Recording Engineering Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Recording engineering is central to the production of music today and is taught in public and private colleges and universities. Students can learn the basics of recording technology in certificate programs, or they can progress to associate's and bachelor's degree programs.

Many 2- and 4-year colleges offer degree and certificate programs in recording technology. These programs go by various names, including audio engineering, recording technology and music technology.

10 Schools with Recording Engineering Programs

Finding the right recording engineering program may involve assessing the different tuition rates and locations of schools offering degree programs in the field. These are 10 schools that offer recording engineering programs at the graduate or undergraduate levels, with tuition rates given for the academic year 2015-2016:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Berklee College of Music Boston, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $40,082
Full Sail University Winter Park, FL 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's $23,117
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $42,795
Expression College for Digital Arts Emeryville, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $23,747
SAE Institute Chicago, IL 2-year, Private Certificate, Associate's $25,000
University of Hartford West Hartford, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's $36,460
Columbia College - Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's $24,344
LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, NY 2-year, Public Associate's $5,218 in-state, $8,098 out-of-state
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,388 in-state, $33,741 out-of-state
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $48,710

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students will look at a number of different factors when considering where to study recording engineering. Some things to consider include:

  • Whether schools have recording facilities that are up-to-date and able to accommodate all students with plenty of studio time.
  • Some schools are located in areas with more opportunities for internships, such as schools located in large music centers like New York and Los Angeles.
  • Schools will have different musical focuses and concentrations available within their recording engineering curriculums, such as jazz, pop or classical music.

Certificate in Recording Engineering

A certificate program can take from 1-2 years to complete. Students learn the basics of recording sound and mixing tracks to professional standards. Common coursework covers music theory, studio maintenance and sound reinforcement.

Associate's Degree in Recording Engineering

Offered as an Associate of Art, Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Recording Engineering, associate's degree programs can be completed in two to three years. Here students take a wider range of courses. They may also study a musical instrument, write music and learn about the workings of the music business.

Bachelor's Degree in Recording Engineering

Bachelor's degree programs in recording engineering take approximately four years to complete. Students progress into advanced concepts related to sound and audio engineering. They also receive a broad liberal arts education. Bachelor's degree requirements could incorporate a block of core music courses and a block of core audio engineering courses.

Recording engineering programs are easily found at the bachelor's degree level, with some graduate programs available as well. Schools that are located in areas with a lively music scene may be preferable as they will offer more opportunities for internships and extracurricular learning.

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