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Educational Programs

Sound Arts


Program description

MCTC's Sound Arts Program—the first of its kind in the Midwest—prepares you for an exciting career in music and sound design using the latest technology, equipment and computer software. You will get hands-on training from experienced faculty as you master the skills in recording, manipulating and mixing sound and develop your creative vision.

Program start and location

You may be accepted into this program during the fall or spring semesters. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus.

Degree options and requirements

Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.

What you will learn

  • You will learn to artistically produce and create quality sound using the most current high-tech equipment and computer software.
  • You will gain comprehensive knowledge about the physics of sound, analog and digital theory and artistic form.
  • You will learn how to operate electronic and digital equipment.
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  • You will gain experience recording, creating, manipulating and mixing sound in a studio.
  • You will get a strong background in sound arts history and literature, music theory and design, the business of sound arts, legal issues and studio design.
  • You will develop skills for completing projects involving music, dialogue and sound effects and how to tie these sound projects to video, film and other media applications
  • You will get hands-on industry experience.
  • You will learn how to showcase your skills by producing a portfolio of small and large works.
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Points of pride

  • MCTC’s Cinema Division programs (which include Sound Arts) are among the most affordable programs in the U.S. and tuition covers almost all of your production costs.
  • Thanks to a low student-to-teacher ratio, you will receive personal attention from qualified, passionate faculty members who are working professionals and hold MFA or Ph.D. degrees or have extensive industry experience.
  • A diverse student base adds to the creative experience. Students come from all over the world, have varied professional backgrounds and range in age from 18 to 65.
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  • Cutting-edge technology strengthens hands-on, practical application experience in the programs. You will have access to the latest software, cameras and sound equipment as well as production and post-production facilities and studios. You will use film and digital image or analog and digital sound technology in your productions.
  • Local and nationally recognized industry experts from Hollywood and New York serve as guest speakers and work with Cinema Division students every semester.
  • MCTC boasts award-winning alumni. Former student achievements have included: producing a Super Bowl ad that was the most-watched television commercial of all time; writing and producing a short film that qualified for consideration as a 2010 Oscar nomination; earning the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship Award in 2009; receiving Bush Foundation Artist Fellowships, and winning a 2008 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, one of the most prestigious screenwriting prizes in the world.
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Where you could work

  • Self-employment
  • Recording and post-production studios
  • Movie and video production companies
  • Commercial music houses
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  • Nightclubs and touring productions
  • New media and advertising agencies
  • Radio and TV stations
  • Performing arts companies
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Potential job titles

  • Small Business Owner/Freelancer
  • Studio Engineer
  • Technician for Live Entertainment and Worship Venues
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  • Broadcast Technician
  • Professional Musician utilizing New Technologies
  • Composer/Sound Designer
  • Technician for Sound with Image Productions
  • Video Game Sound Designer
  • Audio Developer for Software
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Occupational outlook

Rising foreign demand for American movies, videos, and music and a growing U.S. market is expected to stimulate the demand for specialists who design and produce sound, according to iseek.org. The growth of made-for-TV movies, music videos, video games and internet marketing should also increase demand. Additionally, the increasing products and services offered by cable and pay television companies - and the growing use of sound in emerging media such as ringtones and mobile applications - will drive the demand for audio specialists.

Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for internships where you can get real world experience. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and work with top professionals from around the country.


This program is part of the School of Design and the Arts.

Additional resources

2013 Sound Arts Award

2013 Cinema Excellence Awards

Eric Johnson, "Sleep Patterns EP"

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