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What Are the Best Schools with Sound Engineering Programs?

Review the typical characteristics of a school with a strong program in sound engineering. Get info about two well-ranked schools with programs in this field, and find out what kinds of sound engineering degrees you could pursue at each school.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Sound Engineering Programs?

When looking into sound engineering schools, you may want programs that offer hands-on training with state-of-the-art equipment, either in a recording studio or at a live venue. Top programs usually encourage internships. Students sometimes participate in university-sponsored music business ventures, like recording labels or publishing companies.

Two Good Sound Engineering Programs

Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

Drexel tied for 102nd in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 national university ranking. Drexel is a co-sponsor of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies. Undergraduates enrolled in the music industry program can specialize in music technology and production. You could take courses like music composition, current audio production techniques and the business of music. Students have access to five specialized recording studios and two audio labs. A five-year B.S./Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is also available.

As an undergraduate, you'll complete two 3-month summer co-op experiences with music industry organizations. Student-run programs include MAD Dragon Records, winner of two Independent Music Awards for best college record label. Drexel students also operate a booking agency, a concert production company and MAD Dragon Publishing. You could pursue the following degrees:

  • B.S. in Music Industry - Recording Arts and Music Production Concentration
  • B.S. in Music Industry/MBA

University of Massachusetts in Lowell

UML tied for 157th among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 ranking. According to the UML website, sound recording technology is one of the university's six signature programs. Music Department faculty members are professionals from the recording, production and broadcasting industries. In the master's program, you'll choose a technical or production option; your capstone project could be a recording project or a thesis. A 5-year program leading to both a bachelor's and master's degree is available. Proximity to the Boston market facilitates internship placements. Official degree titles include:

  • Bachelor of Music in Sound Recording Technology
  • Master of Music in Sound Recording Technology

Eight More Schools With Sound Engineering Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Bellarmine University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Louisville, KY$42,000
Georgia State University Public, 4-year Atlanta, GA$9,000
California Institute of the Arts Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Valencia, CA$49,000
Visible Music College Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Memphis, TN$19,500
Indiana University Public, 4-year Indianapolis, IN$9,500
New York University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year New York, NY$52,000
Ball State University Public, 4-year Muncie, IN$10,000
Furman University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Greenville, SC$49,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education