Acoustic Engineering Master’s Degree

By Dan Tashlykov, BSME

Are you intrigued by the mysteries of sound and vibration? With an acoustic engineering master’s degree, you can make a career out of understanding and manipulating the power of acoustics.

In this guide to acoustic engineering master’s degrees, we’re going to dive deep into what this degree entails, how you can pursue it, what career outlooks and salaries look like, and the best way for you to progress forward. Let’s jump right in and explore acoustic engineering from the ground up.

Online Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Degree Programs

Obtaining an online master’s in acoustic engineering can be an excellent career choice if you consider yourself an “audiophile,” or just someone who would enjoy learning about the physics of sound.

Graduate degree holders can design sound systems for concerts and events, develop soundproofing technologies for buildings, and even create new instruments. With this degree, you can revolutionize the way we experience music and sound, making noise in industries from architecture to aerospace.

Even though starting your path to an acoustic engineering master’s degree can be daunting, it’s increasingly likely to pay off over the course of your career. Read on for an in-depth introduction to online acoustic engineering master’s programs and the endless possibilities they offer.

Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Online Program Overview

A master’s in acoustic engineering online program focuses on the application of sound to solve problems in an acoustic environment. Students develop an understanding of physics concepts to understand and design products with optimal audio performance.

The curriculum covers topics such as acoustical measurement and analysis, acoustic signal processing, multichannel recording, and active noise control. Students also gain a foundation in physics, computer science, and electronics theory.

Online degree programs allow students the flexibility to complete their education at a pace that fits their lifestyle. Coursework is available online, so students can work around their busy schedules and access course materials whenever they need them.

Technology utilized by the program includes virtual classrooms, electronic textbooks, and simulations, which provide a realistic learning experience. Additionally, online programs offer access to resources such as faculty mentors, who are available to answer questions and provide guidance on projects.

Pursuing an online degree can be advantageous for those looking to develop specialized skills in a particular field while maintaining their current job or lifestyle commitments.

There are a number of concentrations and specializations within the field of acoustic engineering:

  • Digital/Computational Acoustics Concentration: Focuses on using mathematical models and computer simulations to analyze sound and the environment. Topics of study include high-fidelity modeling of sound fields, analysis of noise sources and propagation, sound synthesis, and designing audio systems.
  • Digital Signal Processing Concentration: Emphasis on the fundamentals of digital signal processing theory, with an eye toward its application in acoustic design and analysis. Students learn about topics such as digital filters, digital noise cancellation, frequency analysis, and microphone arrays.
  • Bioacoustic Concentration: Aimed at students interested in the biological aspects of sound – such as its production, perception, and influence on animals. In this concentration, topics may include vocalization and hearing in birds, bats, and fish, sound communication, acoustical ecology, sonar imaging of marine animals, auditory perception and learning in animals, and structure and function of the inner ear.
  • Advanced Acoustics Concentration: Focuses on advanced concepts such as acoustical metamaterials, vibroacoustics, medical imaging, and acoustic transduction. In this program, students gain a greater understanding of acoustical theories and fundamental research techniques.

Why Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Acoustic Engineering?

Earning an online master’s degree in acoustic engineering is a great way to expand your skills and knowledge base. You’ll be able to study in the comfort of your home while receiving the same quality education as you would on campus.

With an online master’s degree in acoustic engineering, you can gain a more profound understanding of the principles involved in sound and vibration engineering. You’ll learn about the physics of sound waves, acoustical design for environments, and acoustic signal processing.

With this knowledge, you’ll be well-prepared to pursue a career in any number of industries related to acoustics, including music production, consumer audio technologies, architectural acoustics, and concert hall design.

With the right online master’s degree program, you can become an expert in your field and help shape the future of audio technology.

An online master’s in acoustic engineering program can offer several benefits:

  • More Flexible Scheduling: An online master’s degree in acoustic engineering offers the flexibility to study and complete coursework on your time, allowing for an increased personal and professional balance.
  • Cost Effectiveness: This type of degree offers a more cost-effective solution than traditional campus-based programs by reducing the costs of books, materials, and other supplies.
  • Topical Variety: With an online program, you will be able to choose from a wide range of topics related to acoustic engineering and keep pace with the latest technology and advances in the field.
  • Increased Convenience: Online programs are conveniently available 24/7, allowing for a higher degree of flexibility for those who must manage busy schedules.
  • Accessibility to Expertise: Online coursework provides the opportunity to learn from top experts in the field – often voicing their opinions directly in the classroom.

Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Curriculum and Common Courses

Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in sound engineering, audio production, or acoustical consulting, a master’s degree in acoustic engineering can open the door to many professional opportunities.

By providing students with a solid foundation of acoustic principles and technology, as well as hands-on experience with design and analysis tools, advanced courses in acoustic engineering allow tomorrow’s leaders to respond to the ever-evolving needs of various industries.

In this section, we’ll explore the curriculum and common courses included within a master’s in acoustic engineering program.

Acoustic Engineering Curriculum

  • Fundamentals of Acoustics: Learn the fundamentals of how sound travels and how it’s absorbed and diffused by different materials, as well as signal processing theory and related topics.
  • Sound Design: Examine the design and implementation of loudspeakers, amplifiers, receivers, and associated electronic controls and displays.
  • Acoustic Measurement: Learn how to use acoustic measurement equipment to acquire, analyze, and interpret data about sound waves, frequencies, and room acoustics and how to apply this information for a wide range of acoustic applications.
  • Acoustic Environment Simulation: Study methods of simulating acoustic environments in both small room spaces such as studios and large spaces such as auditoriums.
  • Computer Modeling of Acoustics and Auditory Perception: Develop competency in computer modeling technologies related to acoustics, perception, and sound engineering and learn to design tools for optimizing sound in specific settings.
  • Audio Signal Processing: Examine methods for manipulating audio signals with frequency, amplitude, spectrum, and waveform adjustments for applications such as engineering recording studios or designing music synthesizers.
  • Room and Environmental Acoustics: Learn advanced techniques for controlling noise levels in enclosed spaces through recommendations for specific materials, treatments, and surface orientations.
  • Sound Localization: Master audio subject localization techniques such as directional audio miking, reverberation, and echo suppression.
  • Psychoacoustics: Understand the basics of psychoacoustics and the perception of sounds by humans.
  • Speech intelligibility: Become familiar with measurement analysis technologies used to determine the effectiveness of sound delivery systems in areas related to speech intelligibility.
  • Architectural Acoustics: Study the fundamentals of planning, constructing, and certifying acoustic response in different structures and spaces such as concert halls and auditoriums.

Acoustic Engineering Common Courses

  • Acoustical Measurement and Instrumentation: Covers the concepts, principles, and methods of acoustic measurement, design, and estimation of instrumentation, and the implications of instrumentation on acoustic fields in various environments.
  • Architectural and Environmental Acoustics: Focuses on the applications, concepts, and principles of acoustic phenomena in their historical, physical, and cultural contexts. It covers topics such as sound insulation and reverberation, sound diffraction, and acoustical ambiance.
  • Computer Modeling Techniques in Acoustics: Covers the use of computer modeling techniques in acoustic fields, including analysis, interpretation, and prediction of acoustic phenomena in various simulated scenarios.
  • Acoustic Design: Explores the art and science of designing acoustic products and systems, with emphasis on architectural, functional, aesthetic, and technical considerations.
  • Signal Processing: Introduces the fundamentals of digital signal processing in the context of acoustics, covering topics such as digitization, filtering, and synthesis techniques.
  • Sound Systems Design: Covers the design, implementation, and operation of sound systems in various environments. Topics such as audio equipment selection, signal processing techniques, and advanced techniques for use in performance and media applications will be covered.
  • Soundscape Design: This course is focused on designing soundscapes that integrate sound with other media elements, presence attributes, as well as environmental context. Covers both theoretical and practical approaches to creating immersive experiences.

Accreditation for Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Degree Programs

Earning a master’s degree in acoustic engineering is a great way to maximize your engineering potential and expand your education. It’s important, however, to make sure that whatever program you choose is accredited by the appropriate authorities so that your degree will be accepted and respected throughout the industry.

In this section, we’ll discuss specific accreditations for master’s in acoustic engineering Degree Programs to help you find the right university.

ABET Accreditation

ABET accreditation is an essential factor to consider when selecting a quality engineering degree program. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a prestigious organization that sets standards of excellence across the world in higher education in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology programs. ABET-accredited degree programs are proven to meet rigorous requirements related to curricula, faculty, facilities, and student outcomes.

For students interested in pursuing an acoustic engineering degree, seeking an ABET-accredited program offers several advantages. Not only does ABET accreditation ensure that students will receive top-notch instruction from qualified faculty, but it also ensures that the curriculum meets industry standards of knowledge and skills required for high-level engineering jobs.

An ABET-accredited program will provide the highest level of preparation for professional certification, as well as for graduate studies – choosing an ABET-accredited program can be absolutely critical in helping a student create a successful career path in acoustic engineering.

What Can I Do with a Master’s Degree in Acoustic Engineering?

A master’s degree in acoustic engineering offers a wealth of career opportunities to those with an analytical, creative, and technically inclined mindset, and there are varying types of engineering master’s degrees available. With the rapid advances in technology and the increasing demand for sound solutions for various industries, graduates with a master’s degree in acoustic engineering are well-positioned to pursue a range of exciting career paths.

From developing audio systems for live performances to designing acoustics for movie theaters, the possibilities are vast for someone with a master’s in acoustics. Those looking to break into the field can work as research scientists or acoustic engineers in corporate or engineering settings, or even launch businesses and develop products targeted toward different markets.

Audio Systems Design Engineer

Audio systems design engineers develop, design, and maintain audio systems for broadcast studios, music production studios, concert venues, and other settings.

The median salary for this career, according to the BLS, is $66,020 per year.

Acoustician (Acoustic Consultant)

Acousticians provide expertise in the design and construction of physical environments that pay special attention to noise and vibration and the physics of sound.

The average salary for this career, according to Indeed, is $85,289 per year.

Sound Designer (Technician)

Sound designers create and record audio for film, video games, concerts, recordings, and other media.

The median salary for this career, according to the BLS, is $48,790 per year.

Audio Programmer (Computer Science)

Audio programmers build audio engines and tools for software applications and games.

The median salary for this career, according to the BLS, is $131,490 per year.

How Much Do Acoustic Engineering Graduates Make?

Acoustic engineering is a highly sought-after career path that offers lucrative earning potential. With the right qualifications and experience, acoustic engineering graduates can expect to make an excellent salary in their field. Working as an acoustic engineer requires knowledge of scientific principles and specialized tools and techniques to build, maintain, and test audio systems.

Acoustic engineers with experience can also find themselves in leadership roles heading up product development initiatives in industries such as automotive and telecoms. In roles like this, they are often well compensated for their expertise, creativity, and ingenuity.

Starting Salary for Acoustic Engineering

With the right qualifications, an acoustic engineer can command a very competitive starting salary. According to industry data, entry-level acoustic engineers typically earn an annual salary ranging from $47,000 to $65,000, depending on their experience and skill set. Moreover, these salaries increase with seniority and professional development.

With proper knowledge and experience, an acoustic engineer could feasibly climb the ladder and earn salaries upwards of six figures in certain companies or industries. Thus, to secure a prosperous future in this field, it’s important to stay informed of technological advancements and actively participate in professional development opportunities.

Average Salary for a Master’s in Acoustic Engineering

Professionals with a master’s in acoustic engineering could expect to receive an average salary of ~$88,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Engineers working in this field design and develop audio-related technology such as sound systems and recording equipment. With experience, salaries can reach up to $129,320 per year.

Regarding career outlook, employment opportunities for those with an acoustic engineering education are expected to increase by 5+ percent from 2019-2029.

What’s the Most an Acoustic Engineering Graduate Makes?

Acoustic engineering is a highly specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience. At the peak of an Acoustic Engineer’s career, with many years of experience in the field, they could expect to earn a healthy six-figure salary. This peak salary is due to their extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as the ability to utilize acoustic engineering principles to develop creative solutions.

Due to the demand for this type of engineering specialty within many industries, a qualified Acoustic Engineer may find increased job security in comparison to their counterparts in other fields.

Tips for Increasing Salary Potential

With the increasing demand for acoustic engineering services, building a career in this field can be quite rewarding. While it takes years of hard work and dedication to become an expert in acoustic engineering, taking the right steps and cultivating the appropriate skills can open up avenues for higher salaries and better job opportunities.

There are several things one can do to improve their salary potential in the field of acoustic engineering.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Pursue Professional Certifications or Specialization: Professional certifications or specializations in fields such as sound engineering, psychoacoustics, or acoustic design can give you the specialized knowledge and technical skills necessary to increase your salary potential.
  • Develop Knowledge of Acoustics Applications: Increasing your knowledge of various acoustical applications (e.g., music production, automotive engineering, noise control) can help you become more versatile and valuable as an acoustic engineer.
  • Network: Joining engineering organizations (acoustics/physics), collections, and publications can help increase your network in the field as well as make you more desirable as a candidate when interviewing for jobs.
  • Stay Up to Date: Staying current on new developments in the field of acoustics and related industries can help you get ahead of the competition and demonstrate your superior knowledge when looking for higher-paid positions.

Continuing Education After a Master’s in Acoustic Engineering

After earning your Master of Science in Acoustic Engineering, you’re ready to take the next step in your career. With the right continuing education, you can further develop your expertise and open the door to new job opportunities.

From advanced certificates to Doctorates, there are a variety of programs that can help you build on the knowledge acquired from your master’s degree. In the following section, we’ll discuss these options in more detail.

Advanced Certificates

Pursuing advanced certificates in acoustic engineering can be an important step for those who already hold a master’s degree. Advanced certificates are a way to further specialize and deepen one’s knowledge of the field, helping to better prepare one for career advancement and success.

Many universities offer advanced certificate programs that enable individuals to build on their existing expertise. For example, someone with a master’s in acoustic engineering could pursue an advanced certificate in Audio Signal Processing or Digital Acoustics, which would help hone their technical know-how.

On the other hand, they could choose to pursue more business-focused certificates, such as Music Production Management or Music Business Technology. These certificates would equip them with the necessary skills to understand and navigate the music industry, making them invaluable assets to any organization.

With the right combination of skills and expertise, those with a master’s in acoustic engineering can make themselves indispensable in the industry.

Doctorate in Acoustic Engineering

Continuing your education with a doctorate in acoustic engineering can take you to the next level of your profession and open up doors to new opportunities. With a more in-depth understanding of acoustic engineering, you will be better equipped to innovate, solve complex problems, and develop novel solutions.

A doctorate degree will also allow you to join the research community and deepen your knowledge of the field. You’ll have access to cutting-edge technology, resources from leading universities and institutions, and the chance to work closely with leading professionals in the industry.

Scholarship and Financial Aid Information

When it comes to pursuing a master’s degree in acoustic engineering, you may find that scholarships and financial aid can make a world of difference. Through the right combination of awards, grants, and loans, you can significantly reduce the cost of your education, making it easier to focus on what matters most.

Let’s explore ways to identify and apply for financial aid and scholarship opportunities that can help make your educational goals a reality.

Financial Aid

Financing a master’s in acoustic engineering can be costly, and prospective students are encouraged to explore all available financial aid options to fund their studies. Federal grants are available for those who qualify; FAFSA is the first step to applying for federal and private student loans, as well as work-study jobs.

Scholarships can also be accessed; many universities offer scholarships based on academic performance as well as financial needs. Employers may also provide tuition assistance or even partial funding for employees enrolled in specific programs. Corporate education benefits should be explored to determine if an employer offers such assistance.

Lastly, individuals may consider alternative financing options such as crowdfunding platforms, which allow individuals to crowdsource donations from friends, family, or community members themselves. With the right research and effort, it is possible to identify various forms of financial aid that make studying for a master’s in acoustic engineering more achievable.


Acoustic engineering can be an expensive and challenging educational pursuit, but there are many scholarships available to help make it possible.

Merit-based scholarships usually involve criteria such as academic performance or artistic talent, while need-based awards consider the student’s financial situation. Applications for these scholarships typically require documents such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, and essay submissions.

The benefits of obtaining a scholarship for acoustic engineering include substantial savings on tuition and books, as well as access to other resources that can help facilitate the student’s academic success. For instance, some scholarships provide mentorship through alumni networks, providing guidance and support throughout the student’s journey.

Scholarship recipients should use the award opportunity to further their skills as acoustic engineers by participating in additional research opportunities or internships. Many scholarship programs provide a financial incentive to stay in their field of study after graduation and contribute to their specific discipline.


A great way for students in the field of acoustic engineering to gain experience, sharpen their skills, and further develop their knowledge is through internships.

This can be especially beneficial for those working towards a master’s degree. Through internships, individuals have the opportunity to gain valuable insight and exposure while simultaneously building connections with other professionals.

The Benefits of Internships for Acoustic Engineers:

  • Get Exposed to the Industry – A great way to gain exposure to the acoustic engineering industry is through an internship, as this can provide an opportunity to learn how fundamental concepts are applied in a professional setting.
  • Connect With Professionals – Having an internship can help you make valuable connections with people who can offer advice and guidance throughout your career.
  • Enhance Your Résumé – Internships provide students with hands-on experience they can add to their resumes. This increases the value of your degree and makes you more marketable in an increasingly competitive job market.
  • Advance Your Skills – Internships offer the chance to develop and refine your skill set in a real-world environment. You’ll gain experience in areas like testing equipment, analytical problem-solving, and research methodology.
  • Access a Wider Network – Companies may be more likely to hire you once they see what you can do. An internship could lead to other job opportunities down the line, or help you find a mentor.
  • Gain Insight & Perspective – Internships are a great way to gain insight into the activities of a company. You will also learn how to collaborate as part of a team, as well as discover what everyday life is like in the workplace.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How Much Does a Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Cost?

The cost of a master’s degree in acoustic engineering can vary depending on the specific program and the university. Generally, master’s degree in acoustic engineering programs focus on audio technology, music engineering, musical acoustics, sonic arts, and other related fields. Costs can range from around $10,000 to upwards of $50,000 annually, depending on if you attend a public college or private university.

Is a Master’s in Acoustic Engineering Degree Worth It?

A master’s degree in acoustic engineering may be worth it if you’re hoping to advance your career or acquire new skills related to audio engineering and music production. A master’s degree in acoustic engineering can equip you with the technical and analytical tools needed to become a successful engineer in the modern workplace.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Acoustic Engineering?

Earning a master’s degree in acoustic engineering through an online program typically takes two full years of coursework. However, some universities offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete their degrees more rapidly, often within one year.

Is a Master’s Degree Required to Advance in Acoustic Engineering?

While a master’s degree is not always required to advance in acoustic engineering, having one can open opportunities for more specialized positions such as audio producer, audio technician, or sound engineer. Generally, the higher your educational credentials, the more competitive you become for these types of jobs.

Are Acoustic Engineering Jobs in Demand?

Yes, acoustic engineering jobs are in demand. Acoustic engineering is an ever-evolving industry, and recent advancements have made the need for acoustic engineers even greater. With the advent of virtual reality, virtual spaces, and other technologies, the demand for acoustic engineers to design these spaces and test their audio capabilities is only increasing.

What Industries Are Hiring Acoustic Engineering Graduates that have a Master’s Degree?

A wide variety of industries are seeking acoustic engineers with a master’s degree. Companies like Apple, Nokia, Motorola, and Adobe all have positions available for acoustic engineers, as do many other companies in the tech sector as well as entertainment and media firms. There is also high demand for acoustic engineers in research and development roles.

Is an Online Master’s in Acoustic Engineering the Same as an On-Campus Degree?

Yes and no. Generally speaking, the curriculum for an online master’s degree in Acoustic engineering is the same as an on-campus degree, but there are some differences. Online programs tend to be more flexible and don’t require students to leave the comfort of their homes when completing assignments. However, on-campus programs provide more hands-on experience, which may make them preferable for certain job opportunities.


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