Full Sail University Reviews - Bachelor's in Music Production
Review of Music Production Bachelors Degrees
I am still currently enrolled and actively finishing my degree and feel like I should give an honest review. First, the accessibility of online classes. Their online course platform known as FSO is honestly pretty intuitive. Some of the best Web development I've seen in a long time. It's fast, simple, easy to use for anyone and everything is laid out perfectly. 5 stars on that. But that's sadly where the 5 stars end... Now for the Instructors and course curriculum. For online courses, you as a student often find yourself feeling like an after thought. This isn't to speak for all instructors because I've had a few that are really involved and would often respond and have in depth conversations about my troubles and how to fix them. To these instructors, I applaud you. The majority of instructors I've had though have been distance, take weeks to give feedback on assignments, sometimes after the class has already finished and sometimes just grade you with no feedback. These same instructors will often also have entire courses made up of Lynda classes and often times you just end up teaching yourself. Like I said, this does not reflect ALL instructors at Full Sail University. But the lack of custom course material provided by a majority of instructors personally is... disheartening. Another thing id like to comment on is the amount of online accounts you have to create. These are accounts youll create and use for one class and then theyll never be used again. I assume this is because these are partners of Full Sail and in return, a lot of courses are based off all these sites for traffic and exposure. Its honestly... pretty shady to me... It doesnt necessarily detract from the material... but its alittle much. Now on to time constraints... I will say if you have a full time job and work 40+ hours a week... balancing work, this school, and your life will be difficult. Possible but difficult so don't give up. So honestly overall... if you have other options in the form of attending a 4 year college in person, do that. Don't enroll in Full Sail online, or at least attend Full Sail on campus. Now this could just be my unfortunate experience and maybe I've just gotten unlucky but either way, this is what I've been through attending Full Sail Online. Also know that I will be finishing my degree as I've put almost 2 years into this and don't give up easily. So wish me luck.
I was expecting a little bit more from that college, in terms of workload and difficulty. Sometimes instructors challenge you over any reasonable limits, and sometimes you don't even have to submit anything for a week. This school might be frustrating at times, but it's a great experience. An important thing to say about that school, and about the music-related education - you not going to get a good job right out of college. Some people expect immediate employment right after college. That does happen, but it's a rare occasion. Don't expect much, and don't think it's easy. Oh, and be wary of inhuman scheduling here. I'm at the easy month now, and my classes start at 9 am, and end at 1 am.
The Full Sail experience is just like an experience at any other school. It's all about what you put into it. No school on the planet is perfect. And no school will guarantee you will have success. A school just provides the foundation of a career. It's up to the student to do further research and learning. Since I've been at Full Sail, I've learned so much about music, the music industry, the entertainment industry. I've learned things I would've NEVER learned on my own. I even released some songs, and have them licensed. I would've NEVER got to this point without Full Sail. I graduate next year, and where I go in my career is all on my shoulders. Full Sail lived up to what I was sold on. People say they fail class after class. Well, I have to say, that's not the schools fault. Sure, I've had a few tough classes. But I just buckled down and applied myself. There were maybe a class, or two, that I couldn't stand. But I made sure I passed just so I wouldn't have to repeat them. The nonsense about having to pay to repeat a classic......nonsense. You have a limit on how many classes you can repeat before you DO have to pay. So if you are constantly flunking, that student has to look in the mirror and blame THAT person, and not the school. I've seen a HUGE difference in my music, and audio engineering, knowledge before I became a Full Sail student, and now.
Let's get one thing out of the way: this is a college education where you will not be held by the hand the entire way. Your reward is directly reflected by the work you are willing to put into the program. In an online environment, the student has all the resources available to them to succeed. Rarely was I able to not get help in some form or fashion. While there are some instructors that took their time in responding to help, most were willing to offer their assistance when asked. What I have found is that there are lot of non-music people pursuing this degree and are surprised that there is a theory component to the program. News flash: its a MUSIC degree. You will encounter fellow students who struggle with the theory and may not do so well. While attending, I too was frustrated at some aspects. One being that I am a guitarist and the course is centered around piano and keys. This, too, is to be expected in a music degree. Here are some things that you will get out of the program; A clear understanding of modern recording techniques and tools inside a DAW, songwriting theory, and various methods and ways to navigate the music industry to make a living doing what you love. Just because you finish the degree, don't expect to walk into a wealthy career right away. Like most jobs in the music industry, there is a lot of competition fighting for the contract or hire. This school will at least give you some tools to be competitive. I used my undergrad to follow on to graduate school. I recently graduated with honors in an AACSB regionally accredited MBA program. Other Universities recognize Full Sail University as a legitimate institution. I'm active duty military and used my Music Production Degree to get on staff at the Navy School of Music to teach sound reinforcement and work as an audio engineer. I can validate for those interested that the curriculum taught at Full Sail is standard industry practice. I've had discussions with others with similar degrees from much more expensive schools and there are similarities in the programs.
Worst school ever. Their credits mean nothing. I went to Full Sail and worked for 7 years in Los Angeles. I made terrible money. Came across a lot of engineers in the same boat. Full Sail has no connections in the industry and you will be on your own looking for work. I am now back in school for electrical engineering and I can not get into schools or get financial aid because I already have a bachelor degree. Even though they won't take any of the credits because it's not a real school.
Full Sail University offers great programs for anyone looking to improve their resume but not for people trying to enter into their perspective field of interest. You get to learn and have real hands on experience with the latest technology and my complete experience while attending was rather excellent. However, besides being rather pricey (even for a "for profit institution"), it is only Nationally accredited NOT regionally accredited. If you're thinking about trying to transfer your credits to a state institution, forget about it because they will not recognize your degree. You have to start from square one, even with your Gen. Ed. classes. I feel like I've wasted my time and GI Bill but I do not blame the school. Do your research. Hopefully this review will prevent others from experiencing the same set back that I'm now having to endure.
Be prepared to owe a lot of debt when you get out. I'm served the U.S. Army and was using my Post9/11 GI Bill, and still owed money. I was there from Nov 2015 to July 1016 and now I owe $15,000. The school is fast paced, 2 year bachelor's degree and if you fall behind you may as well give up because the teachers will not help you whatsoever. I've asked the school for time off so I may have a break but I all my emails have went unread or ignored. I called but to set up an appointment and they looked at my as if I was committing a crime. I don't recommend anyone to attend this university unless you have very strong financial support in which case why would you even attend. The supplies I was given should have already been enough to become my own recording artist. The supplies included is a Mac Book, headphones, Scarlett 2i4 audio interface, microphone, and pro tools. Literally all you need if you want to come a recording artist. The task they give you is very mundane such as, "how to wrap an audio cord with no twist or bends in it." You could easily buy these items off the shelf and create a soundcloud to upload you music and go from there. I wish I would've know what I do now instead of incurring such debt of which I cannot pay. I can't attend other universities because they will hold onto your transcripts until the debt is paid off. Remind you, I'm a disabled veteran and cannot work at this time. When I attended there was a lot of false motivation and very poorly executed publicity stunts to try an impress students or anyone in general. I went to learn how to create music instead I learned how to wrap a cord in a very specific way. Another big blow was the fact I was attending the campus, not online. Everything you do, is online. The only class that wasn't is when you actually went into the studio. I myself had no prior knowledge of how a studio worked and even then, they expected you to know right off the bat what every item in the room is called, on the first day. I would not recommend this school, instead do your research for other schools.
I agree with the comments that what you put in, you get back, and some teachers will help you if they see you are putting in the work. But I have to say I did some online classes and the online experience is really not worth it! I think FS can be good on campus, depending on what degree you are and what you want from it. Having attended a lot of classes with students from the Recording Arts degree, I discover that you learn more about recording, mic settings, signal chain than actually mixing. They have 2 classes on mixing, and a lot of other classes on soldering, mic techniques, recording consoles, audio post, etc. I felt some teacher didn't really care if you were motivated or not and only wanted to be done with their day, and some questions were left ignored. I feel the worst though, is the atmosphere some degree have. Most of Recording Arts students don't really care about their classes, most of my classmates spent their entire day watching netflix, facebook or basketball matches! Most of the students in RA are just here to make beats and don't really care about most classes, and that can make your classroom experience suck! You could say that I shouldn't pay attention to those students, but it's a fact that when teachers see 99% of students not caring, they stop to care after a while. In my degree, Music Production, the first 6 months were basic classes like Math, Physics, English, a little bit of psychology and some introduction to the jobs in the audio industry. Then it was half music theory, half composition/mastering of the tools in Logic, such as quantizing, sampling, learning how to different music styles, orchestration with sample libraries, arrangement, and so on. All the teachers from our degree give us feedback on our assignments or compositions, but when you finish the class, most of the teachers will rarely see you in person, but a feedback on email is always possible. I still have months to go to finish my degree, so I can't speak about career development yet. I would say, for 3d art/video game it is a very good school, for Recording Arts you're better working as a teaboy in a studio, I won't cost you anything and you'll learn quicker and earn money quicker that way. Although I have some friends who graduated and after a few months already were doing good freelancing, it depends if you've already built a strong network. For networking, I must say there's some pretty interesting opportunities sometimes, but most of the students I've connected with are really not on top of their game or show any real professional drive. Music production can be helpful to learn music theory and how to use LogicX and some production techniques. We only spent 3 classes in the studio so far, so most is done in the box. Some teacher are really good teachers and have a lot of work experience in the music industry, so it can be a good learning experience. Be warned that the less you know about mixing techniques and DAWs, the more difficult it will be for you to retain all the information you'll get at school, because the classes are intense and crammed into 1 month if you don't know anything about mixing, you'll only get 50% of the info, it needs practice to retain most of the info we learn in class. We learn a lot and very fast!
DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL! It is a complete waste of time and money. They will tell you anything and show you all their shiny toys just to get your money.
The truth is that in the real world no one has the money to drop on the sound boards that they let you practice on. The financial aid program is one of either you have the money or you don't, they do not help find anything for you.
If you have the money and time to waste on an expensive school in an expensive city than this is for you. If you want a quality education at a resonable price, stay far far far away from here.
If you passionate about music, get the gear and the book yourself. That's exactly what I remember about the classroom, reading manuals in silence. Not worth anyones time.