facilities and equipment
- Internship opportunities
Program Options and Career Goals
Though some universities don't have dedicated audio engineering degree programs, prospective students may want to research schools that offer audio engineering classes within a sound engineering or music production program. Programs may skew more toward an artistic/performance or scientific/production curriculum, depending upon the school. Candidates should consider their career goals and assess a program's curriculum when choosing their school.
School Facilities and Equipment
Since audio engineering students participate in hands-on work in recording studios and audio laboratories, they may also want to find a college that has modern, professional-grade equipment. A school's resources may include their partnership agreements or affiliations with local recording studios or radio stations.
Students may also want to search for a school that provides internship opportunities for further experiential training. Schools that are located in cities that have a thriving music industry may provide additional opportunities for audio engineering exposure and development.
Audio Engineering Program Overviews
Associate's Degree in Audio Engineering
Some community colleges offer programs in audio production or sound recording technology. These programs lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. Credits from this type of program are often transferable for students who want to continue on and pursue their bachelor's degrees; however, this degree is sufficient on its own for those seeking entry-level positions with sound studios, music retailers and performance venues. Students in these programs may be required to complete a capstone project or recording portfolio. Associate's degree courses may include:
- Live sound production
- Concert lighting
- Audio recording
Bachelor's Degree in Audio Engineering
Many 4-year universities offer audio engineering programs that lead to a bachelor's degree. Many programs require studio time, and some may seek students with a background in playing and reading music. Degree titles vary for this major; examples include a Bachelor of Science in Sound Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering or Bachelor of Music in Music Technology. Students are typically required to complete a senior project or thesis. Some programs require an internship. Courses commonly cover:
- Electricity and circuitry
- Multimedia technology
- Sound recording
Master's Degree in Audio Engineering
Post-graduate audio engineering programs are available and commonly offer concentrations in music recording or acoustic principles. A Master of Science or Master of Arts in Audio Science or Music Technology can take 2-3 years of study. Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree in audio engineering or a related field. Some programs require students to complete a thesis in order to graduate. Students in a master's degree programs take courses such as:
- Music theory
- Musical acoustics
- Advanced recording systems
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