Schools with Musical Engineering Programs: How to Choose

Musical engineering, or audio engineering, involves the use of recording and mixing equipment to capture and reproduce music. Certificate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in audio engineering and music technology include music engineering coursework and prepare students for professional work in the field.

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Undergraduate and graduate level degree programs are available for students interested in studying musical engineering. Explore some of the 4-year schools that offer these programs, as well as learn about some considerations for helping students decide on a school to attend.

Music Schools

The following private schools offer degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Berklee College of Music Boston, MA 4-Year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $40,082
The Juilliard School New York, NY 4-Year, Private Bachelor's $41,310
University of Miami - Coral Gables Coral Gables, FL 4-Year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $45,724
University of Rochester Rochester, NY 4-Year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $48,280
New England Conservatory of Music Boston, MA 4-Year, Private Certificate Varies by program
San Francisco Conservatory San Francisco, CA 4-Year, Private Diploma, Bachelor's $42,210

*Sources: School websites and National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

The following are some considerations for students looking for music engineering programs:

  • Students should consider their career goals to decide on what degree to pursue. Certificate programs in audio engineering might be preferable for aspiring entry-level employees. Bachelor's degree programs typically combine technical ability with music performance, as well as music history and theory. Master's degree programs often allow students to narrow their studies to one of many concentration areas, such as acoustics, movie scoring or production.
  • Students interested in pursuing studies in musicianship may consider enrolling in programs in which instrumental or vocal performance studies are included in the curriculum. Schools with extracurricular programs, such as choir or instrumental ensemble groups, may be preferable to aspiring musicians as well.
  • On-site studios well equipped with current recording and mixing hardware and software are an important consideration for prospective students preparing for employment.
  • Schools that offer internship experiences for musical engineers are also recommended. Internships can provide specialized training in areas of the industry such as promotion or acoustics.

Certificate in Audio Engineering

Certificate programs in audio engineering can be completed in 1-2 years. An internship may be required. Coursework includes music theory, equipment management, recording software and more.

Bachelor's Degree in Music Engineering

Bachelor's degree programs in music engineering focus on basic principles of music technology, such as recording and mixing hardware and software. Many also delve into musicianship to some degree, with classes in performance, history and theory. For this reason, some schools expect applicants to complete live auditions to qualify for admission. An internship, senior thesis or senior project may be required for degree completion.

Master's Degree in Music Technology

Some master's degree programs in music technology require a bachelor's degree in music, engineering or computer sciences for acceptance. Students can find advanced specialization in areas such as acoustics, recording and production. In addition to internships, students may complete a project or thesis based on their area of concentration.

Musical engineering programs are available as certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees from several 4-year schools. Students considering these schools should look for programs that include internship opportunities, state-of-the-art studios and offer concentrations that align with future career goals.

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