Music Production & Sound Design

Item 4

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The BFA program provides specialized training across many interdisciplinary aspects of music and sound design. Curriculum focuses on advanced music and sound production techniques, creating sound for video games, music notation, and film score preparation.

BFA Music Production Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 36 Units
Major 42 Units
Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Music Production Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    3 Written Communication courses
    1 Sound Design Historical Awareness course
    1 Historical Awareness course
    1 Quantitative Literacy course
    1 Cultural Ideas and Influences course
    1 Employment Communications and Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Music and Sound Design

  • Design sound or music which supports the emotional content of the visual image
  • Construct effective sound or music for different visual environments such as film, television, animation, games and commercials
  • Demonstrate heightened listening skills and identify key musical or sound components

Production Techniques

  • Demonstrate proficiency with software related to contemporary sound or music production techniques
  • Demonstrate proficiency with audio recording techniques, editing, and mixing

Professional Readiness

  • Produce work in a modeled professional environment, with a broad understanding of the sound/music post production workflow
  • Create a compelling demo reel that demonstrates professional level competency
  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music or sound for client needs

Composition (Composers Only)

  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody and rhythm
  • Analyze dramatic scoring and compose film music in the style of selected historical periods and genres
  • Orchestrate and arrange music

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

BFA Music Scoring & Composition Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 36 Units
Major 42 Units
Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Music Scoring and Composition Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    3 Written Communication courses
    1 Art Historical Awareness course
    1 Historical Awareness course
    1 Quantitative Literacy course
    1 Cultural Ideas and Influences course
    1 Employment Communications and Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Listening Skills and Critical Analysis

  • Analyze dramatic scoring and compose film music in the style of selected historical periods and genres
  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody and rhythm
  • Demonstrate heightened listening skills and identify key musical components

Production Techniques

  • Demonstrate proficiency with software related to contemporary music production techniques
  • Demonstrate proficiency with audio recording techniques, editing, and mixing

Composition

  • Construct effective music for different visual environments such as film, television, animation, games and commercials
  • Design music which supports the emotional content of the visual image
  • Orchestrate and arrange music

Professional Readiness

  • Produce work in a modeled professional environment, with a broad understanding of the sound/music post production workflow
  • Create a compelling demo reel that demonstrates professional level competency
  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music for client needs

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

BFA Sound Design Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 36 Units
Major 42 Units
Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Sound Design Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    3 Written Communication courses
    1 Sound Design Historical Awareness course
    1 Historical Awareness course
    1 Quantitative Literacy course
    1 Cultural Ideas and Influences course
    1 Employment Communications and Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Listening Skills and Critical Analysis

  • Analyze dramatic scoring and compose film music in the style of selected historical periods and genres
  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody and rhythm
  • Demonstrate heightened listening skills and identify key musical components

Production Techniques

  • Demonstrate proficiency with software related to contemporary music production techniques
  • Demonstrate proficiency with audio recording techniques, editing, and mixing

Composition

  • Construct effective music for different visual environments such as film, television, animation, games and commercials
  • Design music which supports the emotional content of the visual image
  • Orchestrate and arrange music

Professional Readiness

  • Produce work in a modeled professional environment, with a broad understanding of the sound/music post production workflow
  • Create a compelling demo reel that demonstrates professional level competency
  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music for client needs

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The AA program provides a strong introduction to the fundamentals of music and sound design for visual media. Coursework emphasizes the basics of audio and music production, how to score for the screen, film music appreciation, and theory training. Graduates with an AA degree are well equipped to move into the more nuanced BFA program.

AA Music Production Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Music Production Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    2 Written Communication courses
    1 Employment Communications & Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Music and Sound Design

  • Design sound or music which supports the emotional content of the visual image
  • Construct effective sound or music for different visual environments such as film, television, animation, games and commercials
  • Demonstrate heightened listening skills and identify key musical or sound components

Production Techniques

  • Demonstrate proficiency with software related to contemporary sound or music production techniques
  • Demonstrate proficiency with audio recording techniques, editing, and mixing

Professional Readiness

  • Produce work in a modeled professional environment, with a broad understanding of the sound/music post production workflow
  • Create a compelling demo reel that demonstrates professional level competency
  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music or sound for client needs

Composition (Composers Only)

  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody and rhythm
  • Analyze dramatic scoring and compose film music in the style of selected historical periods and genres
  • Orchestrate and arrange music

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

AA Sound Design Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Sound Design Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    2 Written Communication courses
    1 Sound Design Historical Awareness course
    1 Employment Communications & Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Music and Sound Design

  • Design sound or music which supports the emotional content of the visual image
  • Construct effective sound or music for different visual environments such as film, television, animation, games and commercials
  • Demonstrate heightened listening skills and identify key musical or sound components

Production Techniques

  • Demonstrate proficiency with software related to contemporary sound or music production techniques
  • Demonstrate proficiency with audio recording techniques, editing, and mixing

Professional Readiness

  • Produce work in a modeled professional environment, with a broad understanding of the sound/music post production workflow
  • Create a compelling demo reel that demonstrates professional level competency
  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music or sound for client needs

Composition (Composers Only)

  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody and rhythm
  • Analyze dramatic scoring and compose film music in the style of selected historical periods and genres
  • Orchestrate and arrange music

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Rooted in practical skills and professional knowledge, the BFA degree provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of music production and sound design for visual media. The general education program (Liberal Arts) supports major coursework by promoting the breadth of knowledge, critical thinking and communications skills necessary to analyze issues from multiple perspectives. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in music production and sound design.

Associate of Arts (AA)

The Associate of Arts degree provides students with an introduction to a particular field of study in art and design with a firm foundation in the concepts and problem-solving skills of that field. Once earned, the Associate's degree can also be used as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The Academy of Art University Associate of Arts degree is specifically designed for seamless transition into the Academy of Art University Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and to apply for entry level positions in the industry.

Get to Know Us

Dirk Epperson

Curriculum Coordinator for Composition & Scoring, School of Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media

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