2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Audio Arts, MA

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James Abbott, Co-Director
315-443-4107, jsabbott@syr.edu


William Werde, Co-Director
315 443-3280, bwerde@syr.edu


Various faculty from the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

M.A. in Audio Arts

Audio Arts is a joint graduate studies program harnessing the experience and strength of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Four specialization tracks are offered in distinctive areas of audio practice: Music Industry, Audio Recording, Radio Horizons and Music Video.

The holder of an M.A. in the Audio Arts with specialization in Music Industry will be prepared to enter one of dozens of career paths. Graduates will embrace the trust-based relationship they must develop with artists and be able to think critically and constructively about audio and music and making a market in an art form. The student’s self-directed curricular specialization choices and internship focus will dictate the job options.


The Audio Arts admissions process seeks to measure applicants along several criteria in search of a holistic measure of student potential. Though experience in music and audio is valued in the process, the most important aspects in a prospective student’s profile are a demonstrated work ethic, broad and varied education and life experience and deep passion to succeed and contribute to the audio arts.


The Audio Arts Master’s Program was created to comply with and/or exceed the standards of two accrediting bodies: The National Association of Schools of Music and the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Law: Identify the principles and laws associated with free speech and press for the US, as well as compare the American system of freedom of expression with others around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances

2. History: Describe how professionalization has historically shaped the institutions in communications. Use knowledge of the history of the media industry to adapt to current communications.

3. U.S. Diversity: Explain mass communications in relation to social identities such as gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in American society

4. Global Diversity: Recognize how the diversity of peoples and cultures has shaped mass communications in a global society

5. Visual Communication: Apply theories and concepts of design and visual communication to the use and presentation of images and information

6. Ethics: Recognize professional ethical principles and apply them in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity

7. Critical Thinking: Critically, creatively and/or independently consider problems and issues relevant to the communications professions

8. Research: Conduct research and/or evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions

9. Writing: Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve

10. Critical Evaluation: Evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness

11. Statistics: Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts

12. Technology: Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work

13. Contribute to knowledge appropriate to the communications profession in which they work.

Program Requirements

Capstone in Audio Arts, choose one:

Electives: 12 credits

Electives include twelve credits of specialization to focus on an individual’s interests and strengths. The curriculum will allow for enough elective flexibility to create a “focus area”:

Fields of specialization

  • Music Industry
  • Sound Production & Arts
  • Radio Horizons
  • Music Video

Note on Newhouse School-wide Requirements for Graduate Programs

The required law and research components are fulfilled with the following coursework:

Together, these courses introduce students to the practice and application of research to audio arts issues and ideas. The dynamic context of entrepreneurial foundations is a particularly fitting place for students in the program to develop their research skills in anticipation of the uncertain and often volatile audio arts fields they will one day lead.

In addition, the Research for Entertainment Media class (TRF 696 ) will be an elective part of each area of audio arts specialization.

Transfer Credit

Up to 6 credits of approved non-matriculated graduate coursework

Satisfactory Progress:

3.0 Minimum GPA required for Graduation

Total Credits Required: 36

Degree Awarded: M.A. in Audio Arts

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