Mar 30, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Music (BA)*

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The Bachelor of Arts in Music combines the flexibility of a Bachelor of Arts program with an in-depth education in music that includes theory, aural skills, music history and keyboard instruction.

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.

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)


  • Units: 4
  • Units: 3, 4

Lessons (6 units)

Individual Instruction at the 301 level in primary instrument/voice

  • 6 units total of individual instruction

Music Ensembles (4 units)

Ensemble Electives at the 300-level: four 1-unit courses

Foreign Language (12 units)

Three 4-unit courses in the same language

Music Electives at the 300 or 400 Level (16 units)

Electives (20 units)

Total required for degree: 128

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

Curriculum Areas of Study

Within the curriculum for the BA, students may wish to focus in a particular area of music that suits their interest and the faculty’s expertise. Students may specialize in one area or may design individual programs of study by choosing various combinations of electives that best meet their needs and career objectives. Relevant courses for each area are posted at One such option is listed below.

Vocal Jazz Option: This option is designed for students with a strong interest in the performance of solo and ensemble vocal jazz music. Students should take two semesters of Vocal Jazz Techniques, as well as individual instruction in jazz voice. Students may also perform in vocal ensembles and with instrumental combos.

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