Top Schools for Recording Arts

In recording arts programs, students gain the ability to operate current audio equipment and produce all genres of music. Undergraduate offerings are available in this field at colleges and universities around the country.

School Information

All four of the schools highlighted below offer majors in audio technology or the recording arts; individual schools may allow for on-campus opportunities in studio sound work or the chance to study abroad. The three four-year schools were ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The community college provides the necessary education for certification from the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY

School Highlight: The sound engineering technology program includes an internship and a final project where the student produces and mixes a sound recording.

Ithaca College ranked #6 on the U.S. News and World Report list of best regional universities in the North for 2017. This university offers a bachelor's degree program in sound recording technology for aspiring musicians and audio engineers. Once enrolled, future professionals receive training in the basic recording, mixing and engineering techniques used in the recording arts industry. Classes also include topics in music, theater arts and physics, and students often work as on-campus sound engineers.

Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA

School Highlight: Program alumni have won Academy Awards and Emmy Awards for sound re-recording and sound editing.

Loyola Marymount was ranked #3 among regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The recording arts major prepares future professionals to work in film and television sound, as well as music production and engineering. Students become familiar with the importance of sound design and its impact on visual, moving images, as well as learn how to create sounds of their own. They also have the opportunity to improve their technical skills in the studio and develop their creative art and media abilities.

American University in Washington, DC

School Highlight: The university offers different performing arts groups to choose from within the student body, such as choral/vocal, instrumental, jazz, dance and theatre.

American University, a private university in the nation's capital, ranked #74 on the U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list for best national universities. Students interested in recording arts programs may choose between a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production and Bachelor of Science in Audio Technology. Both programs provide students with studio training in the use of essential computer software and hardware equipment found in the audio and entertainment industries. Qualified graduates may pursue careers as sound technicians and producers. Also, there is a minor and an M.A. in Audio Technology, in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Audio Production.

Bates Technical College in Tacoma, WA

School Highlight: The curriculum for the broadcasting program is approved by the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE).

At Bates Technical College, students can get an Associate of Applied Science in Broadcasting/Video Production. In addition to general education requirements, students can take courses in studio acoustics, production process and audio engineering. They can also get real-world experience through practicums. The school also offers certificates in broadcasting/video production and broadcast and video elements.

Top Recording Arts Degree Programs

  • Located in Winter Park, FL, Full Sail University's recording arts program was established in 1979.
  • At Cypress College in Cypress, CA, the program focuses on both technical and creative sides of the industry, offering hands-on training and access to current software.
  • Fresno City College in Fresno, CA, is the first and only college in the Fresno area to feature a commercial music program.
  • At Elon University in Elon, NC, students can gain valuable work experience through internship opportunities with places like recording studios, performance venues and record labels.
  • At Lee College in Baytown, TX, students learn to work in a professional mixing and recording studio.
  • At Long Beach City College in Long Beach, CA, the curriculum includes studio time to help develop skills, as well as work experience.

For students who are interested in recording arts, relevant programs are available at both two-year and four-year institutions. Many programs include a combination of classroom studies and practical training.

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