Music Technology

Music Technology Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Commercial Music Technology

Prepare for a top career in the music and media industries with this experiential degree.

Combining music, technology and entrepreneurship, a bachelor's degree in music technology from PennWest California provides you with the tools and experience you need for a rewarding career in today's music and media industries.

This four-year program fuses traditional approaches to the study of music, music history, music theory and performance with study of contemporary musical influences, ensembles, applications, music engineering and today's recorded commercial music.

Become a modern musician at PennWest California.

  • Gain proficiency in vocal performance or on the instrument of your choice, and read, write and analyze musical scores. 
  • Learn foundational skills of audio engineering and digital music production using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
  • Understand how to be a successful entrepreneur in a fast-paced and competitive industry.
  • Become certified in ProTools, and well versed in other key music production software titles.

Program Highlights: Commercial Music Technology

Hands-on Experience: Apply knowledge from program courses to real-life situations. PennWest California music technology students complete 240 hours of hands-on experience in the areas of audio post-production, live sound reinforcement and digital video production.

Top Internships: There are endless opportunities for internships through PennWest California's commercial music technology program. Our students work in recording studios and on stage, in radio stations and in theaters. Our students have worked in some of the hottest music cities ­- Nashville, Atlanta, Austin, Pittsburgh and New York City to name just a few!

Learn about applying

One of 
a few public universities in Pennsylvania that is a recognized Avid Learning Partner offering up-to-date User Certification in Avid's ProTools recording software.
On-campus vocal and instrumental ensembles for students interested in performing.
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Degree Benefits

We constantly update our program to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed by today's music and media professionals.

  • Train in an instrument (including voice), music theory, history and ensemble performance.
  • Create a professional portfolio of studio recording, live sound and post-production projects.
  • Use up-to-date hardware and software to create mixed-media projects.
  • Learn about the modern music industry and gain career skills that will set you apart from the competition.
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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California's commercial music technology degree can prepare you for rewarding careers in music performance, commercial music production and engineering, radio and TV broadcasting, and mixed-media production. Alumni job titles include:

  • Director of Audio/Visual Events
  • Audio and Lighting Technician
  • Music Center Owner and Entrepreneur
  • Audio Engineer
  • Audio Visual Specialist

Curriculum, Admission Requirements, and Related Programs


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
CDC 101  Public Speaking
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
DMT 180  Foundations of Digital Media
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
MUS 100  Intro to Music 
Natural Sciences
CMD 221  Speech Science
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis
MUS 300  Jazz: History, Form and Analysis
General Education Options
  • THE 211  Lighting I
  • ENG 217  Scientific and Tech. Writing I
  • Student-Selected General Education Option Course
Core Major Courses 33
MUS 211  Keyboard Class 3
MUS 215  Comprehensive Musicianship I 3
MUS 315  Comprehensive Musicianship II 3
MUS 316  Comprehensive Musicianship III 3
MUS 416  Comprehensive Musicianship IV 3
MUS 425  Commercial Music Arranging 3
MUS 275  Music and Recording Technology I 3
MUS 375  Music and Recording Technology II 3
MUS 475  Music and Recording Technology III 3
MUS 476  Music and Recording Technology IV 3
MUS 477  Music and Recording Technology V 3
History, Form and Analysis Electives (select from list) 6
MUS 304  The American Musical: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 305  African American Gospel and Caribbean Music: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 306  The Opera: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 310  Music and the Media  3
MUS 313  Rock 'N Roll: History, Form and Analysis 3
MUS 314  The Music Industry: History, Form and Analysis 3
Performance Ensemble Electives (select from list) 6
MUS 187  Guitar Ensemble 1
MUS 188  String Ensemble 1
MUS 191  Choir 1
MUS 192  California Singers 1
MUS 193  Gospel Choir 1
MUS 196  Jazz Ensemble 1
MUS 197  Pep Band 1
MUS 198  Marching Band 1
MUS 199  Concert Band 1
MUS 307  Special Music Project 1
Applied Instruction Electives (select from list) 8
Brass - MUS 109, 209, 309, 409 1 to 3
Piano - MUS 119, 219, 319, 419 1 to 3
Percussion - MUS 129, 229, 329, 429 1 to 3
Woodwind - MUS 149, 249, 349, 449 1 to 3
Voice - MUS 159, 259, 359, 459 1 to 3
Guitar - MUS 170, 270, 370, 470 1 to 3
String - MUS 179, 279, 379, 479 1 to 3
Special Experience Electives (select from list) 6
MUS 485  Music Tech Practicum 1 to 3
MUS 488  Music Tech Internship 1 to 12
MUS 499  Senior Project/Recital  3
Required Business Course 3
MKT 300  Principles of Marketing 3
Business Electives (select from list) 6
ACC 200  Financial Accounting  3
FIN 304  Personal Finance  3
MGT 300  Principles of Management 3
MGT 303  Entrepreneurship I: Fundamentals 3
MGT 376  Cyberlaw and E-Privacy Issues 3
Technology Electives (select from list) 6
CDC 151  Producing Media Messages I
DMT 220  Digital Photography 3
DMT 225  Digital Page Layout 3
DMT 240  Vector Based Graphics 3
DMT 250  Digital Imaging 3
DMT 320  Digital Video 3
DMT 331  Web Publishing 3
DMT 340  3D Computer  3
THE 311  Lighting II 3
THE 480  Digital Performance 3
EET 110  Electrical Circuits I 3
EET 160  Electrical Circuits II 3
Free Electives 6
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): Any CMT listed in the Special Experience course menu
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): MUS 375 Music and Recording Technology II AND MUS 477 Music and Recording Technology V
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): DMT 180 Foundations of Digital Media

Program Notes: All prescribed courses, included general education courses, may not be substituted except at the discretion of the music department. Developmental courses do not count toward the 120 credits necessary for graduation, but are calculated in your overall GPA.


Admission Requirements and Auditions

Students wishing to enroll in the Commercial Music Technology program at PennWest California need to follow the procedure below: 

1. Complete an Audition Pre-Registration Form 

The Audition Pre-Registration Form is a MS Word Document that must be completed digitally and then saved as a PDF file for submission. Please use the following steps to do this:

  • Open the form and save it to your computer
  • Complete the form and choose to SAVE AS a .PDF file from the format section
  • E-mail the PDF file as an attachment to

After your form has been processed, the Music Department will contact you via e-mail with your audition date and time. Auditions are typically held the final weeks of February, March and April; however, exceptions are easily made in order to accommodate all applicants.

 2Attend Scheduled Audition

Once your audition has been scheduled, you will be e-mailed specific information that pertains to your day on the    PennWest California campus. Itinerary information, parking information, a campus map, etc. will all be provided to you in   advance of your audition. Prospective students should plan on attending all of the events outlined in the itinerary.

3. Audition Material

Before auditioning, prospective students should examine our Commercial Music Technology Audition Procedures Handbook , which provides a comprehensive outline of all audition requirements.

 4. Notification of Acceptance*

 The CMT program at PennWest California accepts 20 students per academic year. By scheduling and attending an audition, prospective students are taking an important first step the acceptance process. Students who have been accepted into that year’s 20-student cohort as a result of their audition will be notified approximately two weeks after their   audition date. Students who have not been accepted into the 20-student cohort will also be contacted and be given the option of entering the program as a “CMT candidate”. CMT Candidates are enrolled in many of the same            introductory courses that a CMT major is, but are given only one year to improve their musical skills, to acclimate    to life as a CMT major and to re-audition in front of the department faculty. After their re-audition, CMT Candidates are again informed of their acceptance or denial into the program. If a CMT Candidate is promoted to a CMT major, that student will join the 20-student cohort for the following academic year and continue their studies as normal. If a CMT Candidate is not promoted to a CMT major, that student will be advised by the music      department faculty of other majors or degrees of study that would most closely align with their professional goals. Alternatives may include Commercial Music Business or another Liberal Arts major with a Music Minor.

*All acceptance into the CMT program (including CMT Candidates) are contingent upon a prospective student being acceptance by the University at large. If student has not applied for admission to PennWest California, they should do so by clicking here.

Related Programs



  • Music Minor: A 24-credit minor, which includes private musical instruction with a professor and the opportunity to perform in vocal and instrumental ensembles for credit.



Top Music and Technology Facilities

Let your creativity flow at PennWest California. We offer access to individual and group practice rooms, our music technology lab and recording studio, as well as access to recording hardware and software, including studio-quality microphones, instruments and up-to-date music production software. Many students have cut EPs at PennWest California that are now on Spotify and iTunes.


Learn to Build a Business from Music Pros

We regularly invite music industry pros to campus and integrate business classes into the commercial music technology curriculum to teach you how to start your own business. Guests have included country music writer and producer Joe West, book recording and music producer Bobby Owsinski, and jazz legend Jamey Aebersold.

What's It Like to Study Music Technology at PennWest California?

Get an inside look into the program. Watch a video of students and professors talking about their personal experiences in the program and the benefits of studying music technology at PennWest California.

What Is A Commercial Music Technology Degree

      Top 10 Reasons to Get a Commercial Music Technology Degree

       What Can You Do With a Commercial Music Technology Degree

  Commercial Music Technology Software - Avid Certification