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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

The MFA program provides advanced training in music and sound design. Students are guided through the completion of a final thesis project that reflects their breadth of music and audio expertise.

MFA Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 18 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 12 units
Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 63 units
*Per director approval

MFA Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units

Additional Information

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Students will conceive and complete an original MFA thesis which represents an advanced level of achievement in the field of music creation or sound design for visual media.

Music Composition

  • Advanced understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody, and rhythm.
  • Orchestrate and arrange music at a professional level
  • Write or edit music for different visual environments (such as film, television, animation, games, multimedia, and commercials) at a professional level

Soundtrack for Visual Media

  • Create music or sound which supports or heightens the emotional impacts of visual images (or visual material).

Production Skills and Technical Knowledge

  • Demonstrate expert-level proficiency with software related to contemporary music production techniques.

Professional Readiness

  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music for client needs.
  • Collaborate effectively with a creative team on a given project, such as a film, television show, animation, game, multimedia project, or commercial.

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.


Please see Degree Breakdown for requirements for the program. Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Graduate Degree Breakdowns

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA degree provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media. Studio courses focus on the techniques necessary to develop and master technical skills. Graduate Liberal Arts courses promote the expression of ideas and effective communication utilizing visual, oral and written presentation skills. The program culminates with an independent final project. Students will graduate from the program equipped with a portfolio of work and prepared for professional opportunities in the field of music production and sound design.

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