Jun 17, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

Performance (Popular Music) (BM)

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The Bachelor of Music in Popular Music is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in the performance of popular music. This program consists of course work in the major performance area, core music classes, USC’s general education and writing, as well as electives to take advantage of the offerings of the Thornton School and of the entire university.

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 music.usc.edu.

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 Project

A capstone project 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 project, including content, length, format and other specifications. In cases in which a performance venue is required in order to present the project, 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)

  • Writing

  • Units: 4
  • Units: 3, 4

Lessons, Forum and Performance Class (24 units)

Music Ensembles (2 units)

Music Ensemble at the 300-level: two 1-unit courses

Electives (22 units)

Capstone Projects (2 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.​

**Drummers will substitute a class in guitar or voice.

***Keyboardists will substitute a class in guitar or voice.

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