Top School in Austin for an Audio Production Career

Aug 12, 2020

School and Ranking Information

While eight schools in Austin, TX, offer general programs in music, very few have programs that focus on audio production. The University of Texas at Austin (UTA), Texas State University - San Marcos (TSUSM), and the Austin Community College campuses at Rio Grande and Northridge are the only schools in or near Austin that offer audio production and recording education. Schools were rated based on the following criteria to determine their order below: U.S. News and World Report rankings, graduation rates, and degree programs offered.

  • Winner: University of Texas at Austin is ranked 48th nationally and offers bachelor's degree programs.
  • Runner Up #1: Texas State University - San Marcos offers bachelor's degrees and opportunities for scholarships.
  • Runner Up #2: Austin Community College campuses are 2-year schools which offer only associate degrees.

Additional details and distinctions for the schools and there programs are outlined below the table.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Texas at Austin Texas State University - San Marcos Austin Community College District
Rankings (2020) Ranked 48th nationally;
Ranked 14th in 'Top Public Schools'*
Ranked #293-#381 nationally* N/A
Location Austin, TX San Marcos, TX (29.5 miles from Austin) Austin, TX
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 2-year, public
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $10,824 (in-state); $38,326 (out-of-state)* $10,581 (in-state); $22,397 (out-of-state)* $2,550 (in-district); $10,830 (in-state); $13,020 (out-of-state)*
Audio Production and Recording Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral degrees Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate certificate degrees Associate's degrees
Audio Production and Recording Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2018-2019) 124 (Music, General) ** 78 (Music, General)** 4 (Music, General)**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2013 entering class 86%** 54%** 10%**
Noteworthy Scholarships for incoming music students Fire Station recording facility Music industry internship required

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report; **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: University of Texas at Austin

  • Microcomputer lab with production software and tools
  • Music business employment opportunities are available through Gig Office
  • Four semesters in a music ensemble are required
  • Fine Arts library with a music collection

Students at UTA can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in recording technology. Course offerings include audio workstation basics, audio recording, musicianship and ear training. Recording technology students are required to select a minor, and they're advised to choose radio, TV and film, business foundations or advertising. In addition, an internship and final project are required.

Runner-Up #1: Texas State University - San Marcos

  • School of Music offers several scholarships
  • Facilities include music and audio labs, practice rooms, and a music computer center
  • Music programs provide the option for private instrumental or vocal lessons
  • School of Music employs more than 80 faculty members

TSUSM offers a 122-credit Bachelor of Science in Sound Recording Technology. The program's course of study includes a mix of practical and academic coursework. Some of the required classes include performing, digital electronics, and musical acoustics. Students are also required to complete several semesters each of music technology, recording, ensemble, music theory and aural learning. A senior portfolio is also required.

Runner-Up #2: Austin Community College District

  • ACC has eight campuses in and around Austin, TX
  • College offers media services and computer labs
  • Services provided include on-campus daycare, career counseling, and employment assistance

The performance and technology program at ACC is only available at the school's Northridge campus in Austin. The program blends study of the business and the creative sides of the music industry. Students take business courses like marketing, management and accounting. Creative electives include recording, audio production, songwriting and piano. Students can also take several technical classes in audio engineering. The associate's program requires 65-70 hours, depending on selected electives. An internship and final project are required. Upon graduation, students earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

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