The insistent ticking of your clock. The ambulance siren wailing outside
your window. The car driving by with its stereo pounding at full blast. For
acoustics students, these sounds are not just a distraction. They're homework.
Acoustics is the science of sound. It has more than a dozen sub-disciplines,
ranging from the way sound travels on the ocean floor (acoustical oceanography)
to the way we hear it (audiology).
The University of Hartford offers a four-year undergraduate program
in acoustics engineering. Many graduates of the program go on to work
as acoustics architectural consultants.
But such programs are rare. Most students enter acoustics by way of
a related bachelor's degree program.
So, where do you start? That depends on what you want to do. To be an acoustical
engineer, you should look for an engineering program that offers an
If you want to research the properties of sound, then physics will
likely be the best major for you. If you're interested in hearing disorders
and how people hear, then audiology will likely be your field. And
if you want to go into musical acoustics, you should look for a music program
that allows you to focus on acoustics.
Pennsylvania State University awards three graduate degrees in acoustics
-- a master of science, a master of engineering and a PhD in acoustics. You
need a bachelor's degree in an acoustics-related field (such as physics or
engineering) before you can apply.
Students in the Penn State program study topics like digital signal
processing (analyzing different spectrums of frequencies using electronic
equipment) and acoustical data measurement and analysis. Students choose
from over 35 different areas of specialization, depending on where
they want to work after graduation.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Physicists
For more information related to this field of study, see: Engineers
For more information related to this field of study, see: Audiologists
Acoustical Society of America - Acoustics Careers
What to do with your education
Audio Engineering Society Education Initiatives
Check out the FAQ section
Directory of Graduate Education in Acoustics
A complete list of master's-level acoustics programs from the
Acoustical Society of America