Bachelor's Degree in Sound Engineering: Program Overview

A bachelor's degree program in sound engineering will provide graduates with a background in musical theory, musical instruments and sound recording technologies.

Essential Information

Students often learn about theories of sound and music in classroom lectures before learning how to apply those theories in actual recording studios.

    • Prerequisites: High school diploma, strong grade point average, general education courses in mathematics, computer science, communication and music theory
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Other Requirements: Internships

Bachelor's Degree in Sound Engineering

Many of the courses included in a bachelor's degree program in sound engineering focus both on the theory of music as well as the technical equipment and processes used to record and manipulate music. The courses provide students with an understanding of various types of acoustic instruments so that they might learn how to record each one. Students examine technology and equipment associated with the sound engineering profession, such as multi-track recording devices, computer music composition software and sound reinforcement equipment. Some core courses might include:

  • American music history
  • Media arts seminar
  • Performing arts technology
  • Acoustics and psychoacoustics
  • Musical composition and arranging
  • Sound recording, reinforcement, and production

Popular Career Options

A bachelor's degree in sound engineering can prepare graduates for several positions in the music industry. These include:

  • Sound engineering technician
  • Audio engineer
  • Audio equipment technician
  • Mix engineer
  • Recording engineer
  • Music producer
  • Mastering engineer
  • Assistant engineer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be 9 percent growth for broadcast and sound engineering technician positions from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). However, growth for sound engineering technicians alone is expected to be just one percent, with strong competition expected. The BLS reported in May 2014 that sound engineering technicians earned a median annual salary of $48,870.

Continuing Education Options

A Master of Science in Sound Engineering or a Master of Science in Audio Engineering degree program can provide students with an advanced understanding of the music recording and production industry. Such a 2-year program typically contains advanced seminars on emerging technologies in the field and advanced studio production experience. Graduates can leverage a continuing educational experience in sound engineering to gain positions of management in sound recording studios.

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