All USC Thornton undergraduate programs in classical performance and composition combine a rigorous foundation of the finest conservatory training with curricular flexibility for students to chart their own artistic pathways. All curricular components are designed to support students in creating a distinctive musical voice and preparing for a fulfilling musical career.
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 music.usc.edu.
General Education Requirements
USC’s General Education program, revised in fall 2015, provides a coherent, integrated approach to the study of the liberal arts, with the goal of nurturing habits of thought that are essential for professional success, personal development, and meaningful lifelong learning. Eight courses are required in six Core Literacies, in addition to two courses in Global Perspectives, two courses in Writing, and one General Education Seminar taken during the first year at USC. With careful planning, certain courses (including courses required for the music major) can fulfill more than one of these general education requirements. Academic advisers in the Thornton School carefully guide Thornton students in making their course choices. This typically will result in Thornton students taking a total of eight courses (including two writing courses) in order to fulfill all of the USC general education requirements.
Young Artist Project
During the junior and senior years of the program, students develop and fully realize unique individualized, mentored projects related to their work as classical musicians. This could involve developing a hybrid performance, conducting original research, exploring new creative technologies, or applying creative expression to a pressing social issue.
A junior 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 recitals, including content, length, format, and other specifications. In cases in which a performance venue is required in order to present the recitals, reservations must be made according to the current guidelines of the Music Operations office.