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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Recording Arts

Majors Overview February 4, 2015

Although they are rarely offered, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in Recording Arts are available. Bachelor of Music (B.M.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs focusing on recording technology or recording arts are offered more often than B.F.A. programs. Those that aspire to become music entrepreneurs and to create a foundation for creative expression should look into these four-year programs.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Recording Arts

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in recording arts are taught how to produce and market music. Students can expect to become knowledgeable about music theory, history, and criticism. They are also taught about using music recording technologies. A performance component may also be included in some programs.

Students learn how to select or arrange music, identify musical talent, and recognize the connection an artist shares with his or her audience. The recording studio is the venue for most of this training. Participation in an internship is expected of students enrolled in many programs, while study abroad opportunities are offered to students enrolled in some programs.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submission of creative portfolios comprised of video and audio files or promotional materials.
Incoming students to some programs may also be asked to submit resumes of their previous performance or recording experiences. Additionally, an audition might be required of students seeking admission to a program with a performance component.


Coursework within a recording arts program includes classes that cover the development of an appreciation of the impact of music on culture. Coursework also involves delving into topic areas such as music genres, music journalism and critical writing, or music production stages. Courses may also be offered with a focus on numerous other issues:

•Ear training
•Film music
•Song writing
•Music history
•Live event production
•Label construction
•Music theory

Career Choices

Those that successfully complete the recording arts bachelor’s degree programs can seek entry-level careers in the recording and music industries, working with record labels and production companies, among other employers, in positions such as:

•Audio producers
•Music journalists
•Recording producers
•Audio engineers

Continuing Education Choices

Bachelor’s degree graduates can seek continuing education by pursuing a master’s degree program in recording arts. Students enrolled in these two- to three-year programs are offered the opportunity of using recording technologies in numerous fields, including audio forensics, communications, and education.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, sound engineering technicians banked an annual average wage of $41,200; top wages were earned by professionals employed in the video and motion picture industries. A job growth rate of 1% has been predicted for these technicians over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The low growth rate is attributed to the impact of new technologies that make their work more efficient, thereby reducing the need for more workers.

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