Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music in Recording Arts and Sciences program is designed to meet the expanding need for skilled audio technicians, producers, and engineers who possess both technical expertise and a sophisticated knowledge of music. This unique program based on the “Tonmeister” model of educating students towards competencies in the theoretical and practical applications of music engineering through coursework at The Peabody Conservatory as well as JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering.

Since 1983, Peabody has offered a five-year Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Recording Arts and Sciences and performance or composition (including computer music). Through changes to the curriculum leading up to 2021, Peabody is now able to offer Recording Arts and Sciences as a five-year double-degree BM-MA. During the fifth year, students pursue a capstone portfolio project that is evaluated by faculty and outside professionals and supporting coursework to complete the Master’s portion of the degree. Students who prefer a four-year experience may opt for pursuing the BM-only double major.

Program Requirements

The Recording Arts and Sciences curriculum includes extensive practical recording engineering experience in styles ranging from jazz, rock, and popular music to classical opera, chamber, choral, and orchestral. In addition to regular studio sessions with live musical groups, students serve as recording engineers for all Peabody performances, some of which require realtime mixing for a broadcast livestream. All recording majors are expected to work in the recording studios throughout the course of their enrollment and are compensated through the College Work Study program or part-time employmen. Following their third year, students complete an internship with a company or individual specializing in the area of the industry in which they intend to pursue a career following graduation.

Recordings Arts and Sciences exists only as a double major coupled with a performance major (classical or jazz) or a composition major (including Computer Music). Due to credit and scheduling conflicts, it is not possible to combine the undergraduate Recording Arts major with the Double Degree program at the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University or the Music Education, Music for New Media, and Voice majors at Peabody. However, there are classes available to non-majors, and after graduating with their BM, students can apply for one of the Master of Arts majors: Recording Arts and Sciences, or Acoustics. Qualified students pursuing the Music for New Media major have the option of adding the MA in Recording Arts and Sciences in their third-year of study and complete the combined BM-MA in five years (see details below).

The recording engineering courses at Peabody and supplemental engineering courses at Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering and Krieger School of Arts and Sciences require the following:

  • Entering students have a strong background in math and science, specifically calculus and physics (preferably AP or IB-HL or college courses).
  • Applicants with a strong academic background who have completed pre-calculus may be acceptable with summer coursework in college-level calculus prior to enrolling.

Five-Year BMRA/MA Program

BMRA/MA in Recording Arts and Sciences offers students the opportunity to complete a Bachelors and Masters degree in five years. During the third year of study, students have the option of interviewing for consideration to substituting the MA in Recording Arts and Sciences with an MA in Acoustics, thus replacing their fifth-year studies with coursework and capstone project required of that degree.

Four-Year BMRA Double-Major Program

Students who prefer a four-year degree now have an option to pursue the BM double-major in Recording Arts and Sciences with their performance (vocal or instrumental, classical or jazz), composition or computer music major. Note that the BMRA exists only as a double major coupled with a performance or composition (includes computer music).

MA Audio Sciences: Recording Arts & Sciences
MA Audio Sciences: Acoustics

The Master of Arts program in Audio Sciences was developed in conjunction with members of the professional audio and acoustics communities to offer students the opportunity to learn from faculty with extensive experience in their field, and to enhance their creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking through practical applications.  

At the core of both concentrations are shared courses in architectural acoustics, electroacoustics, psychoacoustics, and musical acoustics; specific to each concentration are courses that include Advanced Recording Systems and Advanced Studio Production, for students in Recording Arts and Sciences, and Architectural Acoustics 2, Graduate Acoustics Seminar, and Acoustics practicum, for students pursuing Acoustics.

Program Requirements

The curriculum is designed as a two-year full time residency program.


Bachelor of Music

  • Pre-Screening: Regular Decision (only) BM applicants to Recording Arts and Sciences will have their application evaluated immediately following the submission deadline. Candidates determined to have an appropriate academic background will be invited to interview. Learn more about pre-screening here.
  • Interview: Required of all applicants who pass the pre-screening, the interview is an opportunity for applicants to meet with faculty to learn about the program in greater detail, and for faculty to better understand the applicant’s background, career aspirations, and interest in pursuing the double-major. No additional preparation is needed on the part of the applicant.
  • Portfolio: Submission of a portfolio is optional for those seeking the BM program. Students with a strong audition or composition review who meet the academic requirements are acceptable with little or no recording experience.

Master of Arts

Audio Sciences: Recording Arts & Sciences

  • Portfolio – Required for applicants to the MA in Recording Arts & Sciences.
    • Include examples that demonstrate your range of experience in live or studio recording.
      • Submissions must be predominantly microphone-based recordings, not recordings that are mostly or entirely generated with electronic sources.
      • Acceptable formats: stereo or multichannel files in WAV (BWF) or ATMOS. You may also submit material in video formats (MP4 or MOV) if the audio portion represents your work.
    • In a single PDF document, provide details and (if possible) photos of:
      1. equipment used (microphones, preamplifiers, signal processing, DAW)
      2. placement of musicians and microphones
      3. the space in which the recording was made
      4. Please also explain your role in the recordings (recording engineer, mixing engineer, producer, assistant,…) and why you decided to use the equipment and techniques described earlier
  • Academic Transcript
    • Bachelor’s degree with a major in recording or a music technology area -or- music major with recording electives or outside experience -or- engineering major with music and recording electives or outside experience.
    • Coursework in calculus and physics at the collegiate level (preferred) or at the AP level in high school.
  • Interview
    • An interview will be conducted either on campus or remotely (see qualifications) during which faculty will learn of your experience in recording engineering and career aspirations, and to discuss in detail your academic background (particularly in the areas of music, math and science) and portfolio material.

Audio Sciences: Acoustics

  • Essay
    • Expand your admissions essay to include a description of your background relative to your interest in pursuing a career in acoustics and your professional aspirations. Please include applicable coursework, research, professional and/or other related experience in acoustics and audio.
  • Transcript
    • Undergraduate experience: Engineering major with music electives or other musical experience as a performance or composer/writer -or- major in music with engineering coursework (e.g., engineering-specific, math, science)
  • Interview
    • An interview will be conducted either on campus or remotely (see qualifications) during which you share with faculty more detail on your background and interest in pursuing a career in acoustics.