Sound Design

Academy of Art University

Master On Campus
36 months
1191 USD/credit
1137 USD/credit
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Sound Design program of Academy provide you with the ideal mix of art and science to help prepare you for a career in music. Gain the skills necessary to create the overall aural concept for TV, video games, movies, and other visual media. Find your place at Academy of Art University, and bring your original music and sound designs to life.


The MFA is designed to provide the highest level of training in sound design for film, television, games and other visual media. Students of the Sound Design program of Academy of Art University will gain a complete overview of the audio post production process, recording and editing dialog, sound effects, and ambiences to create a sonic landscape which supports and informs the narrative, from initial recording to final mix. MFA students will complete a thesis project and portfolio in their final year, and graduate with a working knowledge of professional workflows to prepare them for success in the soundtrack industry.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Plan an original portfolio of work worthy of the MFA degree
  • Complete an original MFA thesis which represents an advanced level of achievement in the field of music creation for visual media

Listening Skills and Critical Thinking

  • Think critically and demonstrate flexibility in creating or editing music for client needs

Music Composition

  • 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
  • Create music which supports or heightens the emotional impacts of visual images (or visual material)
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the language of music: harmony, melody, and rhythm

Production Skills and Technical Knowledge

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

Professional Readiness

  • Present a comprehensive demo reel / portfolio demonstrating professional-level achievement
  • 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 offers some of the best training and hands-on experience to help accelerate careers in music production. We pride ourselves in doing an exceptional job preparing you to excel in your chosen profession. Our degree programs are designed to equip aspiring music professionals with a comprehensive toolbox of marketable skills that lead to success in the music industry.

Score Composer

Compose original music to accompany narrative storytelling in visual media. Work with sound editors and mixers to balance music with other soundtrack elements, creating the sonic world in which characters live. Drive the emotions of the audience by crafting musical ideas that reflect the unspoken thoughts of a character.

Foley Artist

Perform sound effects on a Foley stage for inclusion in the final soundtrack. Create unique, unforgettable custom sounds, and use creativity to associate moods with sound cues in the story.

Music Editor

Work closely with a composer to effectively create music scores that drive the emotion of the scene. Create temp scores. Edit music to fit specific cue lengths and effectively create just the right music cues to fit the scene.

Music Supervisor

Source musical content that is not original to the project. Understand the requirements for sourced music, ensure consistency with composed music, and secure rights and releases.


Translate a musical score from a composer and arrange it for the final set of instruments and players. Rewrite to best fit emotional targets.

Production Recordist

Manage the set and location sound recordings. Quality check all recorded material from set and location. Assist the production mixer in all duties. Maintain equipment.

Re-recording Mixer

The last step in post-production is the final mix. Effectively balance music, dialogue, and SFX into a cohesive soundtrack that supports and enhances the visual storytelling. Work on large format audio consoles with hundreds of audio tracks, and craft the sonic world for visual media.

Sound Designer

Be responsible for the overall aural concept of a film or video game. Collaborate with other creatives to develop a cohesive sound and create specific sounds for visual media.

Sound Editor

Edit dialog, sound effects, ambiences, and other sounds to fit with the visual material. Use filters and plug-ins to transform audio for a specific setting. Work with the Supervising Sound Editor to deliver all audio assets for a given project, whether film, game, or animation.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Film Music History: The Art of the Film Score
  • Pro Tools User Level Certification Preparation
  • Soundtrack Industry Overview
  • Modern Techniques in Music Production
  • Sound Design
  • Audio Production

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines




90 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • College transcripts must show the classes/subjects, grades, credits and number of hours completed for each class
  • Applicants and sponsors must complete the Affidavit of Support Form
  • An art portfolio in your chosen discipline is required with detailed descriptions for all international graduate school applicants
  • An official bank letter (from student. family/parents/sponsor) must show a minimum balance of $42,000 USD or equivalent
  • We do not require TOEFL or IELTS scores and do not have a minimum score requirement
  • Photocopy of your valid passport
  • Photocopy of your 1-20, 1-94, or other visa document
  • If your transcripts are not in English. they must be translated and notarized

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1191 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1191 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    1137 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1137 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Sound Design
Academy of Art University