You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Audio Technology Master of Arts in Audio Technology

Man in headphones next to soundboard

Learn Audio Technology in DC

The MA in audio technology at American University focuses on both the art and science of music technology to prepare students for a variety of careers in the industry. Students take courses in critical listening, sound synthesis, music production and mixing, digital instrument design, post-production, and film scoring. Ranked number one by Education Portal, our program will give you the education and experience you need to succeed.

As a student in the audio technology program, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the areas that interest you most, from sound design to music production. You’ll work alongside nationally recognized audio engineers and faculty with industry expertise, gaining the practical experience top recording studios and production facilities look for in their new technicians.

A Flexible Program with National Networks

The master’s in audio technology gives you the freedom to customize your degree based on your interests. Within our 30-credit program, you can decide whether you want to concentrate on music recording and production or computer music.

You’ll have access to cutting-edge recording facilities designed by the architect who worked with Jimi Hendrix to design Electric Lady Studios. You’ll also get directly involved in the recording process, from setup to teardown, collaborate with top audio engineers, and join a thriving student and alum network. 

Complete Degree and Course Requirements.

Learn From Industry Experts

Our audio technology faculty members are passionate about the industry. They attend events across the country, ensuring that our students stay up to date on the latest trends. Here are a few of the conferences we attend each year:

  • Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York City and California
  • South By Southwest in Austin, Texas
  • International Computer Music Conference, held in cities around the world

Outstanding Opportunities in DC

An ideal location for those passionate about audio technology, DC has a vibrant music scene and plenty of opportunities for internships and hands-on experiences. Internship sites for our students include NPR, BBC, Capital Post Production, Cue Recording Studios, Cutting Room Studios, Discovery Communications, National Science Foundation, SiriusXM, and Takoma Media.

Our faculty members have connections with recording studios, radio stations, post-production facilities, and live performance venues throughout the area. Our graduates work in recording studios, production facilities, broadcasting studios, and live performance venues, creating a solid alumni network in the DC area and across the country.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 21% employment growth for broadcast, sound, and video technicians (vs. 8% for all occupations) from 2020 to 2030 — with the DC area projected to have twice the nationwide concentration of audio technician and engineering jobs.

  • NPR & WAMU
  • BBC
  • Sirius XM
  • Capitol Studios
  • The Cutting Room Studios
  • Electric Lady Studios
  • National Science Foundation
  • Brookings Institution
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Waveguide LLC
  • Amazon
  • VICE
  • The Voice
  • Vox Media

News & Notes

Find student internships and faculty, student, alum news in the AudioTech Newsletter, Spring 2022.

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Spotlight

David Greenburg

David Greenburg

MA, Audio Technology; BA, Audio Production

Enrolled in AU’s combined BA/MA program, David Greenburg will receive his BA in Audio Production (music track) with an Applied Physics minor this spring. At the same time, he is working towards an MA in Audio Technology.

As if that’s not enough, David has a dream internship at the Brookings Institution, where he is working hard at editing, mixing, and producing engaging podcasts, webinars, and other audio content on current issues and public policy—skills he will use to bolster his future career goals.

Along with strengthening my audio production skills across new media formats, software, and content, I’m diversifying my portfolio by learning about and engaging in current news and public policy. Mike Harvey, the director of AU’s Audio Technology program, along with AU faculty, and American University’s location in Washington, DC, have all been invaluable in helping me secure multiple internships.

Eowyn Fain

Éowyn Fain

BA (CAS '20) Audio Production

Éowyn Fain (May 2020, BA, Audio Production) didn’t necessarily expect that her dream job would be at a public radio station in Asheville, North Carolina. “Most folks encouraged me to focus my job search around the larger cities with major music studios… Los Angeles and New York,” said Éowyn, who was recently hired as Blue Ridge Public Radio’s operations coordinator and radio announcer.

It was during her year-and-a-half-long job search post-graduation – much of which took place during the uncertain days at the height of the pandemic –
Fain found herself reflecting on what she describes as NPR’s empathetic and human approach to storytelling. One story in particular stuck in her mind: its focus was a housing complex damaged by mold – and the Mexican immigrants whose health had been impacted.

“The sound design of the piece really conveyed the feeling of those families. You could hear the effect in their voices. You could hear the coughing in the background.” She felt called to action and drawn to the work.

She also encourages those who are job searching to consider careers outside of the major metropolitan areas. “There are wonderful opportunities out there and many places offer vibrant local culture and music scenes,” said Fain who plays guitar, bass and flute and as a student hosted a weekly music program for American University’s student-run station WVAU.

In addition to traditional news and narrative radio programming, Blue Ridge Public Radio also produces Close to Home, a weekly program featuring the classic folk and Americana stylings of renowned dulcimer player Don Pedi. It’s a show Éowyn Fain holds close to her heart. Pedi has been broadcasting in some form or another on Blue Ridge Public Radio since 1985. “It’s pretty amazing, actually,” says Éowyn.


State-of-the-Art Recording Studios

Drum room

Drum room with access to Foley pits

Soundboard

Three control rooms

Woman singing

Four isolation booths

Woman at piano

Recording space with variable acoustics

Frequently Asked Questions

Our master’s degree program prepares students for careers as recording studio engineers; sound designers for TV, film, and video games; acousticians; and music business professionals. You can also use your degree as a foundation for a doctoral degree at a research university.

Our graduates work in recording studios, production facilities, and live performance venues around the country. Some notable careers:

  • Freelance Audio Engineer for recording artists including Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ludacris
  • Head Engineer and Producer at House Studios
  • Manager of NASCAR at Sirius XM
  • Broadcast Engineer at BBC
  • Live and Studio Sound Engineer at PBS
  • Distribution Engineer at Discovery Communications

Reason #1: Flexibility. We partner with the Departments of Computer Science and Physics, other performing arts programs, and the School of Communication, so you can customize your degree and investigate the areas that interest you most. Concentrate in music recording and production, post-production, or computer music.

Reason #2: Location. Washington, DC, is a cosmopolitan hub with one of the best music scenes in the country and a dynamic arts and culture scene that rivals many larger cities.

Reason #3: Connections. Our faculty have industry connections that help our students land their dream jobs and internships. Plus, we regularly bring in some of the most successful people in the industry to give guest lectures. Previous guests have included the CEO of Pandora and the creator of R2D2 Sounds.

Still have questions? Send us an email: dparecruitment@american.edu