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Jazz Studies

Bachelor of Music – Jazz Studies (Instrument only)

  • The program details described below are subject to change. Actual degree requirements for a given academic year may differ from what is listed here.
  • Refer to the 2016-2017 USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements.
  • See the Thornton Admission page for specific application information.
  • Current students should refer to the specific requirements list for their major, which is available through the Thornton Student Affairs office.


The BM in Jazz Studies is a four-year, 132-unit program, consisting of courses in the major, including individual instruction, theory, history, ensembles, and related topics, coupled with the University’s general education and writing programs. The program culminates with a senior recital.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons (16 units)

MUJZ 153-453 Individual Instruction (lessons) (eight 2-unit courses)

Music Ensembles (14 units)

MUEN 329 Jazz Ensemble (big bands and ensembles other than combo) (six 1-unit courses)
MUEN 332 Jazz Chamber Music (combo) (eight 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (28 units)

MUJZ 141ab Basic Keyboard Skills for the Improviser (two 2-unit courses)
MUJZ 195 Jazz Elements I (four 2-unit courses)
MUJZ 305ab Advanced Jazz Theory (two 2-unit courses)
MUJZ 395 Jazz Elements II (four 2-unit courses)
MUJZ 400 Arranging for Jazz Ensemble (2 units)
MUJZ 443 Jazz Pedagogy (2 units)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (24 units)

MUCO 132ab Aural Skills (two 2-unit courses)
MUCO 133ab Music Theory (two 3-unit courses)
MUSC 496 Careers in Music (2 units)
MUHL Music History and Literature (three 4-unit courses)

General Education (32 units)

GE Six 4-unit courses in various fields of study
(see http://dornsife.usc.edu/2015ge for detailed requirements)
WRIT 150/340 Two 4-unit courses in Writing

Electives (18 units)

Music or non-music courses (18 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.