Hi, I'm a young sound designer about to finish high school and i'd like to know what schools have the most reputable programs. Any suggestions?

  • 3
    What exactly are you looking for and in which country?
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 18:25
  • What area of sound are you looking into? Post? Production? Music?
    – Colin Hart
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 21:22

10 Answers 10


I've been teaching sound design at Video Symphony in Los Angeles, which offers a Protools certification program and helps with job placement as well. Very solid program. I'm also developing a sound design class for Academy of Art University in San Francisco, both on site and online. I've heard good things about Vancouver school too.

For those who aren't able to get to a school, I'm offering a six week webinar series beginning Sept. 8, which will included hands on assignments and personal feedback. There will be a free intro on Aug. 24. Check it out on SoundDesignForPros.com.


I took the Vancouver Film School Sound Design Program; graduated in october 2009. Wow! Makes exactly a year next wendnesday!

It's quite different now. Really very different, as most of my instructors aren't there anymore and the curriculum is different as well. A friend of mine that was TAing overthere told me it was really good! At least all the things i didn't like about the prgram changed dramatically... In my opinion there was to much music theory and production (though the instructors were great!) and the game audio curriculum was painfully bad and unorganized. Not anymore!

They also have one more small mixing room, this one with a procontrol while the other 4 have control 24, and the Theater has an icon now. They're also a bit more well equipped with microphones now, and they have sounddevices 722 recorders.

I have to say i had an insanely great time over there learned a ton, and was really lucky as my classmates were absolutely great! It's super intensive two, in my last 2 months term me and most of my classmates were sleeping on average 3 hours a night.... But then again all of us did many side projects at all times.

It's a great great place to meet people from other fields like 3d and classical animation, film production, business management etc.

(The city is amazing to, i thought it was expensive at a time, but now that i'm in new york i laugh about that :D )

Hope that helps a bit.

  • Did you ever bump into a guy from Northern Ireland while in Vancouver, an old friend of my wife's did that course a few years ago.
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 17:48
  • I did meet a guy from ireland but he was around 20 years old. Does that sound about right? Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 19:13

I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Production & Engineering. It's only gotten better since I was there, and I highly recommend it.

Berklee also has a comprehensive curriculum available online.

  • Berklee is also part of a consortium now with Emerson College, the Museum of Fine Arts' school, and two others I can't remember at the moment. You can attend one of those schools, and take classes at any of the members, which provides some truly excellent flexibility. Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 5:07
  • @Jay A co-worker of mine when the Berklee. What years did you attend?
    – Utopia
    Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 17:01
  • 1988-1992, MP&E grad. Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 22:43

I attended Full Sail University. It's a bit pricey but they have the most modern equipment and offer great hands on experience. When I was attending (2005) they didn't offer anything in regards to field recording so a lot of the equipment and microphones that are typically used aren't covered in their curriculum. This might and hopefully have changed since then though.

I can say if you're looking for a music engineering school (not music theory) Full Sail is great. They also have film and game design curriculum's there so the chance to network and work with other degree programs is easily feasible.

  • I've heard LOTS of horrible things about the on-campus courses at Full Sail -- that they don't care about students once they've paid, and that the around-the-clock scheduling is obviously set up just to screw with students -- but I've heard nothing but good things about their online curriculum. Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 13:29

I've heard good and bad things about Vancouver Film School.. but I'm still considering it. The main issue is the tuition ($43,000 excluding living expenses!) Has anybody else heard anything about this program? Share your insight!


Hi, Can you please layout the tools/software taught in the VFS sound design program, the people, the learning experience and what kind of projects do you work on? Do they provide a recorder or a laptop? and job prospect issues? Does the college help in getting job? How easy/difficult is it to get a job right out of college? With a heft education loan, getting a job is a big priority..


Savannah College of Art & Design is another place to check out. It's sound department has been developing as a strong contender. The Sound Department is led by David Stone, and Peter Damski is a professor of production sound, amongst other excellent sound professionals.


May be a place to consider along with other options. I had a great experience, although I learned two things from being the education environment: 'you get out of it what you put into it', and 'use everything they have' - many schools are endowed with some great gear and software that real-life work environments may not have all the time.

All of the above listed schools are equally fair choices too, I run into and collaborated with a lot of wonderful sound professionals around town who are alumni from these places, especially Full Sail and Berklee.

  • Really not sure why this is answer deserving of a downvote... if someone has a distaste for it or a bad experience there, please share and don't hide behind your downvote. But offering a perfectly valid answer which is not duplicated by another answer, thus offering a valid unique viewpoint perfectly in line with the question, is not deserving of a downvote in my opinion. Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 7:58

@Rig I didn't go to VFS, but I've wanted to for a long time. I've researched the school quite a bit and spoken to a handful of people who have graduated from the program. You'll mainly be working with Pro Tools and then some FMOD stuff when you start learning about game sound. You don't get a laptop, but you do receive an H2 recorder, and access to Icon consoles and Sound Devices recorders which is pretty awesome. As far as I can tell it's a pretty decent program but far too expensive and less than half of the people I've spoken to who went there have jobs in the industry. It's different for everyone though. As much as I've wanted to go, I just can't justify spending $50,000 for a year of school. Hope that helps.


@Hearmeout; thanks for the reply man. Im already working on Protools HD and ICON in my current job. also started learning FMOD from youtube videos, but how can one break into the game audio industry from another country or without going to any college like VFS?

How to develop those game audio skills and projects?


you develop them by working on them, University is all fine and dandy but you will learn most things on a job, shadowing someone above you and asking questions. You are not guaranteed a job if you go to University and they will not do the work for you to find a job, only offer advice.

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