The Best Music Production Schools And Colleges [2020]

Find out how the best music production schools and colleges offer great networking opportunities, access to audio equipment, and employment prospects!

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What Are The Best Music Production Schools?

There’s no doubt that the best way to start a great career is by getting a great education, and that’s why we’re committed to providing you with information about the nation’s best music production schools.

No matter what facet of the audio industry you aspire to, a degree can take you much farther much faster in this highly-competitive field.

While it’s more cost effective to try and teach yourself audio engineering at home, and you’ll pick up on a lot of the same skills you would learn in the classroom, top music production schools can provide something that you won’t find in your bedroom studio – connections.

With so many talented mixers vying for careers in production, getting a job is going to come down to how well you’re able to network, and the best way to network with industry professionals is to have them as professors.

Despite what you may think, the best music production schools aren’t just limited to big cities like New York and Los Angeles – there are top schools in every part of the country, from the Midwest to the Deep South.

No matter where you live, a top quality education is never too far away.

Berklee College of Music – Boston, MA

Berklee College of Music

If you’ve done any research on top music production schools in America, you’re probably already familiar with the Berklee College of Music.

The largest contemporary music college in the world, faculty at Berklee have worked with famous artists such as David Bowe, Tina Turner, and Bruce Springsteen – it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Oh, except it does – with 16 fully equipped recording studios, it’s a shoo-in on any list of top audio engineering schools.

While private Northeastern universities like Berklee have a reputation for high tuition rates, it’s not impossible to afford – the college offers over $40 million in merit-based scholarships.

You’ll never know if you qualify for a scholarship until you apply, so apply, apply, apply!

Berklee Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 32%
  • Tuition Cost: $40,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $16,800
  • Enrollment: 6,400
  • Master’s Program: M.M. in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation
  • Courses Offered: Hybrid Recording and Mixing, Freelancing for Producers and Engineers, Studio Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Find The Complete Berklee College Course List Here

Full Sail University – Winter Park, FL

Full Sail University

Just outside the vibrant city of Orlando is Full Sail University, a private for-profit college that specializes in entertainment and media studies.

What makes Full Sail stand out as one of the top music production schools? Location is a start – near one of the nation’s largest entertainment industries, there are plenty of local opportunities for careers after graduation.

The faculty of industry professionals and plenty of on-campus studio space don’t hurt either.

For students who can’t make it to the physical campus, Full Sail offers online music production degrees as well, and is one of the few schools in the country to do so.

Full Sail Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Tuition Cost: $19,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $6,000
  • Enrollment: 8,900
  • Master’s Program: No
  • Courses Offered: Fundamentals of Music Business, Audio Engineering Techniques, Game Music Production
Check Out The Complete Full Sail Course List Here

McNally Smith College of Music – St. Paul, MN

McNally Smith College of Music

In the heart of the Midwest is the McNally Smith College of Music, a private for-profit university. While it’s best known for producing an impressive list of songwriting alumni, it’s also made a name for itself as of the best audio engineering schools.

Because the college is smaller than most high schools with just over 600 students, faculty are able to provide one-on-one instruction in an intimate classroom setting.

That along with the school’s Grammy award winning professional facultymake this school worth looking into for aspiring music producers, especially those who don’t want to go through the rigmarole of a four-year college.

McNally offers one and two-year audio engineering programs that give students as much hands-on experience as possible in the littlest amount of time.

McNally Smith Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 65%
  • Tuition Cost: $25,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $7,000
  • Enrollment: 640
  • Master’s Program: No
  • Courses Offered: MIDI Systems, DAW Editing, Mix Theory
For More Info, Check The McNally Course List Here

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Academy of Art University – San Francisco, CA

Academy of Art University

While you’re not quite in Los Angeles with the famous musicians, Academy of Art University in San Francisco offers an unbeatable music production education on the West Coast.

Founded in 1929, the private for-profit university has a long history of helping students start the art careers of their dreams, and has long been considered one of the nation’s best music production schools.

Academy of Art is one of the best music colleges because the faculty are all industry professionals and graduates are guaranteed to leave with an impressive demo-reel to help land them a real-world job.

Plus, the university is both nationally and regionally accredited.

Academy Of Art Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Tuition Cost: $20,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $14,000
  • Enrollment: 9,100
  • Master’s Program: Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design
  • Courses Offered: Sound for Games, Music Demo Reel, Music Editing for Visual Media
View The Academy Of Art Complete Course List Here

Belmont University – Nashville, TN

Belmont University – Nashville, TN

If country music is your cup of tea, you’re going to want to check out Belmont University.

And even if you hate country, you’re still going to want to check it out – the private Christian university is equipped with state-of-the-art recording equipment and a faculty that has experience working with Grammy-award winning artists, easily making it one of the best music production schools out there.

Belmont’s reputation as one of the best music colleges in the country is well-deserved – the university has three professional recording studios on campus and its very own publishing company, Bruin Publishing, so that students can get genuine industry experience.

Music production students at Belmont also have opportunities to intern in Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles.

Belmont Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Tuition Cost: $30,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $15,000
  • Enrollment: 7,700 students
  • Master’s Program: M.S. with a Major in Audio Engineering
  • Courses Offered: Automated Mixing Techniques, Location Recording, Concert and Event Lighting Design
Find The Belmont University Complete Course List Here

Elon University – Elon, NC

Elon University – Elon, NC

For aspiring theater producers, Elon University in North Carolina is going to be your dream school.

The newly built Scott Studios for Performing Arts, two new recording studios, live room, and music technology computer lab are part of what makes Elon one of the best audio engineering schools – you certainly won’t find any outdated tech here.

Even if you’re not into musical theater, Elon University is still one of the best music production schools for any concentration.

Opportunities for collaboration and networking with both fellow students and experienced faculty abound, so even after you graduate you’ll still be able to benefit from the relationships you’ve built.

Elon Quick Facts:

  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Tuition Cost: $33,000
  • Average Financial Aid Awarded: $17,900
  • Enrollment: 6,700
  • Master’s Program: No
  • Courses Offered: The Art of Songcraft, The Physics of Sound, Cinema Production
Check Out The Complete Elon University Course List Here

Need Something Closer? These Facilities Are Also Amongst the Best Schools for Music Production:

New York University – New York City, New York

New York UniversityFor prospective music producers, there are few better schools to attend than New York University.

Their music program recognizes that producers are the entrepreneurs of the music business, and NYU’s music production curriculum clearly demonstrates that.

Noted as one of the best schools for music production, NYU graduates typically pursue careers in the music industry that are more related to the business aspect of music rather than the production of the music itself, which is essential if you intend on managing your own record label one day.

California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) – Valencia, California

California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) - Valencia, CaliforniaAlthough not specifically geared towards music production, Cal Arts offers a pretty solid range of courses that prospective music producers can benefit from.

Their facilities are widely considered to be the best in the business, and you’ll also have the added benefit of being uniquely located near the Los Angeles music scene.

Drexel University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaDrexel University is unique in that it offers two different types of music production emphases: business and production.

One of the better schools for music production in the northeastern United States, Drexel’s educational philosophy revolves around learning by doing. Their music production curriculum includes a summer program where students assist industry professionals at studios, labels, and music events.

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music - Bloomington, IndianaIf you’re looking for a more hands-on experience with a personal mentor, Indiana University’s music production program is the perfect school for you.

IU’s music production program only accepts 15 students every year, making it one of the most exclusive music programs in the world. Students are mentored by full-time faculty on a more personal basis, which can have lasting effects on their future careers.

In Summary, Take Advantage of Any Additional Educational Resources You Can Get!

All of the resources offered on Melodic Exchange are free to use and are constantly being updated so that you’re never behind on the latest industry news.

A career in audio engineering is challenging but extremely rewarding, which is why we’re dedicated to helping you make that goal a reality.

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More information about the best music production schools and recording equipment can be found throughout our website. Before you get bummed out about tuition or the cost of a new laptop for mixing, check out our information on scholarships and product deals.

All of the resources you need to become a professional producer are available to you – you just have to know where to look.

No matter how you decide to go about it – whether that’s enrolling in one of the best audio engineering schools mentioned above or taking the self-taught route, we’ll stick by you 100% of the way.

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