Audio engineering is the science of manipulating and recording sound, and audio engineers usually work in the music industry, but they can also work in film and television. Many technical and vocational schools offer associate and certificate programs in audio engineering, and many colleges offer bachelor's degree programs, which are more intensive programs that include general education in addition to technical training.
Schools with Audio Engineering Programs
The following 4-year institutions offer degree programs in the field:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|American University||Washington, D.C.||4 year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$43,103|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL||4 year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$45,724|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4 year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$48,710|
|New York University||New York, NY||4 year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$47,750|
|University of Rochester||Rochester, NY||4 year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$48,280|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4 year, Private||Bachelor's||$48,791|
|Husson University||Bangor, ME||4 year, Private||Bachelor's||$16,582|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Consider the following when choosing an audio engineering program:
- Students should consider their desired amount of general education and time they have to dedicate to earning their degree, as audio engineering programs are offered at the certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree levels.
- Students may want to look for bachelor's degree programs accredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the technology accreditation commission.
- Aspiring audio engineers may want to look into a school's facilities and audio recording tools to see whether a school offers state-of-the-art equipment, such as oscilloscopes, frequency readers or Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) labs.
- Students should look for schools that collaborate with local businesses, recording studios and radio stations to offer internships in audio engineering, providing students with experience and connections in the recording industry.
Certificate Program in Audio Engineering
Classes focus on acoustics, analog signals, digital audio recording, live sound design and audio mixing. Certificates for audio engineers can be earned in less than two years. Some programs include an internship.
Associate Degree in Audio Engineering
An associate degree program is suited to entry-level technicians, as well as to those who wish to go on to more advanced studies in sound technology. Programs examine audio theory, and students complete hands-on recording projects. Students learn about sound mixing, music business, electronic circuits and more.
Bachelor's Degree in Audio Engineering Technology
A 4-year program explores concepts in music theory, acoustics, sound technology, harmony and electronics. Students typically delve into the history of audio engineering, as well as the current digital technologies used in the field. The bachelor's program typically emphasizes hands-on applications through lab work and internships in the field.
Undergraduate degree programs in audio engineering are available at several private institutions for interested students. Potential students should consider factors like the availability of up-to-date technology, internship opportunities and program accreditation when choosing a school to attend.