Acoustic Science Course and Class Descriptions

Essential Information

Acoustic science programs are offered through many universities, and such programs may culminate in a Master of Science or Master of Engineering in Acoustics. Doctoral programs are also available. There are many divisions of acoustics that can be studied, from speech and vibrations to aeroacoustics and underwater acoustics. Students can focus on acoustics in music or explore how humans and animals react to noise. You can find the following subjects in acoustics classes:

  • Sound waves
  • Sound fields
  • Community noise problems
  • Sound minimization
  • Radiation

List of Acoustic Science Classes

Acoustic Fundamentals

In this introductory course, students study concepts and theories of acoustics, such as frequency and modes, elastic media, transmission and radiation. They also learn to measure noise and study plane, spherical and standing sound waves. Other topics may include looking at how sound is made in tubes and cavities.

Underwater Acoustics

Students examine sonar and acoustics used in underwater spaces, such as the ocean. Through the use of underwater acoustics, researchers are able to discover surroundings and find targets. This beginner's course details the history and theories behind the usage of underwater acoustics, as well as sonar. Students learn about current and past research and look at the future of this exploratory technique.


Through the study of Lighthill's equation and the Ffowcs Williams-Hawkings equation, students learn about the properties of sound. Identification of 1-, 2- and 3-dimensional sound fields is practiced. This is an advanced course for those in acoustic engineering programs.

Sound and Vibration

In this course, students are introduced to the energy of vibrations and responses that generate frequency. They also become familiar with vibration characteristics. Through the examination of signal processing techniques, students learn about stability analysis, vibration control, propagation in ducts and engineered structures to minimize sound and vibrations.

Hearing Loss and Noise

Students majoring in medicine or communications might find this course informative because it examines different types of hearing loss and the reasons behind them. Laws and regulations may be explored, as well as community noise problems. Students discover the noise levels that man can handle and learn how reduction of external noise might help prevent hearing loss.

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