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Schools with Recording Technology Programs: How to Choose

Recording technology programs focus on the technical aspects of audio recording in a number of professional settings, including live concerts and recording studios. Certificate, diploma and associate degree programs in recording technology are available across the U.S., as well as bachelor's degree programs in music technology.

Recording technology programs allow students to concentrate in specific areas of the industry, such as commercial music, theater company recording or video game music. Students with such interests can enroll in programs with coursework and technical facilities that meet their career goals at community colleges as well as 4-year private and public colleges and universities.

Schools with Recording Technology Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer recording technology programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $4,920; In-state $9,360; Out-of-state $13,800
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN 2-year, Public Associate's $5,366
Northwestern Michigan College Traverse City, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $3,330; In-state $6,163; Out-of-state $7,902
San Diego City College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,142; Out-of-state $4,670
Union County College Cranford, NJ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $4,450; In-state $8,900; Out-of-state $8,900
SAE Institute of Technology Emeryville, CA 2-year, Private Diploma, Associate's, Bachelor's $21,200
Foothill College Los Altos Hill, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,551; Out-of-state $8,391
The Art Institute of Seattle Seattle, WA 2-year, Private Bachelor's $17,556

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

How to Select a Recording Technology School

Students should consider the following when selecting a recording technology program:

  • Certificate and diploma programs are quicker to complete and may appeal to students with a more specific interest, while an associate's or bachelor's degree enables students to gain a more broad understanding of music and recording technology.
  • There are many highly specific types of recording technology programs available, so students should take care to select a program that best aligns with their interests.
  • Students should consider programs with up-to date, on-site studios with mixing, recording and rehearsal hardware and software that are useful to students in multiple career paths.
  • Programs are offered by both public and private colleges and tuition costs vary widely based on the type of school and length of the program.

Certificate in Recording Technology

Certificate programs in recording technology can be completed in one year. Students can take courses in audio technology, music production, acoustics and ear training.

Diploma in Recording Technology

Diploma programs in recording technology can take up to two years to complete. Professional tracks or courses in music business, performance or audio engineering are available.

Associate Degree in Recording Technology

Associate degree programs in recording technology can include music history, theory and appreciation as well as general education courses and an internship.

Bachelor's Degree in Music Technology

Bachelor's degree programs allow students to study a wide variety of subjects, including performance, music for video games and live concert recording. Extensive hands-on experience and internship opportunities may be available.

It is important to consider any long-term career goals regarding the specific type of industry you want to work in before selecting a recording technology or music technology program. It is possible to begin pursuing a career in this field with a certificate or diploma, or to pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree.


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