Sound Design—BA

Make Sound That Creates an Experience

The wind howls. The tree branches creak. The life of the forest breathes into you. You're immersed in sound.

The sound is immersive, epic—the environment feels so real you could touch it, even though you know it’s an illusion.

Sound designers make it happen. Sound is critical to the success of storytelling in films, TV, theatre, video games, and theme parks. It makes or breaks recorded music. Sound is the first sense we develop in the womb and remains one of our most primal and powerful means of communication.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Sound Design, you'll be prepared to enter the world of sound as a content creator in any context. Many of our students walk right into high-level jobs after graduation. The first job for sound designer Steve Green was lead designer on the successful video game Abzû.

One-of-a-Kind Program Features

There are many benefits to studying sound design at Michigan Tech. Our program is comprehensive: tools, techniques, theory, and training in music and composition; the full spectrum of audio production, from recording to mixing and mastering; narrative analysis and story structure; and the technical arts that form the backbone of the field. Plus, our production facilities include surround-sound mixing rooms for cinema, theater, and gaming. Our facilities are available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can spend as much time as you want to hone your craft.

Our class sizes are small for a reason—we give you one-on-one contact with faculty who work professionally all over the world. Other benefits include:

  • Hands-on begins Day One. Record original content. Compose original music. Work in theater. Mix concerts. Create a film score with a live orchestra.  Join our many projects on our culturally vibrant, career-focused campus.
  • Record, create, and design original sound effects for theater, film, and other projects.
  • Make original music studio recordings as an engineer and producer.
  • Compose and conduct. Work with professional musicians. Score your own music with a live orchestra for film, television, and theatre. 
  • 8:1
    student to faculty ratio
  • 9
    minors to help you customize your degree
  • 5
    sound labs to perfect your craft
  • 7%
    sound design market growth rate

Sound Connections For Sound Design

  • Sound program grads from Michigan Tech work throughout the industry, just like the faculty who help prepare you for your career. Our faculty's network connects you with real-world professionals from your very first semester. 
  • We're not located in a big city, but we keep you connected to the industry. Students attend major professional events several times a year—from the Audio Engineering Society national conference to the United States Institute of Technical Theatre convention. Make professional contacts. Present your work to industry leaders. Be ready to navigate the entertainment industry the moment you graduate.

Tomorrow Needs Listeners

As the need for high-quality audio in film, video games, virtual reality, augmented reality, podcasts, and entertainment venues expands, so does the need for talented sound designers to enhance these experiences. Sound design in advertising and marketing creates memorable campaigns. A degree in sound design opens doors.

Career Advising

One-on-one advising keeps you moving forward. You'll consider summer internships, jobs, résumé and portfolio preparation—everything you need to line up the kind of work you want and build the career you desire.

Career Opportunities for Sound Design Majors

Your future career options are unlimited with a degree in sound design. They include:

  • Foley Artist
  • Live Sound Engineer
  • Producer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Sound Designer
  • Sound Editor
  • Sound Effects Recorder
  • Sound Mixer
  • Tour Manager

Michigan Tech Sound Design Majors Have Been Hired By

Almost any company creating film, video games, virtual reality, augmented reality, podcasts, advertising and marketing campaigns requires someone with an understanding of sound design. The growing list of companies that have hired Michigan Tech sound design graduates includes:

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying sound design at Michigan's flagship technological university.

"The sound design degree path allows me to explore audio and music to a depth I’ve never gone before and discover what exactly makes me passionate and drives me to continue a career in this field."Colton DeVree '25, sound design

Full STEAM Ahead

Combine your love of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM) into a career that requires creative, artistic, and technical skills. In the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, we emphasize creativity, self-motivation, and concrete goals—attributes that, combined with academic performance, add up to success. Develop critical skills to continue as a lifelong learner who adapts to ever-evolving industry technology. We engage students and enrich the campus by involving scholars from diverse fields in ambitious and meaningful projects.

  • Access state-of-the-art facilities: Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts—the region’s premier performing arts center—is home to a 1000-seat proscenium theatre visited by 50,000 people every year.  Our department includes a flexible black box space, costume, and scene shops, galleries, and a packed schedule of multimedia events. Work side-by-side with faculty on Michigan Tech productions. Complete high-tech training in all aspects of the profession in well-equipped shops, labs, and performance venues. And get more exploratory time in the studio.
  • Get personalized attention: With a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, you’ll build valuable relationships with world-class professors. Our limited enrollment allows for smaller classes and quality time with faculty.
  • Build a career: Working one-on-one with your advisor, understand how to develop your career path—from student internships to post-graduation employment in the industry. Develop networks and strengthen your presentation and interview skills at professional industry conferences and events. Build your professional portfolio. Graduate prepared for a thrilling career in the arts and entertainment industry.
  • Get involved: Join the 250-member strong Huskies Pep Band or one of 12 other ensembles. Get involved with any of our 30+ music performances, 6+ art exhibitions or events, and 5 theatre shows. Or join any number of professional organizations on campus —WMTU radio; Audio Engineering Society; Mu Beta Psi (national music fraternity, non-music majors welcome); Sound Girls; Above The Bridge Records; Sound and Lighting Services, and more.

Undergraduate Majors in Visual and Performing Arts

Not sure which major is the right fit? No problem. Just declare the General Sciences and Arts major, give yourself time, and decide when you arrive on campus. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Undergraduate Minors

Play an instrument. Sing in an ensemble. Act. Sculpt. Sew. Build. Students from all majors can perform, design, compose, and lead with a minor in the Visual and Performing Arts Program. We emphasize artistic, practical, and analytical attributes that round out your education and create lifetime memories. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Tomorrow Needs You

The world of sound design is being transformed by advancements in technology, allowing for more immersive and realistic audio experiences. Supercharge your creative, analytical, and technical skills at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math. Graduate with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to entertain the world.

"We have historically had very good success finding smart, talented people coming out of the hybrid programs at MTU, combining engineering with theatre or audio studies. Of all of our recruiting over the years, MTU has provided the most successful results."Jason Pontius, Director of Operations, Smart Monkeys