Chicago Area Digital Audio Production Schools
In the Chicago area, there are just two schools that offer degree programs related to digital audio production. One is right in the city, and the other is a 37-minute drive away. This article also offers information through a table that compares types of schools, enrollment figures, admission percentages and graduation rates.
- Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, about 30 miles from downtown Chicago, offers an associate's degree program in music production. This 2-year school labels this as a computer-assisted music production program and states that graduates are prepared to work as composers, producers, interactive website designers, sound producers or in a related position.
- Columbia College - Chicago, situated less than a mile from the city center, offers a bachelor's degree program in audio design and production.
Comparison of Schools
The two schools that offer digital audio production programs in the Chicago area have many important differences, including distance from the city, size and cost. This table lists several facts about each school to help in making a decision.
|Prairie State College||Columbia College - Chicago|
|School Type||2-year, public*||4-year, private not-for-profit*|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||4,403*||7,312*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb*||Large city*|
|Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$4,104 for in-district; $9,162 for in-state; $10,848 for out-of-state*||$26,474*|
|% of First-Year, Full-Time Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017)||80%*||88%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions*||92%*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||50% for full-time students; 38% for part-time students*||66% for full-time students; 18% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate||10% (for students who began their studies in 2014)*||44% (for students who began their studies in 2011)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Degree Program at Prairie State College
Prairie State College's associate's degree program provides instruction on the theoretical and practical aspects of music production. Students have the opportunity to participate in music ensembles and attend a jazz fest.
Associate of Applied Science in Music Production
This 60-credit hour program includes a core set of classes covering topics like computer-assisted music production, electricity fundamentals, sound recording technology, the fundamentals of music production and operating systems. Elective courses are offered in the areas of music, marketing and multimedia. Students may also elect to complete an internship during their studies.
Columbia College - Chicago
Columbia College - Chicago's Audio Arts and Acoustics Department designs its programs to include instruction in the physics, art, technology and physiology of sound. Graduates can pursue careers in audio postproduction, music recording, sound design and related areas.
Bachelor of Arts in Audio Design and Production
Students in this program complete a core curriculum of classes in audio theory, production, systems and psychoacoustics. Classes cover topics such as live sound recording, classic studio techniques, sound art, music design and studio recording. Hands-on experiences allow students to hone their recording skills.