Students standing and kneeling next to speakers of various sizes and design


The artistic meets the technical in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Tech. Our students explore the intellectual, artistic, and intuitive knowledge and skills in recorded and live music, theatrical sound, video game sound, and movie and TV sound.

Sound Design, BA

Focused on the creation of sound content students create effects, soundscapes, characters and entire worlds for theatre, movies, and video games in addition to engineering albums, soundtracks, and live broadcasts.

Audio Production & Technology, BS

Great content requires care and sophistication to deliver it to an audience with maximum impact. From the highest quality stereo to massive 30+ channel immersive audio systems to tiny speakers hidden in a haunted mine Audio Production & Technology students learn how to make the right sound for every project.

Music Composition, Minor

The music composition minor has students working with electronic instruments as well as professional musicians to create albums, concert music, film scores, and more. Students in the Music Composition major get to score a movie scene and have that recoding in a scoring session with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.

Studio Access

All students taking sound classes or enrolled in a sound major or minor have 24/7 access to all 5 of the VPA sound studios. As well as significant location equipment for remote recording of soundscapes or music and sound reinforcement for live events.

Program Philosophy

We believe the best learning happens when students are engaged hands-on with real projects that they care about. Every semester you will have a balance of artistic, technical and practical coursework that becomes more and more integrated with the professional world outside of Michigan Tech, leading you to a life long productive career in sound.

Contact Information

Christopher Plummer

Distinguished Professor, Visual and Performing Arts

Jeff Sherwood

Assistant Professor, Visual and Performing Arts

Michael Maxwell

Assistant Teaching Professor, Visual and Performing Arts

Erin Smith

Director, Humanities Digital Media Zone

Sound News

"Not a day goes by that I don't use something I learned. My problem-solving approach is really refined. The opportunities I have are a result of the knowledge, skill set, and creativity I gained in the program. I get to design actual speakers that actual people will buy. It's really exciting."

—Tim DeYoung, 2012, Acoustic Design Engineer