Undergraduate programs in audio-related topics may confer certificates, associate's degree or bachelor's degrees. These programs are available at four-year universities and two-year colleges.
Schools with Audio Programs
The following schools offer audio programs at the undergraduate level.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Associate, Bachelor's|| $10,388 (in-state)
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's|| $15,188 (in-state)
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$1,104 (in-state)
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$50,277|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||San Marcos, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's|| $9,348 (in-state)
|Sacramento City College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$1,104 (in-state)
|Fresno City College||Fresno, CA||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,194 (in-state)
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following factors when looking for schools with audio programs:
- It is important to look for audio schools with state-of-the-art recording equipment that provide students with experience in audio recording, sound editing, critical listening and audio synthesis software.
- Students may want to seek schools that provide internships in professional audio studios through which students can gain professional experience prior to graduation.
- Musically inclined students should consider programs that allow students to supplement their audio studies with instrument lessons.
- Students who want to study audio while continuing to work may look for online certificates that can augment their knowledge.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in audio-related subjects, such as audio engineering and music technology, introduce students to the technical and creative aspects of sound production. Students gain experience with industry-standard, software, and they may also take introductory business courses that prepare them for success in the increasingly competitive music industry. In total, these programs take two years to complete.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science (BS) programs that cover audio and the sound production industry provide the same overview as associate's degree programs, but they also allow students to take more specialized courses in topics such as advanced music engineering, multitrack music recording and live production. There are also more opportunities for hands-on experiences over the course of these four-year programs, and students may even have the opportunity to study abroad. For those with scheduling constraints, some programs offer courses online.
Undergraduate certificate and diploma options vary depending on the school. Some provide general audio production programs that cover the same basic concepts as associate's degree programs, but without the general education coursework. Alternatively, students may choose to earn a specialized certificate. Possible topics include live sound production, music production for film and games, electronic music production or the use of specific software applications, such as Ableton Live or ProTools. These certificates may be offered online in order to accommodate the needs of working professionals.
Programs in audio technology/recording/production are offered by a number of 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities. When searching for schools, it is important to make sure that the school's equipment is up-to-date and to consider whether the program offers hands-on training in the field.