Program Details

Program Outline

Program Outline

AIU offers a professionally-focused BFA in Media Production degree program with a specialization in Audio Recording and Sound Design that can give students an opportunity to develop specific skills needed to produce audio tracks for productions, such as motion pictures, television, music videos and recording.

Our Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Media Production with a specialization in Audio Production and Sound Design can help students develop the skills they need to produce audio tracks for motion pictures, television, music videos and recording projects.

You Can Learn How to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough technical understanding of the three phases of the motion picture production process (preproduction, production and postproduction) and the contributions of audio specialists at each.
  • Generate and properly utilize industry-standard paperwork to track and control all three phases of motion picture production
  • Demonstrate technical competency with various industry-standard software, camera, grip and lighting and recording technologies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of on-set protocol/behavior and professionalism appropriate to field, studio and postproduction applications.
  • Contribute appropriately in a variety of positions to the production of motion picture projects
  • Develop audio projects from concept to finished product, on time and on budget, to a client’s specifications.
  • Organize and manage self-directed audio production projects

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Degree Requirements

General Education
COMP101Introduction to Computers4.5
COMP102Introduction to Computers Lab1.5
ENGL106English Composition I4.5
ENGL107English Composition II4.5
HUMA205Art Appreciation4.5
HUMA215Topics in Cultural Studies4.5
MATH125General College Mathematics4.5
MATH133College Algebra4.5
PHIL201Introduction to Philosophy4.5
PRES111Presentation Essentials4.5
SSCI206Aspects of Psychology4.5
SCIE207Biology Lab1.5
SCIE210Environmental Science4.5
SCIE211Environmental Science Lab1.5
General Education Electives (1)4.5
Total Credit Hours:58.5

General Electives
General Elective4.5
Internship/General Elective4.5
Total Credit Hours:9

Lower Division Core
DFAP101Production Techniques I4.5
DFAP102Audio Production I4.5
DFAP201Screenwriting I4.5
DFAP202Postproduction I4.5
DFAP211Camera & Lighting I4.5
DFAP304American Cinema4.5
Total Credit Hours:27
Upper Division Core
DFAP205Audio Production II4.5
DFAP300Field Recording Techniques4.5
DFAP309Production Techniques II4.5
DFAP314Media Postproduction II4.5
DFAP318Producing I4.5
DFAP411Pitching and Project Management4.5
Total Credit Hours:31.5

Specialization Options

Audio recording and Sound Design
DFAP222Music Production I4.5
DFAP302Music Production II4.5
DFAP305Critical Listening4.5
DFAP313Music Mixing and Mastering4.5
DFAP316MIDI and Electronic Music4.5
DFAP323Musicianship for Engineers4.5
DFAP329Sound Design I4.5
DFAP427History of Recorded Music4.5
DFAP438Producing and Engineering4.5
DFAP439Advanced Producing and Engineering4.5
DFAP444Postproduction Recording4.5
DFAP446Music for Picture4.5

Total Credit Hours: 180

Classes Overview

Classes Overview

AIU could give you an opportunity to advance your creative and technical abilities in areas such as building professional soundtracks, including effects editing, automatic dialog replacement (ADR), dialog editing, audio sweetening and foleying, composing and mixing music for films and videos, and enhancing moving images with innovative sound design. At AIU, you can take more courses devoted to your field of interest, on average, than at other similar schools. For a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Production with a specialization in Audio Production and Sound Design, your classes may include:

Music Production I

Students learn multi-track recording, advanced MIDI applications, pre-production and various techniques and strategies for recording live drums, bass, guitar and vocals. Students are also introduced to key concepts in mixing music within a stereo environment.

Music Production II

Students learn advanced production techniques including how to work with talent, multiple microphone instrument recording, advanced engineering techniques and studio signal flow.

Critical Listening

Students will be taken through a series of listening exercises designed to teach them to listen critically to frequency, loudness (expressed in decibels), distortion and time based effects. Focus will be placed upon developing basic listening skills that lead to accurate analysis of recorded sound.

Music Mixing and Mastering

Working with a series of pre-recorded music sessions students will focus on mixing techniques and be able to creatively utilize effects, processors and automation.

MIDI and Electronic Music

n introductory course focusing on the creation of music via MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Students learn how to record, sequence and edit their own music using a computer with appropriate software and MIDI keyboard.

Musicianship for Engineers

Students will explore a variety of music subjects within the context of audio recording and production. Specific topics include music fundamentals, music theory, form and styles, and basic aural and keyboarding skills.

Sound Design I

Students focus on the creative role of the sound designer, learning to create and mix sonic landscapes that enhance the moving image. Students in this course will collaborate with those enrolled in DFAP 401 Senior Project I to develop a complete movie soundtrack.

History of Recorded Music

A survey of recorded music, this course gives a broad overview of the major developments in music since the advent of recording, and places those developments in a social context.

Producing and Engineering

In this class students will develop and apply advanced multitrack recording techniques, advanced song production, talent direction, and studio communication skills in several music projects.

Advanced Producing and Engineering

Students continue to develop skills in microphone selection and placement technique, advanced studio signal flow (including console), artist interaction and extensive recording engineering pre-production.

Postproduction and Recording

Students develop skills needed to create a professional film soundtrack, including: effects editing, automatic dialog replacement (ADR), dialog editing and Foley recording.

Music for Picture

Students learn to compose music for a variety of film and video-based projects. Each assignment is mixed to stereo and subsequently laid back to picture.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Total tuition for this degree program may vary depending on your educational needs, existing experience, and other factors.

Estimate your costs, potential savings and graduation date.

Ways to Save

Ways to Save

From grants to military service to transfer credit, see the variety of ways you can save time and money on your degree at AIU.

  • Scholarships & Grants - AIU offers a number of institutional scholarships and grants that can help eligible students offset the program cost and help reduce out of pocket costs
  • Military Discounts– AIU Online offers a 45% tuition discount to active military undergraduate students and a 20% tuition discount to active military graduate students, including members of the Reserves and National Guard
  • Transfer Credit – AIU’s transfer-friendly policy lets you transfer in up to 75% of the qualifying credits you need toward your degree
  • Prior Learning Credit – You can receive credits for past college courses, military service, or work experience

For more information, download AIU guides below:

  • Financial Aid Guide: Our guide to financial aid can answer your initial questions and help you prepare to apply for financial aid
  • Scholarships and Grants Guide: Learn about the scholarships and grants offered by AIU along with details about eligibility
  • Transfer Credits Guide: This guide explores how to transfer your credits from other schools—and earn college credit for your past work and military experience
Related Degrees

Related Degrees

Bachelor Of Fine Arts In Media Production (BFA) Degree: Specialization in Digital Film and Post Production

When you study Film Production at AIU, you can take your passion for filmmaking from screenplay to screening. Hone your skills in photography, lighting, screenwriting, directing and editing using industry-current equipment, technology and learn industry best practices.

Career Paths

Career Paths

What can you do with a degree in Audio Recording and Sound Design?

Sound engineering can take you behind the scenes—anywhere from recording studios to live performances, from movie sets to outdoor concerts.1

What skills are needed?

In addition to the knowledge you can gain from pursuing a BFA in Audio Recording and Sound Design, there are several additional key skills that you may also need:

  • Computer skills for programming equipment, recording, and editing
  • Communication skills for working with clients and team members to make sure the job is done right
  • Problem-solving skills for tackling a variety of unexpected challenges
  • Manual dexterity for setting up equipment and adjusting controls during performances

What are sound engineers responsible for?

The day-to-day role may often include:

  • Running recording equipment (audio, video, lighting and broadcast equipment)  to get the desired results
  • Setting up and breaking down equipment at live events
  • Choosing the best techniques for recording many different types of sound (such as speech or music) on recording equipment or computers
  • Synchronizing audio and video tracks for film productions
  • Digitizing video and audio records to prepare them for digital editing
  • Installing audio, video, and lighting equipment in various public venues, such as hotels, offices and schools
  • Maintaining, troubleshooting and reporting on recording equipment

Which industries most often use sound design?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics2, many broadcast and sound-engineering technicians in the U.S. work in:

  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Motion picture, video and sound recording industries
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation

If this sounds like a career you would like to pursue, a BFA in Audio Recording and Sound Design may help you move forward.


2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians, on the Internet at (visited August 11, 2016).

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