COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The BM in composition is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (composition, orchestration, and counterpoint), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, keyboard instruction, conducting, large ensemble) and USC’s general education and writing program. A senior recital is required.

The Composition Program strongly emphasizes performance opportunities for student composers. Student works are premiered at Thornton Edge new music ensemble concerts, student department showcases and recitals, and at the annual New Music for Orchestra concert with the USC Thornton Symphony – an event which has premiered over 150 USC Thornton student orchestral works. The USC Thornton choruses, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and chamber music program provide composition students with significant reading and performance opportunities as well.

Our Program’s curriculum offers thorough training in composition, musicianship, theory, analysis, orchestration and counterpoint. Electives in electro-acoustic composition are also available. Students who complete the BM, MM, or DMA in composition at USC Thornton are given priority status for admission to the MM Screen Scoring program. Those wishing to pursue this option are required to meet with the director of the Screen Scoring program as early as possible in their composition studies at USC Thornton in order to determine which additional courses they must successfully complete (typically 5 units or less), and what other steps they must take (including but not limited to submission of an application), to secure their spot in the Screen Scoring program.

Which department am I in?

USC Thornton School of Music

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$57,256.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2022

Venue

University of Southern California

University Park Campus,

LOS ANGELES,

California,

90089, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

International applicants must provide official copies of academic records from all secondary or senior secondary schools, pre-university programs, and colleges and universities attended.

For international students

International applicants must provide official copies of academic records from all secondary or senior secondary schools, pre-university programs, and colleges and universities attended.

A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section); OR

A minimum IELTS score of 7; OR

A minimum PTE score of 68.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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