Music & Recording Industry

College of Extended Learning 

Dean: Dr. Alex Hwu 

SF State Downtown Campus
835 Market Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 817-4230
Fax: (415) 817-4299

Program Scope and Objectives

The Music/Recording Industry program is designed for students who want to learn more about the music business and audio recording industry through a structured program of study. Musicians, producers, engineers, lawyers, agents, promoters, managers, and entertainment writers can benefit from MRI courses. The program integrates technical skills in recording, business, and legal aspects, along with production and distribution elements, to provide foundations in the music business and audio engineering fields.


Program faculty are selected for their expertise in the technical or business aspects of the music/recording industry and their outstanding teaching ability.

Career Outlook

The Music/Recording Industry Certificate is designed both for the student who wants an overall basic education in the business of music/audio recording and for the professional who is seeking to broaden an area of expertise. Coursework in the program may be applied toward the certificate, or individual classes may be taken to learn or update skills. Students may choose to pursue an audio engineering or a business emphasis or apply the academic credit earned in this program towards a degree in related subject areas. Job categories include artist management, professional songwriter, record producer, audio engineer, sound designer, music publicist, music marketing, music journalist, talent producer, agent, record promotion, record distribution, studio manager, music publishing, concert production and booking, legal affairs, and tour management.

Certificate in Music & Recording Industry (MRI)

Admission to Program

To be admitted to the certificate program, students should have completed 60 units of prior academic college credit or have sufficient experience to demonstrate they can perform upper-division work. Students who do not have 60 units may be accepted on a conditional basis and are encouraged to apply. Students may enroll in up to nine units before applying to a certificate program.

Writing Skills

The certificate program's course content requires good writing skills. Certificate students are asked to demonstrate their writing ability soon after admission to the certificate program to satisfy the university literacy requirement.

Music/Recording Industry, Certificate — 24 units

The certificate program requires completion of 24 units. Nine units must be taken from a core of courses shown below, then a minimum of eleven units chosen from your chosen emphasis (Audio Engineering or Music Business), and the remaining three may be chosen from the following list of elective courses.

For complete course descriptions, contact the program director.

Core Requirements (9 units)

MRI 310Beginning Music Recording3
MRI 350History of Music Industry3
MRI 360Legal Aspects Music Recording Industry3

Emphasis (12 units)

Choose Audio Engineering or Music Business

Audio Engineering Emphasis

MRI 315Intermediate Music Recording3
MRI 316Pro Tools 1011
MRI 320Music Mixing Workshop3
MRI 380Field Study Music/Recording Industry (internship course)2-3
MRI 430Adv Audio Prod 1 (Fantasy Studios)3

Music Business Emphasis

MRI 331Introduction to the Music Industry3
MRI 355Music Industry Career Options3
MRI 362Music Publishing3
MRI 380Field Study Music/Recording Industry (internship course)1-3

Elective Courses (3 units)

MRI 312Ableton Live1
MRI 313EDM Production2
MRI 317Reason: Digital Music Composition2
MRI 318Logic Audio 1012
MRI 327Role of Record Producer2
MRI 329Live Concert Production2
MRI 330Music Business Publicity3
MRI 334Popular Music Marketing and the Media3
MRI 336The Art and Business of Songwriting2
MRI 338Studio Sessions Vocal Workshop2
MRI 340Music Artist Management3
MRI 341Music Mastering1
MRI 342Hst/Aes Music Record Prod3
MRI 348Independent Record Label3
MRI 352Artist & Repertoire3
MRI 370Producing Music Videos (Topics vary and are offered on a rotating basis.)2
MRI 530Adv Audio Prod 2 (Fantasy Studio)3
MRI 625Live Concert Sound1