Arts Leadership

Master of Science (MS), Graduate Certificate (GCRT)

Graduate Student Application Deadline

October 1st

Looking for Fall Admission?
Click here for your requirements

Current USC Thornton Student?
Click here for additional information

Graduate Application Requirements for Spring Admission

This section is for all Graduate applicants applicants including current USC students applying for a USC graduate program (Spring semester only).

All applicants are required to submit two separate application forms:

  1. USC Application for Graduate Admission
  2. Thornton’s SlideRoom application form

The total application fee is $115 ($90 for the USC Graduate Application and $25 for the SlideRoom Media/Materials upload). All required materials must be received by October 1. Application materials will not be accepted via mail or email. If both required application forms are not submitted by the appropriate deadline, your application will be removed from consideration.

Important Note: Upon submission of your application (both USC’s graduate application and Thornton’s SlideRoom application) and review by the faculty, you may be contacted by the Arts Leadership Departmental Coordinator to set up an online or (possibly) in person interview.

Preferred qualifications for the Arts Leadership program:

  • Bachelor’s degree (not necessarily in an arts-related field)
  • Working artistic background (three to five years as a working artist)

Applicants experiencing hardship or extenuating circumstances due to natural disaster or public health concerns in their local area that may affect their ability to satisfy application requirements may contact the Thornton Office of Admission at uscmusic@usc.edu to explore possible accommodations. Though we cannot guarantee that accommodations/exceptions will be possible, applicants are encouraged to contact the Admission Office as soon as possible to allow the maximum amount of time to consider the options.

***Current USC Thornton students – please click here for additional application instructions.***

Applying For

Spring Admission

Auditions Required?

No.

Questions?

Email: uscmusic@usc.edu | Phone: (213)740-8986

Complete the USC Application

Applicants must complete the USC Graduate Application and submit all other application materials required by the October 1st deadline.

USC Graduate Application Fee

The application fee for the USC Graduate application is $90. Application fee waivers are available to qualified applicants, and must be requested before submitting the USC Graduate Application. If you plan to apply for a waiver of the USC Graduate Application fee, please do so at least two weeks before the application deadline. The deadline will not be extended for applicants who fail to request a fee waiver in time. Details and instructions can be found here.

Transcripts

All transcripts are due October 1st. Please carefully read the transcript requirements below.

Scans (PDF format) of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended must be uploaded into the USC Graduate application. Official transcripts are issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Unofficial transcripts or documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Failure to upload scans of official transcripts may significantly delay the release of a final admission decision.

Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.

Program Materials Section

When completing the USC Graduate application, it is important to pay special attention to the following items that you will find in the “program materials” section of the application:

  • Thornton SlideRoom portal – A link to access the Thornton SlideRoom portal will be provided in this section.
  • The Documents tab – Documents submitted in this section will not be accessible to the Thornton faculty. Thornton faculty will only be able to review documents submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom portal. In order to complete this section, you must check the box indicating that you do not wish to upload documents in this section.
  • The Questions tab – Enter your SlideRoom Confirmation number where indicated (you will receive your SlideRoom confirmation number upon submission of the SlideRoom form).
International Applicants

Click here for important additional requirements and instructions.

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

All applicants must complete the Thornton SlideRoom portfolio by the October 1st deadline.

All Thornton supplemental materials must be uploaded through SlideRoom, which you will access through the link provided in the “Program Materials” section of the USC Graduate Application.

SlideRoom Requirements

SlideRoom Application Portal

A link to the SlideRoom portal is located inside the USC Application for Graduate Admission, in the “Program Materials” Section.

The SlideRoom application fee is $25 (fee waivers are not available). Thornton supplemental materials will not be accepted via mail or email.

The SlideRoom form must be submitted before the USC Application for Graduate Admission (Applicants can start both forms and work on them at the same time). Once SlideRoom is submitted, you will need to enter your SlideRoom confirmation number into the “Questions” tab, also located in the “program materials” section of the USC Graduate application.

Arts Leadership Essay

MS and GCRT applicants must upload the following essay as part of Thornton’s SlideRoom Application:

Answers to the following five questions in essay format. There is no specific length requirement, however applicants are being considered not only for the content of the answers but also their ability to professionally and articulately express their thoughts in written form. The questions are as follows:

  • What is your specific field of artistic practice? Why have you chosen to pursue a career in this field? What does success for you look like in this field?
  • Identify one truly significant obstacle that you have faced in your life that you overcame to become the person you are today.
  • The Arts Leadership course of study recognizes that we are living in a world in which multiple external events – developing technology, mass migrations of people, the climate crisis, and more are rapidly changing the world in which artists and arts organizations must function, now and in the future. Explain which trend you think is most dramatically changing our world and specifically what impact it is having or will have on the arts field.
  • Describe a situation in which you believe you demonstrated real leadership and that illuminates your ability to work with others to achieve a shared outcome.
  • One of the core elements of the ARTL degree is the Practicum Project; a “real world” organization, project, idea, or venture of your own choosing, that will serve as the focal point of your work throughout your time in the program. Give a brief description of what that would be for you, should you be admitted to the program.
Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

The résumé or curriculum vitae should list musical, professional, and academic experience and is generally 1-2 pages in length.

Repertoire List

This list should include works studied and performed. Etudes, scale studies, arias, art songs, chamber music, solo pieces, and original compositions are all examples of what could be included in this list.

Transcripts

All transcripts are due October 1st. Please carefully read the transcript requirements below.

Scans (PDF format) of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended must be uploaded into SlideRoom. Official transcripts are issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Unofficial transcripts or documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Failure to upload scans of official transcripts may significantly delay the release of a final admission decision.

Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.

Letters of Recommendation

1-3 recommendation letters are required from graduate Arts Leadership applicants. Recommendation letters are to be submitted online through the Thornton SlideRoom portal via the “References” section by October 1st. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the aforementioned deadlines.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Arts Leadership Specialization

The USC Price School of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Arts Leadership. If interested in this program, applicants must apply for admission to the MPA program through the Price School. Application requirements and deadlines for this program are posted on the Price website.

If admission to the Price School’s MPA is granted, students may then apply to the Arts Leadership specialization. To do so, please submit the following by e-mail directly to the Arts Leadership program director, Kenneth Foster (kjfoster@usc.edu):

  1. A resume or curriculum vitae
  2. The “Arts Leadership Essay” described above as an attachment to the email
  3. A written request for admission to the Arts Leadership specialization
  4. Request for an interview
  5. Faculty will coordinate interview dates and times with applicants directly