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Music Recording Universities and Colleges in the U.S.

Prospective students who wish to enter into the music recording industry can choose between two degree options. These programs include an associate's degree in recording arts and a bachelor's degree in recording arts or music engineering. The former can be pursued at many community colleges, while the latter requires attending a 4-year school.

Associate's and bachelor's degrees are available for students who want to pursue a career in music recording; these degrees may include the titles 'recording arts' or 'music engineering.' When choosing a school, prospective students will want to look at tuition, degrees offered, and opportunities to gain experience.

Ten Schools with Music Recording Programs

Here is a list of schools offering programs in music recording:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-16)
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Associate's and Bachelor's $10,388, in-state
$33,741, out-of-state
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,104, in-state
$7,440, out-of-state
Texas State University - San Marcos San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,348, in-state
$20,268, out-of-state
Sacramento City College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,104, in-state
$7,440, out-of-state
Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,046, in-state
$7,830, out-of-state
Fullerton College Fullerton, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,138, in-state
$6,010, out-of-state
Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,220, in-state
$7,016, out-of-state
Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,551, in-state
$8,391, out-of-state
San Diego City College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,142, in-state
$4,670, out-of-state
CUNY LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, NY 2-year, Public Associate's $5,218, in-state
$8,098, out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in music recording should consider the following when choosing a school:

  • Some schools may offer fully equipped recording studios, while others may not.
  • An associate's degree program may appeal to those who want to enter into this mostly freelance-based industry as quickly as possible.
  • Students may want to consider programs located near major cities that have thriving recording industries.

Associate's in Music Recording

An associate's degree program in music recording is designed for students who want to gain an overview of the field and an understanding of audio electronics and theory. Some possible courses include audio techniques, multi-track studio techniques, audio technology and audio maintenance and repair. Elective courses are also required for degree completion, and they give students an opportunity to specialize in a particular area of interest in the field.

Bachelor's in Music Recording

A 4-year bachelor's degree program in music recording prepares students for a career in audio post-production, live sound and music engineering. Core courses include such topics as electronics, picture production sound, basic electricity and studio processes.

Training in music recording is available at a number of schools as certificate, associate, and bachelor's programs. In addition to costs, recording arts students may want to look at location and opportunities for hands-on classroom experience when choosing a school.

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