Cincinnati, OH, Schools with Recording Arts Programs
The Cincinnati area has three schools that offer programs in audio production, including one community college and two 4-year institutions. Information about these programs can be found below, as well as a comparison table that provides students with a snapshot of each school. This resource also includes an overview of other educational options for recording arts students in the Cincinnati, OH, area.
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is a career-training school with a main campus in Clifton and a number of branch and satellite locations throughout the region. Located less than five miles from downtown Cincinnati, the college offers a 2-year degree in audio and visual production.
- The University of Cincinnati is a research-based school with a music program. The university is located less than three miles from Cincinnati's downtown and awards bachelor's degrees in commercial music production and electronic media; a minor in electronic media is also available.
- At over 15 miles, Blue Ash College is the furthest away from downtown Cincinnati. Part of the University of Cincinnati, the college offers certificate and degree programs in audio production and electronic media.
Comparison of Schools
Use this table to learn more about the program costs and financial aid at the three featured schools. Information about admissions and graduation and retention rates can also be found in this table.
|Cincinnati State Technical and Community College||University of Cincinnati||University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College|
|School Type||2-year; public||4-year; public||4-year; public (primarily associate's)|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,807*||37,155*||4,779*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$3,825 in-state; $7,393 out-of-state*||$11,000 in-state; $27,334 out-of-state*||$6,010 in-state; $14,808 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017)||71%*||82%*||89%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||Open admissions*||76%*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||47% for full-time students; 42% for part-time students*||86% for full-time students; 38% for part-time students*||N/A*|
|Graduation Rate||15% (22% transfer-out rate) (for those who began their studies in 2014)*||69% (19% transfer-out rate) (for those who began their studies in 2011)*||23% (31% transfer-out rate) (for those who began their studies in 2011)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
In addition to the health sciences, the college's largest programs include those in engineering technologies. The school's Center for Innovative Technologies offers certificate and degree programs in many different areas, including audio/visual production, electronics engineering and multimedia design. Incoming students are required to take the COMPASS tests in math, reading and writing.
Associate of Applied Science in Audio/Visual Production
This 62-credit program takes place over six semesters. In addition to fulfilling general education requirements, students pursue topics in 2-D graphics, digital media and multimedia design. Audio production coursework includes training in editing, mixing and sound design. Students also utilize industry-standard software programs, including After Effects, AVID, Final Cut Pro, Maya and Pro Tools.
An optional co-op work experience is available as an elective course; past employers have included Insight Communications, Sound Images and local television stations. The program culminates in a capstone experience, in which students work in teams to create an audio/video production for an outside client.
Qualified graduates can seek positions as sound designers, sound editors or media production assistants. Students who are interested in continuing their educations may be able to transfer to the University of Cincinnati, Wilmington College or Xavier University.
University of Cincinnati
The college's Conservatory of Music, Jazz and Commercial Music offers degree programs in music education, music production, dance and theater, as well as majors in most classical instruments. The school's many notable alumni include the inventor of the electronic organ, Winston Koch.
Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music Production
This 4-year program provides students with a comprehensive background in composition and arranging, media technology, music theory and the recording arts. Admission is highly competitive, and applicants must submit two pieces of original music and a digital portfolio of recordings.
Students complete a minimum of 120 credits, including general education courses and classes covering commercial keyboarding, film scoring and songwriting. They also take courses in jazz composition, history and theory. Coursework specific to the recording arts includes digital editing and recording, MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) production, sound reinforcement, sound synthesis and studio music production.
Other program opportunities include music lessons and the opportunity to participate in jazz and pop ensembles. Students are also required to minor in business. Qualified graduates can pursue careers in live sound, studio production or a related area.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Electronic Media
Students in this liberal arts-based program can receive theoretical instruction and practical training in digital media. The electronic media core requires 33 credits of coursework in digital audio and video production, integrated media production and writing. To fulfill general education requirements, students take courses in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences. They also complete elective and capstone courses covering areas such as multi-track music production and/or advanced music production. Additionally, a minor in business, communications or journalism, as well as two internships, are required.
In addition to classroom work, students can participate in co-curricular activities, including conventions, the Music Entertainment Industry Society and campus-based radio productions. Graduates might work in film, programming, radio or sound recording.
Minor in Electronic Media
The minor in electronic media requires a 9-credit core, completed during the first year. The second year curriculum includes a selection of two courses from digital audio and video production, media writing and/or a practicum in media. Students also choose an elective from classes like multi-track music production, postproduction and single camera production.
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College
Blue Ash College offers more than 50 certificate and 2-year degree programs. Through the Department of Electronic Media Communications, students can earn a 2-year degree or a professional certificate in electronic media. They also can pursue Performance Package Certificate programs in animation, broadcast media, Web-based media or criticism and journalism. The school has an open admissions policy, though some students may have to take an English placement test before enrolling in classes.
Certificate of Achievement in Audio Production
Through the Performance Package Certificate programs, students can earn a Certificate of Achievement in Audio Production. In this 1-year program, students take three courses, including introductory and advanced audio production, as well as a special class in audio media or a small group production studio course. In addition to the audio certificate, the department offers nine other Performance Package Certificates in areas such as electronic design, film studies and video production.
Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Media Technology
This 2-year program provides the opportunity for students to acquire a balanced background in traditional media and digital technologies. Major coursework includes studies in media aesthetics and design, audio production, video production and Web design. In addition to general education requirements, students can pursue topics in art history, film or photography. To fulfill elective requirements, students take courses in areas such as advanced audio production, animation, video production and/or motion graphics. They also have the option to complete an internship for elective credit.
Under the supervision of faculty members, future technologists have opportunities to work on projects with real-life clients. Through an articulation agreement with the University of Cincinnati, they can also continue their studies at the baccalaureate level.
Professional Certificate in Electronic Media Technology
Students or career changers who already hold a bachelor's or a master's degree may be interested in this 36-credit professional program. The certificate takes two years to complete, and the curriculum includes the same courses found in the associate's program. Through required and elective courses, students can take an introductory and an advanced course in audio production. Post-graduation career options may include entry-level positions in media-related areas.
Other School Options
Along with the schools featured above, students can find audio production courses in a communication arts program at Wilmington College of Ohio, located 52.2 mi from downtown Cincinnati. Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, offers both an associate's and a bachelor's degree in the recording arts. This school is located approximately 128 miles from downtown Cincinnati.