My son is interested in sound design. Most schools offer music degrees for active musicians who want to learn recording, or a film degree with a few classes in sound. Emerson offers film with an audio post production emphasis. Nice! But SCAD is the only school we can find that offers a BFA in Sound Design. We have toured, son sat in on a class and spoke with another Sound Design Department Prof. He really liked everything and was pumped, but is now worried by some of what he is reading online about SCAD. We know SCAD may have some issues, but the real question we have is strictly about the Sound Design major. Is it a good program? Son REALLY liked the professors and the facilities. If the department rocks, isn't that all that matters? Any graduates of the program around?
I am also very interested in sound design and audio-post production. I was very nervous while nearing the time of high school graduation about trying to find a great college/university or Art School and one of my teachers from high school suggested that I go to Full Sail University. I looked up Full Sail online and heard all the bad things about it like it's not worth the money or you don't learn that much in classes, and etc. I decided to go anyway because I really respected my teacher and her suggestions and the school looked great. The program I am in is Recording Arts and it does heavily focus on the music side of things while only a few classes for audio-post production and sound design. Learning the music side of things can help very much with sound design and most of the rules still apply with it and the rest of audio post production.
In this industry it probably doesn’t matter what the actual degree certificate says or whether or not if he got A’s or C’s; In this industry it really comes down to Networking and not being a jerk. As long as he works hard and networks with peers and teachers, he will be off to a great start. You get out of education what you put into it. If he just shows up to classes just for a grade, he is not going to do well… If he asks questions, willing to take harsh and honest criticism that is when you truly learn.
I have been doing sound design for around four years now but have been learning through my father since I was a little kid. I looked around for a long time to find a school to do sound design at and I ended up going to Full Sail University which I currently attend for Game Design and Show Production, and it was a very similar experience to what your son is having. I came to the school, took a tour, sat with course directors and admissions, and after deciding to go here found many reviews and youtube videos speaking extremely negatively about the school, to the point where people were saying it was a scam. After attending the university for a while now I have gotten to learn that the school has these reviews because these were students that couldn't handle the school and workload and end up dropping out mostly. Schools like SCAD and Full Sail are passion schools, and you have to be willing to put your blood sweat and tears into your work if you want to be successful. Because of this I have learned to ignore those reviews and internet articles, since they're mostly from people who are taking their anger out on the internet. People don't tend to write a review about something unless they are displeased so it seems to be best to look at those reviews as the worst it will get. SCAD is an amazing university, I have a few friends that also attend the school and they have loved every second just as I have loved every second here, however it is a lot of work and you have to love what you are doing to have it be the experience you are hoping for
I hope this helps to ease your worries and I hope your son moves on to do great things at SCAD, I wish him good luck.
You can check out our program at CCM:
The website is pretty sparse, but contact me directly and I'll get you any information you'd like. firstname.lastname@example.org
Other notable programs with a BFA in sound design are Penn State, DePaul and Carnegie. There are a couple of others that offer degrees, but I don't know any more that have dedicated full time professors.