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The New York State Department of Education has officially accredited the audio and music engineering (AME) degree. However, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has not yet recognized the program.
ABET accreditation gives students the ability to take the professional engineering license exams immediately after graduating. All other programs offered by the Hajim School of Engineering are ABET accredited, and in all likelihood, AME will be as well.

Currently, 33 students are pursuing the degree; the program also includes 15 interested freshmen as well as two seniors.
Electrical and computer engineering professor and AME program chair Mark Bocko describes the program as sitting at the intersection of several different fields.

“It’s a combination of music, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science,” Bocko said. “It doesn’t represent a brand new area as much as it does a combination of areas that sit together well under the umbrella of music and science.”
Sophomore Cole Oppedisano is enthusiastic about the degree.

“I’m passionate about music, more on the production side,” Oppedisano said. “Whatever profession I go into, the knowledge I gain from this major will put me in a place that no other degree could.”

Senior Jeff Citron is staying an extra year to complete the degree. Although he was initially a physics major, after Citron discovered the opportunity to pursue AME, he decided to switch.

“It married my interests in physics and technology with my passion for music,” he said.

He also emphasized the value of UR’s program in particular.

“This program offers more of a classical engineering angle, which other schools don’t,” he said. “It very much strengthens the degree.”

The program has a very experiential focus, which the technology and space available in the newly-built Rettner Hall will help accommodate. By the spring, qualified students will have 24/7 access to the sound studio.

Currently, one sound studio is available for classes and student work, but Rettner brings additional recording studio space and new, state-of-the-art technology that will really allow students to delve into hands-on experience.

“Experiential, hands-on learning, design, and the creative process are the foundation of the program,” Bocko said. “The whole program is built around the students developing a portfolio of projects. [Students] do about five to six major projects, including a senior design project. This is an idea that I think is useful across all of engineering, but since AME is new we were able to put them in place right off the bat.”

Citron, who will be a member of the first AME graduating class at the end of this year, is excited about the prospect.

“I’m really glad [UR] is building up the program,” he said. “It feels like I’m part of something new and fresh, and there’s lots of room to explore.”

Remus is a member of the class of 2016.

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