Acoustic Engineering Schools and Courses: How to Choose

Students can complete acoustic engineering programs or mechanical engineering programs with an acoustics focus. Students interested in acoustic engineering programs can find them at 4-year colleges and universities, though they may not be as common as other engineering disciplines.

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While most schools do not offer a degree specifically in acoustical engineering, many have programs in mechanical engineering where individuals can specialize in acoustics. Acoustic engineers may work in noise control, ultrasonic medical imaging or earthquake detection, to name a few career fields.

Schools with Acoustic Engineering Programs

A list of schools across the country that offer degrees in acoustic engineering:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Hartford West Hartford, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's $36,460
Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 4-year, Public Master's and Doctoral In-state: $19,328; Out-of-state: $33,142
Purdue University Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $6,518; Out-of-state: $15,579
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $5,150; Graduate: $6,500
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public Master's and Doctoral In-state: $13,452; Out-of-state: $26,872
University of Rochester Rochester, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $48,280; Graduate: $35,568
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private Master's $48,710
Belmont University Nashville, TN 4-year, Private Bachelor's and Master's Undergraduate: $30,000; Graduate: $19,260

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

A few considerations before deciding on an acoustic engineering program:

  • Prospective acoustic engineers can seek mechanical engineering programs that offer extensive coursework or concentrations in acoustics.
  • Acoustics is an interdisciplinary study with wide applications, so many engineering programs are linked to other departments to provide access to a variety of opportunities for specialization.
  • Prospective students may wish to investigate the research areas of the faculty as well as the types of interdepartmental courses available and research grants acquired by the university.
  • Students should also seek programs at schools that have well-equipped laboratories on campus.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) with an Acoustics Focus

Undergraduate acoustics students take general education courses that provide them with the foundation in math and science to succeed in advanced engineering courses. Some programs have engineering undergraduate students take part in individual research or capstone projects. Computer-aided design (CAD), thermodynamics and fluid mechanics are representative courses in a typical mechanical engineering core.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) or Master of Science in Acoustics and Dynamics

Master's degree programs in mechanical engineering take 1-2 years to complete and require students to complete a master's thesis or equivalent research. Students are expected to continue to expand on their math, engineering and physical science education, as well as develop a focus in a particular type of acoustic engineering.

Graduate Certificate in Acoustic Engineering

For mechanical engineers who already have a master's degree, a graduate certificate program provides additional specialized education and experience in acoustics and vibrations. Certificate programs may also be compatible with existing MSME degree requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Acoustic Engineering

Acoustic engineering Ph.D. candidates perform intensive research to complete their dissertations. Ph.D. students may receive a stipend from the school. Candidates can tailor their research to address highly specialized topics in acoustics.

Individuals interested in a career as an acoustics engineer can find programs in mechanical engineering where they can specialize in acoustics. Engineers with training and experience in acoustics are very much in demand in many fields.

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