The MM in violin, viola, violoncello, double bass or harp performance is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual instruction, ensembles, conducting, Baroque music, music history and electives. A graduate recital is required.
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.
Unit and Grade Requirements
Thirty units of graduate work are required; a minimum of 15 units (excluding thesis or project) must be at the 500 level or higher. All students must satisfy the specified requirements of their major department (see department chair or academic adviser). Students must complete at least 26 semester units at USC, including the thesis or recital. A grade point average of not less than 3.0 (A = 4.0) is required for all graduate courses in music, and a grade of B or higher is required for all courses in the major department. Students who transfer credits must achieve this average on all combined transferred and residence units.
All credits transferred must be the equivalent of corresponding current work at USC. Course work completed at another institution that has been approved by the Thornton School for transfer credit must have been completed within seven years from the date of admission to a master’s degree program to be applied toward that degree. Transfer credit petitions must be filed with the appropriate Thornton adviser during the first semester in residence.
The time limit for completing the Master of Music degree is five years. Progress is measured from the beginning of the first course at USC applied toward the degree. Extensions will be granted by petition to the Thornton School for only the most compelling reasons.
Music Graduate Entrance Exams
All students entering a graduate-level degree program (MA, MM, DMA, PhD) at USC Thornton, who have not previously completed a degree at USC Thornton, must take a series of entrance exams in core music subjects. These exams are called Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEEs). Information regarding which exams are required for specific majors is available from the Thornton Student Affairs office. Also see the Thornton School of Music Admission to Graduate Standing section of this catalogue for specific policies relating to these exams.
One public recital is required of all candidates for the Master of Music degree (Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass or Harp), as indicated below. Candidates must apply for recital dates, according to the current guidelines of the Music Operations office. Some departments require that a candidate be prepared to play or conduct the recital program for the approval of a faculty committee in advance.
Candidates for the Master of Music must pass a comprehensive review toward the end of their course of study, usually in the final semester. This review, which is administered by the faculty of the major department, consists of an oral or written examination, covering relevant aspects of musical performance, literature, and/or technique.