2023 Live Online Auditions

The following information is for fall 2023 applicants to the Thornton School of Music who are invited for a live online audition. All online auditions will take place live online via Zoom.  Please review the information below regarding policies, procedures, and logistics. If you have questions, please contact the Thornton Admission Office.

Online Audition Format

All online auditions will take place live online via Zoom. Applicants performing a live online audition will receive a link to their Zoom session 48 hours before their scheduled audition appointment. If you have not received your Zoom link two days prior to your scheduled appointment, please contact the Thornton Admission Office immediately.

Required Examinations

Examinations will not be administered on Thornton audition dates. An online exam is required from some graduate applicants.

Graduate Academic Admission Examination
All DMA and PhD applicants as well as Master’s applicants in Music Teaching and Learning, Community Music, and Early Music must take Thornton’s Graduate Academic Admission Examination.  This exam will be administered online on Saturday, January 14, 2023 from 8:00 a.m. PT to 11:00 a.m. PT.  Applicants must make plans to be available during this full three-hour time period in order to complete the exam.  Further details about how the exam will be administered will be provided in the first week of January.  Details about this exam can be found in the “How to Apply” section of our website (https://music.usc.edu/admission/) and have been sent directly to applicants under separate cover.

Undergraduate Music Theory Exam
An Undergraduate music theory exam is no longer required of undergraduate applicants. Admitted undergraduate students who choose to enroll will take a theory exam in early May. More information will be provided at a later date.

Exam Accommodations

If you require particular accommodations to complete either the Undergraduate Theory Exam or the Graduate Academic Admission Examination due to documented, individualized learning needs, please complete the Thornton Exam Accommodations Request Form as soon as possible so that the feasibility of specific accommodations can be considered.  Possible accommodations might include reformatted exam materials or adjustments to the time allotted for the exam.  While accommodations cannot be guaranteed, every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations in an effective and timely manner.  Requests must be received at least 14 days prior to the start of the scheduled exam time in order to be fully considered.

Audition Change Requests

Please be aware that every effort was made to accommodate applicants’ audition date preferences, but in some cases this was not possible.  We do apologize if this is the case for you.  Unfortunately, due to faculty availability and a variety of other factors, many audition change requests cannot be accommodated.  If you wish to change your audition appointment date or format (virtual or in-person) you may complete the Audition Change Request form, which will be available to submit beginning at 9AM PT on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  All audition change requests will be considered in the order they are received and requests must be submitted via the request form. You will receive a response to your request within 5 business days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Thornton offer instruments or equipment to applicants for the live audition?
A: USC Thornton is unable to provide instruments or audio/video equipment for applicants.

Q: Who will be listening to / judging my performance or interview?
A: Faculty members in your prospective major will be present in the Zoom appointment.  Depending on your field of study, between 2 to 10 people could be present.

Q: How long will my appointment last?
A: Appointments are generally 15 – 30 minutes long.  Appointments for graduate applicants are often a bit longer than those for undergraduates.

Q: When will I receive a final admission decision?
A: Graduate decisions will be released around March 15.  First-year/freshman decisions will be released by April 1.  Undergraduate transfer decisions will be released on an on-going basis between April 15 – June 1.

Virtual Admission Events

USC Thornton Undergraduate Financial Aid Session
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (PT)
Click here to register
Meet one of our USC Financial Aid officers, who will present information on the sources of need-based financial aid available to USC undergraduates and the USC financial aid application process.  This virtual session will be hosted via Zoom and registration is required to attend.

USC Thornton Undergraduate Student Panel
Friday, February 24, 2023 | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (PT)
Click here to register
Current Thornton undergraduates from a variety of Thornton majors will be available to share their experiences with you and answer your questions.  This virtual session will be hosted via Zoom and registration is required to attend.

Zoom Instructions

What to do on the day of your appointment

  1. Join the Zoom appointment about 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment.  The link to join your Zoom appointment will be provided in an email at least 2 days prior to your appointment.
  2. Make sure your display name in Zoom is the same as the name used on your application when joining the appointment, otherwise you will not be admitted into the Zoom meeting room.
  3. You will first arrive to the Zoom waiting room.  Be sure to watch for messages in the waiting room from the Zoom room host.  The Zoom host will admit you to the meeting room as soon as they are able to do so however, you may not be admitted to the room immediately.  Please remain in the waiting room until you are admitted to the meeting room.
  4. Once admitted to the Zoom meeting room, you will be greeted by a Thornton representative and given further instructions from there.  When admitted to the Zoom meeting room, please make sure your video is turned on and your audio is muted.
  5. When your appointment is finished, you may leave the Zoom appointment.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, you can find detailed instructions and tutorials in the Zoom Help Center.  In particular, the following may be helpful:

Zoom Guidelines

Helpful Zoom Tips

We encourage applicants to consider the audio and video quality of their online performance using the tools currently at their disposal, and offer the following recommendations: