Music Engineering Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Music engineering explores concepts in acoustics, sound engineering, music informatics and audio equipment design. Read on for more information on music engineering schools and programs.

Selecting a Music Engineering School

Music engineering programs are available at recording schools, community colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Degree level
  • School facilities and equipment

Degree Level

When choosing a music engineering program, students may want to take into account the level of education they are seeking. Music engineering or audio engineering programs are available at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Undergraduate programs are designed for students seeking to enter the field, while graduate programs provide additional technical and music skills to current audio engineers. Additionally, students seeking a 2-year associate's degree may want to consider the fact that some are designed for transfer into a bachelor's degree program, while others provide the working knowledge to gain immediate employment.

School Facilities and Equipment

Music engineering employs music software, synthesizers, audio processors and computers. Students may want to consider schools that offer labs that utilize modern, industry-standard equipment, such as MIDI labs and mixing studios. Programs that offer hands-on practice with the equipment provide students with diverse opportunities to create a professional portfolio of original work. In addition to studios, learners may want to seek programs that offer professional experience through internships at local studios, radio stations or live events.

Music Engineering Program Overviews

Associate's Degree in Music Engineering

Students learn the basics of audio mixing and concepts related to:

  • Acoustics
  • Digital recording
  • Electronic processing of sound

Associate's programs include general education requirements such as math and science, English and the humanities. A 2-year program may include an audio engineering capstone project.

Bachelor's Degree Program in Music Engineering

Bachelor's degree programs in music or audio engineering are typically available as a Bachelor of Science. These programs explore principles in:

  • Digital technology
  • Frequency
  • Musical instrument digital interface (MIDI)
  • Transmission

In addition to completing general education and music history courses, students experiment with sound mixing, digital recording, oscilloscopes and frequency counters in recording studios and electronic labs. A senior project may be required.

Master's Degree in Recording Technologies or Audio Sciences

Graduate programs provide working professionals with additional audio engineering knowledge and allow them to concentrate in a specific area of sound. Concentrations may include musical informatics, acoustical studies, recording and production. In acoustics, students learn how to design spaces and equipment for particular acoustic characteristics. Recording engineering students practice in the studio and learn to produce recordings at a professional level by working with experienced professionals. Master's holders may be prepared to teach at the postsecondary level. Some programs give students the ability to choose between thesis and project tracks, while others require a capstone experience for all students. Master's degree students take courses such as:

  • Audio analysis
  • Audio mastering
  • Digital media production

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