composition faculty


Bachelor of Music – Composition


The BM in composition is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (composition, orchestration, 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.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons (4 units)

MPKS 301 Individual Instruction (lessons) (4 units)

Music Ensembles (6 units)

MUEN 3__ Large Ensemble Electives (four 1-unit courses)
MUEN 3__ Ensemble Electives (two 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (38 units)

MUCO 135 Counterpoint I (2 units)
MUCO 137ab Introduction to Composition (two 2-units courses)
MUCO 235 Counterpoint II (2 units)
MUCO 236 Orchestration I (2 units)
MUCO 237ab Composition I (two 4-unit courses)
MUCO 336ab Orchestration II (two 2-unit courses)
MUCO 337ab Composition II (two 4-unit courses)
MUCO 434 Analytical Techniques (2 units)
MUCO 435 Counterpoint III (2 units)
MUCO 437ab Composition III (two 2-uint courses)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (46 units)

MUHL 231-332 Music History and Literature (four 3-unit courses)
MUCO 132ab-232ab Aural Skills I and II (four 2-unit courses)
MUCO 133ab-233ab Music Theory I and II (four 3-unit courses)
MUCO 340 Choral Conducting I (2 units)
MUCD 343 Instrumental Conducting I (2 units)
MPKS 250ab Keyboard Instruction I (two 2-unit courses)
MPKS 350ab Keyboard Instruction II (two 2-unit courses)
MTEC 474a Electronic Synthesizer Techniques or
MTEC 474b Electronic Synthesizer Techniques or
MTEC 490 Directed Research (2 units)

General Education (32 units)

GE Cat. I-VI One course from each of six categories (six 4-unit courses)
WRIT 130/340 Writing (two 4-unit courses)

Electives (6 units)

Music courses (2 units)
Music or non-music courses (4 units)

Capstone Projects

Senior Recital

All curricular requirements are evaluated on an annual basis and are subject to change. Students follow the curricular requirements as published in the USC Catalogue for their year of matriculation. A typical undergraduate credit load is 16-18 units per semester.