Thank you for your Interest in The Institute of Production and Recording

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't find an answer to your question below (or if you simply prefer to talk to someone in person), please call us at 1-866-477-4840. We're happy to help.

About Creative Arts Schools:

Why should I choose IPR?

Choose IPR because its faculty, equipment and employment search assistance services give you an edge in a constantly evolving industry.

Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need for a wide range of positions in the creative arts industry. We specialize in training for production (not simply engineering), which consists of three major elements: the creative skills of a producer or designer, the technical skills of an engineer and the business skills of an entrepreneur.

What makes IPR different than other creative arts colleges?

There are many reasons why IPR is a solid choice: instructors with real-world experience, industry-standard facilities and equipment, opportunities for independent studio time, small class sizes, career services and much more.

When comparing schools, we suggest spending some time researching three main components:

  • Faculty. IPR's instructors include Grammy winners/nominees, Gold and Platinum Record recipients, Clio and Cannes award winners, certified expert-level instructors and other nationally recognized/published experts. Their experience and industry knowledge is invaluable, and they share their insights in the classroom, every day. Our faculty also includes Avid®-certified instructors who teach our Pro Tools® courses.
  • Facilities and equipment. IPR has nine recording studios that serve as classrooms and training areas and over 120 computer workstations. We believe students learn by doing, so our students get access to this equipment beginning early in their program. You'll also have the chance to record your own music without additional hourly rates or rental fees.
  • Career preparation. IPR's programs are designed to prepare you for jobs immediately out of school. Our career services department contacts employers to find entry-level positions or internships in the industry and match them with students. Though the type of job you get is based primarily on the work that you put in as a student, IPR's career services department can help you get your foot in the door.

What is the interview about?

Our admissions team meets with each student individually for an informational session. The interview gives you the chance to hear about the school in detail, get your questions answered, see the studios and workstations where you'll learn and train, and determine if IPR is the right choice for you. The interview gives us a chance to see if you're the right candidate for IPR as well.

Do I need an appointment to interview/tour?

Yes, and it's simple to do. All interviews are scheduled by appointment with an admissions representative. You can call 1-866-477-4840 or email us to schedule yours today.

What do you look for in the interview?

Because our goal at IPR is to provide the education and experience necessary for you to have a long-term career in the industry, we're looking for people that are dedicated and passionate about the creative arts, media and music and entertainment industries. We're looking for creative people that want to be "behind the scenes" and are ready to work hard to get the professional skills needed to be successful in the creative arts business.

Do I need to bring a parent along to my meeting with an admissions representative?

Most parents are involved in the decision-making process. If they will be helping you financially, we do require that you bring one or both of your parents. You may need them as a cosigner on a student loan. It is also to your benefit to have your parents understand IPR's credentials and career prospects.

Is there a GPA requirement for acceptance?

Not at this time. Of course, we encourage you to get the best grades possible while in high school. We seek students with the dedication and discipline to become good students at IPR as well as successful entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. Students entering with strong GPAs or SAT/ACT test scores may qualify for merit scholarships. Our financial aid department can provide more information.

Do I need a demo to get accepted?

No, a demo of your work is not required at this time. Experience is certainly helpful but not necessary. Many of the skills you will need to be successful in the industry are taught here at IPR.

How do I get started toward enrollment?

If you're interested in moving forward, the first easy step is to submit the enrollment application. The application doesn't commit you to coming, nor does it admit you to school, but it does save you a seat for when you would like to attend.

Is there an application fee?

There is a $50 application fee to be submitted with your application.

What happens after you receive my application?

Once we get the application, we will send you a welcome package containing a financial aid application, high school transcript authorization form, college transcript authorization form and immunization form. Then, if you haven't already visited campus, we can schedule your campus tour, personal interview, financial aid interview and (if necessary) college entrance test. If all goes well in the interview and your requirements are met, you may receive an acceptance letter within a few weeks.

Should I graduate high school first before I send my application?

Not necessarily. While a high school diploma or GED is required to start IPR, many prospective students submit their applications before they graduate high school. The college planning process can be long, so it may be worthwhile to apply and work toward acceptance while still in high school.

Is there a college entrance exam?

Yes. You may meet this requirement one of three ways:

  • A minimum of 21 on the ACT
  • A minimum composite SAT score of 1485. If the SAT was taken prior to March 2006, a minimum composite SAT score of 990.
  • An Accuplacer exam meeting IPR’s minimum requirements

The Accuplacer is designed by the College Board (makers of the SAT), and sample questions can be found here. The Accuplacer takes about 1-2 hours and is generally given here at IPR. We test in three main areas: reading comprehension (a minimum score of 35 is required for admission), sentence skills (minimum score of 35 for admission) and arithmetic (minimum score of 21 for admission). In many ways it is like the ACT test, where you read a paragraph about a subject, and answer multiple choice questions based on what you read. There may be study guide books available in book stores or libraries.

Do you have multiple campus locations?

No, there is one campus in downtown Minneapolis.

Why would I travel away from home to go to a school?

Those who are serious about becoming successful in this industry will do whatever it takes to get the proper professional training to position them for success. Much like the aspiring actor or actress would travel to Hollywood or New York City to maximize their opportunities, our students come from all over the country and around the world to learn from our esteemed instructors at our facilities.

Career Services

Does IPR help students get jobs?

Absolutely! IPR's career services department helps both students and graduates with career search assistance in addition to helping them prepare for various job opportunities. While we can't guarantee you a position, our career services department can be a valuable resource throughout your career development.

What can I expect from the career services department at IPR?

We will work with you one-on-one to help you find opportunities relevant to your education and experience. We can also assist you with resume writing, interviewing and follow-up procedures. The IPR career services department also offers assistance long after you graduate.

What kind of jobs do you train for?

In the broad sense, our goal is to teach students the skills required to turn their passion for the arts into a career in the creative arts industry. Many job opportunities will depend on which program students enroll in. Our students have found opportunities in visual and audio production (film, TV, videos, commercial advertising, music recording), entertainment business (record labels, management, promotions) and graphic design. There is a wide array of jobs in the industry, from entry-level internships to freelance opportunities to jobs that require extensive knowledge and experience.

Education Department

What is the length of your associate degree programs?

Associate degree programs at IPR are two academic years in length. Students can usually complete their programs in 18 to 24 months of full-time enrollment, although they are welcome to continue taking classes beyond the 97-99 required credits. Some students may finish their programs in less time.

How much homework or work outside of class will I have to do?

You should expect weekly homework and reading assignments. As a general rule, IPR suggests that you spend twice the amount of your scheduled class time reading, working on homework assignments and completing lab projects. Later quarters may require a greater amount of studio time for independent project requirements.

What is a typical class size?

Classes at IPR are taught in both lecture and lab/studio format. The majority of your classes will be in a recording studio or other hands-on environment. In these cases, our average student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1. Our maximum lecture class is 80 students, but lecture classes will generally vary in size from 10 to 60 students. In IPR's computer labs, you will have a maximum of 15 students per instructor plus your own computer workstation.

When are classes?

For most students, IPR is a full-time day school. Classes are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Most students carry 15-16 credits per quarter, which is about 16-20 hours of class time per week. This works out to be two to six class hours per day. This doesn't count homework or studio/lab time outside of class. IPR is on a quarter system, so every three months you will start a new set of classes.

IPR also offers an evening track. Students with full-time work commitments (for example, working professionals who want to enhance their competitiveness in the industry) may opt to extend their coursework over a greater length of time, taking classes between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and occasional weekend classes.

How long are most classes?

Class times vary from two to four hours in duration. Most classes occur twice a week for a total of three to six hours.

Are there breaks between quarters?

Yes. Our quarters span eleven weeks of class periods with one or two weeks break in between. Between Spring and Summer quarters, students enjoy a longer break. Many students choose to stay close to campus and use the facilities to practice their craft during this time. Others use this as an opportunity to travel home and spend time with their families. On the quarter system, start dates occur in January, April, July and October.

What software and hardware platforms will I be using?

Students are exposed to a wide variety of software at IPR, including the Avid® Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, Adobe Creative Suite, Ableton® Live and others. Many classes at IPR also feature "soft-synth workstations" like Reason and others from Apple®, Avid and Native Instruments, including a vast amount of virtual instruments and plug-in effects.

Will I need to purchase my own computer to complete my IPR assignments?

IPR utilizes Apple iPads® (Second Generation or beyond) as its chosen form of mobile device within its curriculum. All faculty and students are required to use the device within courses to enhance classroom discussion, assignments and use of resources. Within the course and addendum, faculty will appropriately notify students of specific assignments and use.

Financial Aid

How much is tuition?

IPR uses a tiered tuition system. Students attending 14 credits or more in a quarter will be charged a tuition rate of $390 per credit. Students attending between 1 and 13 credits in a quarter will be charged a tuition rate of $460 per credit. Because of our large array of elective classes, the total tuition depends on which classes are taken. Tuition and lab fees are subject to change. For more details visit our tuition page.

What financial aid is available for me?

Financial resources can vary based on qualifications. IPR currently offers state and private funding that could cover tuition, lab fees, books and even living expenses if you qualify. If you are a Minnesota resident, you also may qualify for the Minnesota State Grant. Once we receive your admissions application, you can discuss your budget with our financial aid department. Learn more about financial aid opportunities at IPR.

Background

Is it necessary to be a musician to be admitted into IPR’s audio production and engineering program?

No, but it can help — especially if you want to be a producer, since producers are involved in song structure and arrangements. You can, however, learn these concepts in your music theory classes. Many of our students' strengths lie in the technical end of engineering such as post-production for television, film or video, or in the business/entrepreneurial aspects of the industry.

What if I am a musician?

For any aspiring engineer or producer, a musical background is always beneficial. While we are not a "performance" school, being a musician helps you here in many ways. First, many musicians have an understanding of music theory and song structure, and most have an ear for pitch and for talent — all which help in the role of a producer. Second, if you are a performer, you'll be able to record your own music and learn how to promote it. Third, you'll be able to apply what you've learned into practical use when recording your own music. Lastly, the networking opportunities at a school like IPR are outstanding. Whether it's networking to schedule gigs with a new friend's band, meeting fellow students to collaborate with, or teacher/producers to give you constructive advice, the people you meet at IPR can change your life.

Student Resources

Does IPR help find housing?

While IPR does not have on-campus housing, our student services department has resources for students who are seeking housing. There are many options for local housing, whether you want your own apartment or want to keep rent low by sharing with roommates.

I will need to work part time; where can I find work?

There are many options for part-time work since we are only blocks from downtown, where there are lots of restaurants, theaters and retail stores. We recommend that students try not to work more than 10 hours a week if you can afford it — you'll want to spend as much time as possible at IPR honing your skills. Our career services department also has resources to help and recommendations on where to look and how to get started.

Where do students park?

There are many parking options in the area. Learn more about where you can park your car.

Are there bus lines nearby?

Yes. The Twin Cities has very good metro bus lines, and there is a bus stop just across the street from IPR. The student services office has full metro maps, including the light-rail network.

How do I get to your school?

We are located at 300 North First Avenue on the southwest corner in downtown Minneapolis. We have space throughout most of the building, but our offices are located on the fifth floor. Click here for a direct link to our location on Google Maps. Contact your admissions representative for parking details and appointment times.

What is there to do in Minneapolis?

Minneapolis/St. Paul (or the Twin Cities) is a growing metropolitan city of about 3 million residents, but many surrounding areas still retain a small-town feel. Overall, the Twin Cities are known as an artistic, culturally modern environment.

Music: There is a vibrant and diverse music scene, with many bands to see at a variety of clubs and concert halls. It's a popular tour stop for most big-name musical acts, and we have the fourth-largest jazz scene in the U.S. The underground alternative rock and hip-hop scene is growing quickly. There is also a wide variety of quality radio stations.

Theater: Minneapolis is ranked number two in the country for theaters per capita, second only to New York City.

Advertising/Marketing: The Twin Cities is home to countless advertising agencies and marketing and branding companies who services clients worldwide.

Art: The Twin Cities is home to many art museums and galleries, including the well-known Walker Art Museum. There are also a variety of art fairs, local showcases and festivals.

Outdoors: If you like the outdoors, you'll enjoy ample opportunities for camping, hiking, bicycling, boating, water skiing, snowmobiling and more.

More: There are also a great deal of other features, including professional sports teams, great radio stations, shopping and nightlife. Our people are friendly, too — perhaps you've heard the term "Minnesota Nice."

What is the weather like in Minneapolis?

It can get a bit cold in the winter months, although the spring, summer and fall are especially comfortable. Minnesota's changing seasons can paint a picturesque landscape. The winter months give you a chance to stay indoors and focus on your craft to get your career in gear while not being distracted. Because our studios and labs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are plenty of opportunities for you to expand your skills. Since you are in school for a short time, choose a school not for the weather, but for the quality of your education. Once you have the professional assets you need, you can choose the location you want to live for the rest of your life.

What's the next step for me?

Hopefully you've researched and found that no other school gives you the opportunities to get the right experience, teachers, the quality of studios and technology, and career services department. The next step is to give us a call at 1-866-477-4840 or request more information. You can also get started with our online application. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Inside Tracks

Inside Tracks is an interview and performance event that focuses on growing your career in media arts.