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 three well-ranked schools with programs in this field, and find out what kinds of sound engineering degrees you could pursue at each school. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

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.

Three Good Sound Engineering Programs

American University in Washington, D.C.

American University tied for 74th place in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of national universities in 2016. AU offers undergraduate audio technology and audio production degrees. In the audio technology program, you'll study sound synthesis, multi-track production and studio acoustics. The audio production program requires a specialization in either communication or music.

The Greenberg Theatre and the Katzen Arts Center have three performance spaces, a control and recording room, a sound synthesis studio and digital audio workstations. The McKinley Building houses recording studios with professional-quality equipment. It also has a laboratory for sound synthesis projects where you could add sound effects to collaborative video projects.

You might be hired to run audio in the Greenberg Theatre or have opportunities to operate the control room in Katzen's Abramson Family Recital Hall. You can graduate with honors by completing a senior capstone project in addition to 12 honors-level courses. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Audio Technology

Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

Drexel tied for 96th in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 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 152nd among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 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.

With 325 undergraduate and 30 graduate students, the sound recording technology program is the largest in the Music Department. 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.

As part of a small group or ensemble, you might perform at Durgin Hall's 1,200-seat concert venue. UML also offers six recording studios, eight studio laboratory spaces, 30 practice rooms and the Music Technology Laboratory. 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

Ten More Schools With Sound Engineering Programs

College/University Institution Type Location
Bellarmine University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Louisville, KY
Georgia State University Public, 4-year Atlanta, GA
California Institute of the Arts Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Valencia, CA
Visible Music College Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Memphis, TN
Indiana University Public, 4-year Indianapolis, IN
Full Sail University Private, for-profit, 4-year Winter Park, FL
New York University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year New York, NY
Tulane University of Louisiana Private, not-for-profit, 4-year New Orleans, LA
Ball State University Public, 4-year Muncie, IN
Furman University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Greenville, SC

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:

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