Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take Music/Recording Industry classes without formal application and admission to the academic certificate program?

Yes. Enrollment is open to non-certificate program students. You may complete nine units toward your certificate completion requirements before applying to the program.

Do I need to apply to the University?

You do not need to apply to SF State to attend MRI classes.

I want to apply to the MRI program. How do I go about this?

If you've read the information and policies, and all you need is a certificate program application form (PDF), return your completed certificate program application form with your check for $50 to cover the application fee.

What if I don't have 60 semester units above high school prior to applying to the MRI program?

Unless you have 60 semester units and are in good standing, you may not enter the program as an eligible certificate student. You may apply on a conditional basis, or you may take nine units in the program before applying for admission. If you complete the nine units with a C+ or above, you will be allowed to continue your course of study.

How long do I have to complete the program?

You should complete the certificate within seven years. Students have completed all the required courses and electives in as few as three semesters.

How many units is the MRI academic certificate program?

The completion requirement is 24 units. These are academic residence credit units and may be used as elective credit toward a degree, or, in some cases, toward your major. Of course, you may take more than 24 units.

Who are the faculty?

MRI faculty are Bay Area professionals with expertise in the music and recording industry, and up-to-the-minute information on what you need to get a job. You'll make many new contacts. Several of your fellow students may already be employed in the music industry.

What if I just want to learn how to be an audio engineer?

We offer beginning and hands-on courses in audio engineering as well as a full program of music industry business courses. We feel that anyone trying to get into the business should learn as much as possible about all aspects, including music industry law, management, and recording.

Do I need musical training to apply to the program?

No, you need not be a singer or musician, although many of our students are. We do not teach you how to play an instrument in this program.

Why do I have to pay fees? What about financial aid?

The College of Extended Learning is not state supported and must charge fees for its courses. Some MRI classes charge additional fees to cover the cost of course materials, studio rental, tape, and guest lecturers. University financial aid for academic certificate program students is extremely limited. See the financial aid section. For further details, contact the SF State Office of Financial Aid directly at 415.338.7000.

How do I get real experience working in the music business field?

As an advanced MRI certificate student, you may be eligible to apply for MRI 380, Field Study. As an MRI intern, you will be placed in a bay area agency, working with the pros.

Do you have any evening classes?

Yes, all of our classes, with the exception of a few upper-level audio classes (offered on Saturdays), are offered Monday through Friday from 6:30pm - 9:30pm.

Can I visit your facility?

You are welcome to come in for advisement; however, our intermediate and advanced level audio courses all take place at Bay Area studios. We do house our Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, and Innuendo courses on-site in Mac Labs.

How much does the entire certificate cost?

The certificate cost will vary depending on your chosen emphasis. The lecture courses are generally $250 per unit. Hands-on or certified audio courses cost more due to equipment and facilities needs. Students generally spend between $8,500 and $10,000 for their entire course of study within the MRI Program.

How long will the program take to complete?

The program can be completed in as few as four semesters; however, most students take five or six semesters, or two years.

Do you offer job placement?

No, we do not offer job placement; however, we do offer and require our certificate students to do at least one internship.

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