Classical Guitar

Bachelor of Music (BM)

Application Deadline for Current USC Students

Spring Admission: October 1 | Fall Admission: December 1

Not a Current USC Student?
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Graduate Student?
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Undergraduate Application Requirements for Current USC Students

This section is for current USC students applying to the Bachelor of Music (BM) Classical Guitar program, including current Thornton students wishing to add or switch their major. All required materials for spring admission must be submitted by October 1. All required materials for fall admission must be submitted by December 1.

Note: This information applies only to undergraduate Classical Guitar applicants. For jazz guitar, please refer to the Jazz Studies program page.

The total application fee is $25 for the Thornton Portfolio in SlideRoom. Recordings/materials must be submitted online through the SlideRoom Portfolio by the appropriate deadline and will not be accepted via mail or email for any program. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline. Any application not complete by the appropriate deadline may be removed from consideration.

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 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.

Applying For

Fall and Spring Admission

Auditions Required?

Yes, 2 rounds


Email: | Phone: (213)740-8986

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

Applicants must complete the USC Thornton Portfolio for Current USC Students via SlideRoom. Applicants are only permitted to select one program through the SlideRoom application. Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to a second Thornton program must contact Brittany Jimenez at prior to the application deadline to receive instructions on how to submit a second SlideRoom application.

To access the Current USC Student SlideRoom portal to submit your application click here.

Important Note: Once in SlideRoom, make sure to select the form titled “FOR CURRENT USC STUDENTS ONLY” and the appropriate term (spring or fall). All other forms will require you to have a Common Application and current USC students do not need to complete the Common Application.

Applicants will be asked to provide the following materials in the SlideRoom portfolio:

SlideRoom Requirements

Prescreen Recorded Audition

Applicants to programs in Classical Guitar must submit video recordings to be prescreened by the faculty. Only video recordings are acceptable. The results of this prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. The video should be current. If you need to use video from a past performance, it must have taken place within the last 12 months.

For undergraduate applicants, the submitted video recordings must contain at least 20 minutes of music. The video program must include at least two pieces of contrasting character, and those pieces must be from different stylistic periods; ideally one composed before 1900 and the other composed after 1900. Etudes, sonata and suite excerpts, concerto excerpts, etc. are all acceptable.

Introductory Video for All Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants to undergraduate Thornton programs are required to submit a single-take, unedited, and preferably unscripted 1-2 minute video that offers a brief personal introduction and answers the following question: How do you envision using your USC Thornton education to become a force for positive change in the evolution of the music profession and music as an art form?

Young Artist Project Video

The classical music profession is changing, and we’re changing with it. USC Thornton’s undergraduate classical music curriculum (called “The ReDesign”) maintains a rigorous foundation of the finest conservatory training, while also offering flexibility for students to chart their own artistic pathway. We aim to create musical leaders who can not only take advantage of traditional opportunities, but also discover new ones – and even create their own. All four years are aimed at the two things most important to musicians: taking their musicianship to the highest levels and preparing for a thriving professional life.

At the heart of the ReDesign is the Young Artist Project. This individualized, mentored project is pursued during the junior and senior years of the program, and requires students to develop and fully realize a unique project related to their work as a classical musician. This could involve developing a hybrid performance, conducting original research, exploring new technologies, or applying creative expression to a pressing social issue.

To help us get to know our applicants and their unique identity as young musicians, all applicants to undergraduate programs in the Thornton School are required to submit (via SlideRoom) a single-take, unedited, and preferably unscripted video of no more than two minutes. In this video applicants must answer the following question: If you were pitching your Young Artist Project idea today, what is the most daring project you would propose and why?”


The résumé 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.

Academic Information

Current USC students are required to submit an unofficial USC transcript and “Registered Course List” available through myUSC.

To access your “Unofficial Transcript,” log into myUSC ( and click “OASIS.” Under “Course Information,” select “Unofficial Transcript,” which is the history of your completed courses including units and grades. Important note: the STARS report will not be accepted in lieu of the “Unofficial Transcript.”

  • Note: If you are currently enrolled in your first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses, upload a PDF document with the following statement: “I am currently enrolled in my first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses at USC.”

To access your “Registered Course List,” log into myUSC ( and click “OASIS.” Click “Continue” to access your course information and then select “Registered Course List.”

  • Note: you only need to upload your registered courses for the current fall semester.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

Optional letters of recommendation for the Thornton School may be submitted through the SlideRoom References section. Important notes for optional letters of recommendation:

  • Any optional letters of recommendation you want reviewed by the faculty must be submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom References form by the appropriate deadline (October 1 for spring admission, December 1 for fall admission). We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline.
  • Any recommendations sent via mail or email will not be reviewed by the faculty.
Consent Form

Applicants to the Thornton School will be required to complete and upload the following form in SlideRoom:

Slideroom Media Troubleshooting Tips

For helpful Slideroom media upload troubleshooting tips, please click here.

Perform Audition if Invited

The results of the prescreen recorded audition will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Notice of the results of the prescreen audition will be sent to applicants via email 3-4 weeks after the application deadline, which will include the date and time of the audition, if invited.

Live Audition Requirements

It is not necessary that the repertoire submitted as prescreening material be included in what will be performed at the live audition, and the prescreening material does not need to conform to the live audition repertoire requirement described below. Applicants should prepare the following:

  • Twenty minutes of solo pieces from the classical guitar literature should be prepared for the live audition.
  • Two of the selections should be of contrasting styles (renaissance, baroque, romantic, Spanish, contemporary, etc.). If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.
  • In addition, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate the proficient use of both apoyando (rest stroke) and tirando (free stroke), as evidenced in the prepared audition repertoire, or with representative technical exercises such as selections from the Giuliani 120 Studies for the Right Hand and major and minor scales from the Shearer or Segovia or similar pedagogical systems on request.
  • Sightreading may also be tested at the time of audition.