Acoustic Engineering Courses and Schools

The world of acoustic engineering puts you in control of research and technology related to sound, including uses like sonar and underwater technology. This field of study is available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels, often as a concentration in another engineering field. Review the courses you'd take as an acoustic engineering student, and get info on your job options. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Acoustic engineering is the study of sound and sound manipulation, and a bachelor's degree or above is necessary for a career in this discipline. Any degree in engineering is going to require extensive classes in mathematics, but this particular field might also include coursework in mechanical, electrical, and even biomedical engineering.

Degrees Bachelor's, master's, Ph.D.
Programs Acoustic engineering is generally offered as a concentration within other fields of engineering
Classes Bio-engineering, acoustical oceanography, architectural acoustics, mechanical and electrical engineering, acoustic dynamics, data analysis

What is Acoustic Engineering?

Acoustic engineers study theories of sound and can develop a strong understanding of science and mathematics. Understanding and utilizing audio technology is also a key component of acoustic engineering. Acoustic engineers involved in research study scientific aspects of sounds such as wave theory, transducers, underwater sound, environmental acoustics and noise control.

What Degrees are Available?

At the bachelor's degree level, you may find acoustic engineering concentration or research options within broader engineering subjects, including mechanical or biomedical engineering. If you've earned a bachelor's degree in engineering without a concentration in acoustics, you may consider continuing education options at the graduate level, including graduate certificate programs in acoustics engineering.

In cases where acoustic concentration options are not available, you may find it useful to enroll in a university or college that offers an acoustics laboratory within its engineering department. This could allow you to incorporate acoustics research into any number of engineering programs, including civil or electrical engineering. Online opportunities in relevant fields of engineering, such as mechanical or acoustic engineering, may be available through certain universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This could be useful to you if you live too far from a prospective university to attend or if you require flexibility in your schedule for personal or professional reasons.

What About Graduate Programs?

Similar to undergraduate programs, master's degree programs in mechanical engineering can offer acoustic engineering concentrations. However, you may also find master's degree programs specifically in acoustics or acoustics engineering. Doctoral programs in acoustics could prepare you for academic or research positions in the field.

What Type of Courses Will I Take?

Engineering programs typically include an extensive core of mathematics courses. At the undergraduate level, your acoustic engineering concentration may include courses in mechanical engineering and sound technology. At the graduate level, you will commonly focus on a thesis, project or dissertation based on a specific focus of the field, and you can complete coursework in subjects like electroacoustics and digital signals. The following are a few common course topics at various program levels:

  • Advanced calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Computer applications
  • Acoustic dynamics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Vibrations
  • Electrical engineering
  • Data analysis

What Kind of School Could I Attend?

Acoustic engineering concentrations and courses are available at many traditional 4-year universities across the country. Here is a list of some of the schools that offer acoustic engineering study options:

  • University of Rochester (NY)
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks)
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
  • University of Hartford (CT)

What are My Career Options?

Acoustic engineers find careers in research and education, private consulting, civil engineering, and the military. Your degree may lead to a career in architectural acoustics, noise control civil engineering and bio-engineering, including the development of hearing aid products, ear implant technology and hearing test equipment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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