Sound Engineering Schools in the U.S.

Sound engineering schools offer degree programs in the recording arts, recording technology, acoustics and audio technology. Instruction in the field may be offered through a school's music or engineering department.

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How to Select a Sound Engineering School

Sound engineering programs are available at community colleges, technical schools and universities. Some programs require students to be proficient in an instrument and perform in ensembles throughout the program.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Program levels
  • School facilities and equipment
  • Internship opportunities

Program Levels

When selecting a sound engineering school, students may want to consider the level of programs offered. Programs in sound engineering are commonly offered at the certificate, associate and bachelor's degrees levels. Some school's programs are geared towards the artistic side, with a focus on the recording arts, while others focus more on engineering principles by offering programs that take more of a scientific approach to sound and acoustics. The former type of program is usually offered through a school's music department.

School Facilities and Equipment

Sound engineering students might also investigate a school's facilities. The hardware and software used in the sound engineering and recording arts fields constantly evolve. A school that offers instruction using the latest technologies and tools for audio engineering may better prepare students to work in the field upon graduation.

Internship Opportunities

Students may also want to consider attending a school that offer internships with local sound engineering companies. Experience gained through internships may better prepare students to work in the field after graduation, and may be attractive to potential employers.

Sound Engineering Program Overviews

Certificate Programs

Students of a certificate program are usually qualified for a specific type of equipment or job function, such as audiovisual technology, upon graduation. Depending upon the student's career goals, this option may be a fast and efficient way to enter the field. Certificate students take courses such as:

  • Audio engineering
  • Studio recording techniques
  • Music business
  • Music theory
  • Pro Tools

Associate's Degree Programs

Graduates of these programs may be eligible for entry-level positions in the field. Programs may require students to complete a work experience or compile a portfolio. The curriculum of an associate's degree program in sound engineering includes coursework in:

  • Piano
  • Sound reinforcement
  • Music theory
  • Sound mixing
  • Music technology

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Students in a bachelor's degree program usually commit to a career path, such as working in the music recording industry, conducting acoustic principle studies or creating computerized innovations that process sound. In these programs, students may need to complete a senior project or thesis. They also study topics like:

  • Electronics
  • DC/AC circuits
  • Music theory
  • Acoustics
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
        • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
        • Atomic and Molecular Physics
        • Theoretical Physics
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics

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