Applicants to graduate programs in the Thornton School of Music must submit the music supplementary application in addition to fulfilling all USC graduate admission requirements. Applicants to all doctoral programs, the M.A. in Music History and Literature and the M.A. in Early Music must also submit scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Any applicant whose native language is not English must also submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). GRE test scores that are more than five years old, and TOEFL scores that are more than two years old, at the time of application, will not be accepted.
Additional requirements for specific graduate programs are detailed below.
Choral MusicApplicants must submit the following: a brief resume detailing conducting experience; a statement of objectives; a repertoire list divided into categories of works sung, works studied and works conducted; three letters of recommendation; a videotape of both a choral ensemble performance and rehearsal conducted by the applicant, including choral works from several periods and styles, with at least one being a 20th century work. Master of Music applicants should have a minimum of two years' experience as the regular conductor of a choral ensemble. Doctor of Musical Arts applicants should have a minimum of four years' experience.
CompositionApplicants must submit the following: three carefully prepared scores and audio recordings of recent works; a complete list of all compositions, including dates and media; a statement of objectives; resume; transcripts from all universities attended. An on-campus interview with the composition faculty is encouraged but not required. Admission to graduate programs in composition is highly competitive and is limited to approximately six new students per year.
ConductingApplicants must submit the following: a repertoire list, clearly indicating both works conducted in rehearsal and those conducted in performance; an unedited videotape from the orchestra's side of the podium, no less than 30 minutes in length, of which half should be of the applicant in rehearsal; a statement of objectives; three letters of recommendation; resume. Selected applicants will be invited to present a live audition with the university. Such applicants will be contacted to determine repertoire.
Jazz StudiesApplicants must submit a statement of objectives, resume and repertoire list. A performance audition is required for admission to this program. Specific audition requirements, along with other entrance requirements, are reviewed on an annual basis and published in the Application Requirements section online at www.usc.edu/music. Most applicants will also be asked to sit for a written examination consisting of listening to excerpts, basic jazz theory and jazz history.
Music EducationApplicants must submit the following: a resume listing group teaching experience (one year experience or more for M.M. applicants, three years' experience or more for D.M.A. applicants); brief statement of objectives and professional goals; academic transcripts from all universities attended; writing sample (essay or research abstract on a music education topic for M.M. applicants, a copy of the master's thesis or written project on a music education topic for D.M.A. applicants); an audition tape, approximately 15 minutes in length, of the applicant's solo performance field; three letters of recommendation.
Music History and LiteratureApplicants must submit the following: a statement of objectives and professional goals; academic transcripts from all universities attended; three letters of recommendation; writing sample (one or two historical or analytical term papers or a copy of the master's thesis).