Nashville, TN, Schools with Audio Production Programs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most audio and visual production specialists have completed an associate's degree or a vocational program; a bachelor's degree in a relevant major can help them get ahead in the field. In 'Music City USA,' there are three universities that offer bachelor's degree programs related to audio production. Read about the programs below, and use the accompanying table to compare program costs and other essential statistics. A brief description of another school option can be found at the end of the article.
- Belmont University is a Christian liberal arts and professional school with a 75-acre campus on the site of a former estate, roughly 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville. As of 2018, Belmont was ranked 6th on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best regional universities in the South. The school offers two bachelor's degree programs in audio and visual production.
- Tennessee State University's 500-acre campus is located in a residential area near the Cumberland River, a little over four miles from Nashville's downtown. The university offers two bachelor's degree programs in mass communications that include coursework in audio production.
- Trevecca Nazarene University is a church-affiliated school located three miles from downtown Nashville. A minor in recording technology at Trevecca offers audio technology courses.
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Comparison of Schools
The following table includes information about undergraduate tuition and acceptance rates at the three featured schools. Students will also find statistics pertaining to enrollment, financial aid prospects and graduation.
|Belmont University||Tennessee State University||Trevecca Nazarene University|
|School Type||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; public||4-year; private not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,012*||8,177*||3,620*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$32,820*||$7,776 for in-state students; $21,132 for out-of-state students*||$25,100*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||93%*||95%*||100%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||81%*||N/A (open admissions)||70%*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||85% for full-time students*||58% for full-time students; 63% for part-time students*||76% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (Students who began in Fall 2011)||70%*||29%*||54%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
At Belmont's School of Social Sciences, the Department of Media Studies offers majors and/or minors in audio and video production, sports and media, journalism, mass communication and multimedia studies. Freshman admission requirements and considerations include standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and personal essays.
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Audio and Video Production
This 128-credit program can help students acquire the academic and technical background they need to prepare both broadcast and non-broadcast productions. The degree requirements include roughly 58 credits in general education, 30 credits of major coursework, an 18-credit minor and a substantial number of electives.
The coursework for the major provides students with an overview of the music business and recording technology. Aspiring professionals learn how to direct and produce audio and video presentations, and they study advanced video technology. Requirements include a technical study of the relationship between mass communication and society and a 4-semester seminar on the music business. New graduates may be able to find positions as multimedia, television or video specialists.
Tennessee State University (TSU)
The Department of Communications in TSU's College of Liberal Arts offers specialized Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs in communication studies, mass communications and theater, as well as a minor in communications. Admission requirements include college preparatory work in English, foreign language, math, science and social science; standardized test scores are required as well. According to the school website, qualified interns and graduates have worked at a number of major stations, including CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, MTV and NBC.
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications
Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science programs require 120 credits for completion and include 48 credits of major coursework. Students choose one of the following 15-credit specialization tracks addressing integrated marketing communication, media leadership, journalism or film/video production.
The requirements for the major cover topics in communication research, mass communications and media writing; an internship and a senior project are also required. Future professionals study the technologies associated with digital media and learn how to write for the news. Students who specialize in production take a total of five courses covering video study production, audio production, post-production for audio and video and visual storytelling. In addition to classroom work, students can pursue internships in a variety of entertainment and media outlets, such as those associated with film, music, radio or television.
Trevecca Nazarene University
Trevecca's School of Arts and Sciences includes a Department of Communication Studies that offers majors and minors in speech and theater education, communication studies, drama, journalism and mass media. The university also has an off-campus study program option at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, where a 16-credit semester can focus on an artist, business or technical track. In addition to classes, each of the tracks includes labs, directed study and a practicum; students work in teams to create, record and market original music.
Recording Technology Minor
This 19-credit course of study is offered through the School of Music and Worship Arts. The program is designed to introduce students to the operational aspects of the recording studio and provide them with training in beginning and advanced recording technology. Additional course topics include auditory theory, recording techniques and history of audio recording.
In addition to acquiring a background in recording history, students learn audio and digital theory and develop an understanding of signal flow and digital audio workstations (DAW). Recording instruction takes place in an on-campus recording studio, and students learn how to mix and record individual instruments and vocalists.
Other School Options
In addition to the Nashville schools, Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro offers a Master of Fine Arts in Recording Arts and Technologies. This school is located approximately 32 miles (42 minutes) from Nashville.