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    University of Southern California
  Feb 18, 2018
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Jazz Studies (BM)

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The Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies consists of course work in the major, core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, conducting, large ensemble) and USC's general education and writing program.

Entrance Requirements

Admission to Thornton programs is granted through the USC admission process. Applicants are screened by appropriate faculty selection committees. Specific entrance requirements are reviewed on an annual basis and published online at

General Education Requirements

The university's General Education  program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program is effective for all students entering USC in fall 2015 or later, or transfer students beginning college elsewhere at that time and subsequently transferring to USC. It requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. In addition, all entering freshmen are expected to complete a General Education Seminar during their first year at USC. These seminars satisfy one of the Core Literacy requirements above.

Note that courses within the major will also satisfy certain Core Literacy requirements. Please work with your major adviser to determine those courses.

Capstone Projects

A comprehensive exam and senior recital must be completed under approved faculty supervision and guidance. The faculty of the department of the student's major program determines the detailed requirements of the recital, including content, length, format and other specifications. In cases in which a performance venue is required in order to present the recital, reservations must be made according to the current guidelines of the Music Operations office.

Curriculum Requirements

General Education *

  • Core Literacies

    GE-A: The Arts (one course)

    GE-B: Humanistic Inquiry (two courses)

    GE-C: Social Analysis (two courses)

    GE-D: Life Sciences (one course)

    GE-E: Physical Sciences (one course)

    GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning (one course)

    Global Perspectives

    GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era (one course)

    GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations (one course)


  • WRIT 150 Writing and Critical Reasoning–Thematic Approaches Units: 4
  • WRIT 340 Advanced Writing Units: 3, 4

Lessons (16 units)

Music Ensembles (14 units)

Electives (18 units)

Capstone Projects

Comprehensive Exam: 0 units **

Senior Recital: 0 units

Total required for degree: 132

* With correct planning, only 32 units (6 GE and 2 Writing courses) will be needed outside of your major requirements.

** Students must pass a comprehensive performance exam prior to the senior recital, which entails performance and improvisation, from memory, of songs selected from the "Jazz Studies Department Required Tune List."

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