Digital Recording Arts Schools and Degrees: How to Choose

Digital recording involves the use of contemporary computer-based technologies to record and produce audio and video for a variety of electronic media, including film, television, radio, video games and the Internet. Certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs are available in this field.

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Programs in the digital recording arts can be found at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Ten Schools with Digital Recording Arts Programs

Digital recording arts programs can be found at many schools across the country, providing students with plenty of options for their studies. Here are ten schools that offer programs relevant to students interested in working in the digital recording arts:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate's, Bachelor's** $23,031
San Diego City College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,142 in-state, $4,670 out-of-state
University of St. Francis Joliet, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's** $29,950
Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,551 in-state, $8,391 out-of-state
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,348 in-state, $20,268 out-of-state
Dakota State University Madison, SD 4-year, Public Bachelor's** $7,974 in-state, $10,556 out-of-state
Full Sail University Winter Park, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate's, Bachelor's $23,117
American University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $43,103
Berklee College of Music Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Certificate $40,082
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,388 in-state, $33,741 out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School websites

School Selection Criteria

There are many things that students may want to take into consideration when selecting a degree in digital recording arts. Here are a few things to think about when making your decision:

  • Prospective students may prefer to isolate their focus to either audio or video, others may prefer programs with a dual-study track.
  • Audio production programs may require proficiency with a musical instrument.
  • Video production curriculums should include commercial production, multiple camera shooting techniques and location shoots.
  • State-of-the-art applications, equipment and hands-on lab work opportunities encourage efficiency in crucial skill-sets while in school and post-grad.

Digital Recording Certificate Programs

Some schools have industry affiliations and offer certificate programs focusing on specific digital recording applications, such as Digidesign Pro Tools or Ableton Live. Certificate programs are most commonly found for digital audio applications; programs for digital video applications are relatively rare.

Bachelor of Science in Digital Recording Arts Technology

Hands-on experience and proficiency with contemporary digital production equipment and applications are required. Students are often required to compile a portfolio by the end of the program. Some programs may require an internship and practicums. Concentrations in either video or audio may have additional requirements that are particular to the concentration. This degree program may also be offered as a Bachelor of Arts program.

Students enrolled in digital recording programs learn a broad range of techniques and skills related to the field, including how to use the relevant technology. Some knowledge of digital recording arts or proficiency with an instrument may be required to gain entry to this program.

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