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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get more detailsVisit official programme website
Programme StructureCourses 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
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
- 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
International1191 USD/creditTuition FeeBased on the original amount of 1191 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
National1137 USD/creditTuition FeeBased 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.
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.
Updated in the last 9 months
Check the official programme website for potential updates.