Department of Music, Theatre and Dance

Recording Arts

For nearly 30 years, the Recording Arts program has been educating students in music and audio engineering. The program is one of the first of its kind on the west coast, with a focus on building a solid foundation in the diverse set of skills necessary to have a successful career in the music industry. The Recording Arts’ music curriculum complements the upper-division recording curriculum, giving the students experience on both sides of the glass. No matter how technical the curricular material, music is always our foundation as the Recording Arts is designed to facilitate musical expression. Courses such as music theory, aural musicianship, songwriting, piano, and other courses help students develop musical skills that will position them in a higher tier of engineers in the professional world. Our incredible state-of-the-art recording studios are substantial to nurture the Recording Arts program experience. The skills students learn in the major are easily transferred to a variety of situations involving recorded or live music and sound, so it is no surprise that we have alumni working in post-production, sound reinforcement, sound design for theatre, mobile recording, broadcast, studio design, AV installation, music production, just to name a few.

Employment opportunities can be further improved by pairing the Option in Recording Arts with the Option in Music Industry or with a major or minor in a complementary area of study.

Admission Procedure

All new students apply to the university as "Pre-Recording Arts" majors.

The Option in Recording Arts is an “impacted” area of study. Impaction means that there are more qualified applicants than we have classroom space to accommodate. As such, supplemental criteria is required for full status admission to the option in Recording Arts. (See below)

After completing the supplemental criteria (usually accomplished during the Freshman year), each student will submit an internal department Recording Arts supplemental application.

Recording Arts Supplemental Criteria

Each spring semester supplemental applications are made available to all current and transfer students for the Recording Arts program. All students are required to complete the following prerequisites before being accepted into the Recording Arts option.

Prerequisite coursework includes: MUSC 101 – Theory I, MUSC 102 – Theory II, & MUSC 109 – Introduction to Music Technology.  Additional supplemental application requirements: a 5 minute video interview, minimum grade of ‘C’ in prerequisite courses, and cumulative GPA of 2.5. Successful applicants will be selected on the basis of academic performance in prerequisite courses, video interview, and GPA. 

For detailed information on the application process please visit the Recording Arts Supplemental Application page.

Transfer Students

It is possible to complete all prerequisites before attending Chico State. Transfer students may be required to take a placement/challenge exams for Music Theory and Introduction to Technology during the application process. 

Interested students should review the supplemental application requirements. Contact Recording Arts advisor Dann Sargent ( for more information.


The Recording Arts option has been successful in helping students obtain internships and employment throughout the industry including Sony, Warner Bros., Ernie Ball, Warped Tour, Clair, Fantasy, Record Plant, Capital, Westlake, Hit Factory, Sunset, Jingletown, ASCAP, MTV, Live Nation, Clear Channel, and more.

While an internship is not a requirement for the completion of the degree they are an invaluable part of a comprehensive education.

Click here form more information on Internships

Computer Requirement

Each student in the Recording Arts option is required to purchase a specific computer software and hardware bundle.

Recording Arts Computer Bundle FAQs

Recording Arts Supplemental Application

Recording Arts Supplemental Application