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Colleges with Music Technology Majors: How to Choose

Schools offer music technology training at the associate's, bachelor's or master's degree levels; some schools also offer career certificates. Students in these programs learn how to create music with traditional instruments, as well as computers, sequencers, editing software and synthesizers.

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Students seeking programs in music technology can enroll in a 4-year university or a technical school, depending on future career aspirations. Music content, quality of technology and artistic preferences all play a part in selecting the right program.

Schools with Music Technology Programs

The following public and private schools offer bachelor's degrees in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Ball State University Muncie, IN 4-year, Public $9,498 (In-state) $25,016 (Out-of-state)
Berklee College of Music Boston, MA 4-year, Private $40,082
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Public $2,753 (In-state) $8,875 (Out-of-state)
California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA 4-year, Private $43,986
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private $50,665
Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL 4-year, Public $3,282 (In-state) $12,352 (Out-of-state)
Elon University Elon, NC 4-year, Private $32,172
Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public $12,204 (In-state) $32,396 (Out-of-state)
Hastings College Hastings, NE 4-year, Private $27,300

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Jazz
  • Music Composition and Theory
  • Music History and Literature
  • Music Merchandising and Management
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Music Performing
  • Musical Conducting
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Piano and Organ
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Voice and Opera

College Selection Criteria

Prospective students may wish to take the following recommendations into account:

  • Compare schools with regard to the quality of the studio equipment and availability of the most recent software technology.
  • Schools with low student-to-teacher ratios will offer more access to instructors and opportunities to collaborate with other students.
  • Consider the opportunities available for music production in school clubs or in the surrounding school area.
  • Students should compare the financial differences between public and private schools and look for financial aid availability if needed.

Certificate

Completion time for a career certificate in music technology is usually 12 months or less. Admission generally requires a high school diploma or GED along with completion of a reading and writing proficiency exam. Certificate programs generally design their training to cover aspects of music production and recording.

Associate's Degree

Applicants are usually required to have a high school diploma or GED and may need to take an academic proficiency test for placement in general education classes. Generally, associate's degrees are completed as 2-year programs. Associate's degrees in music technology usually have general education courses in math, science and communications in addition to a core of music technology courses.

Bachelor's Degree

Music technology programs in universities and traditional 4-year colleges typically have a very strong general education component with classes in advanced math, the sciences and communications. Students frequently take internships and complete senior capstone projects. Universities and colleges typically require a high school diploma or GED and good scores from a college admittance exam, such as the ACT or SAT. There are usually opportunities to specialize in such areas as music and sound for live concerts and sporting events or for video games, animation and video productions.

Master's Degree

Programs generally last 2-3 years and consist of seminars, along with production or research projects. Applicants are usually asked to submit transcripts, preferably from a bachelor's degree program related to music, along with results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students who complete a master's degree program are usually qualified for admission to doctoral programs.

A master's degree in music technology gives students the opportunity to acquire advanced training in a specialized area. This might be in a technical aspect, such as music synthesis, multi-track recording or sound aesthetics through technology; or it may be in a non-technical aspect such as music interpretation or translation.

Bachelor's degree programs in music technology are available at several 4-year institutions across the United States. As they are choosing a program students may want to consider a program's studio equipment and software technology, among other things.

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