Music Industry

Bachelor of Science (BS)

In addition to the USC application, applicants to the Music Industry program must submit a supplemental online portfolio via USC Thornton’s SlideRoom by the December 1st deadline.

Any application not completed by December 1st may be removed from consideration.

As part of USC Thornton’s Music Industry program’s supplemental portfolio submission, BS applicants must submit the following items to SlideRoom:

Required:

  1. Statement of Purpose (400 – 550 words). You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose that communicates your plans and goals related to the pursuit of this program. Why do you wish to pursue the BS in Music Industry degree at USC Thornton?
  2. Two supplemental short essays (100 – 350 words each). You are required to submit a short essay on each of the following two (2) topics:
    • The music industry is changing dramatically every day. As of today, streaming of recordings is at an all-time high, touring has slowed down dramatically, and TikTok has risen as a significant music discovery tool. If you had a crystal ball that allowed you to look into the future, where do you see the music industry in June 2025? What would your dream position be within the music industry in June 2025? Utilize fact-based research, concrete examples of your own experience(s), and gut instinct to support your position.
    • If you were stranded on a desert island with enough battery life in your phone to play only one song—what song would it be and why?
  3. A video submission consisting of three (3) recordings: You are required to submit a video recording responding to each of the following three (3) prompts:
    • A 1 – 2 minute video that addresses the following: An introduction of yourself describing your background and passion for music and the music industry without using the word “passion” in your description.
    • A 1 – 2 minute video that addresses the following question: How do you envision being impactful in the music industry with your degree from USC Thornton’s Music Industry program?
    • A 1 – 2 minute video answering the following question: What do you think it takes to be successful in the Music Industry Program at USC Thornton?
  4. Résumé: You are required to submit a résumé. Your résumé should focus on the following:
    • Education- emphasizing your academic history;
    • Professional endeavors- identifying work, internships, and/or volunteer positions;
    • Extra-curricular activities – identify activities beyond your classes; and
    • Leadership – identifying leadership roles you may have held as part of any of your previous experience(s).

Optional: Music Industry applicants may submit additional supporting material. Optional supporting material may include, but is not limited to the following:

Letters of Recommendation. You may submit up to two (2) optional letters of recommendation for the Music Industry program portfolio (in addition to the recommendation letters required by USC Admission submitted via the Common Application). Optional letters of recommendation for the Music Industry program may be from teachers, mentors, or people who know you well, either within or outside of your school. The letter should be able to give additional context or information to support your admission that is not already provided in your application or other submitted documents (e.g., résumé, transcripts).

Musical and/or musical related work(s). You may submit up to two (2) optional musical and/or musical related work(s). Examples may include music performances, music productions, compositions or mixes, copies of music work, budgetary outlines, contracts, etc.

Notes:

  • Any optional letters of recommendation an applicant wants reviewed by the Music Industry program faculty must be submitted via the USC Thornton SlideRoom References form by December 1st.
  • Any optional letters of recommendation and/or musical work(s) sent via mail or email will not be reviewed by the Music Industry program faculty. USC Central Admission will not review any letters of recommendation submitted through the USC Thornton SlideRoom References form.
  • Any application not complete by December 1st may be removed from consideration.

For instructions on how to access the SlideRoom portal to submit your recording click HERE

Important Policies:

  • Applications for the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Industry program from those who have already completed a degree in the same field will be withdrawn and the application fee will not be refunded.
  • Important note for spring: Undergraduate applications are not accepted for Spring admission to this program unless the applicant is already enrolled at USC.
  • An audition is NOT required of BS Music Industry applicants.

 

Master of Science (MS)

Applications to the MS in Music Industry are accepted for fall semesters only.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A demonstrated passion for music combined with an entrepreneurial spirit

In addition to the USC graduate application, applicants to the MS Music Industry program must submit a supplemental online portfolio via USC Thornton’s SlideRoom by the December 1st deadline. The SlideRoom portal can be found inside the USC application for graduate admission in the “Program Materials” section. Any application not complete by December 1st may be removed from consideration.

As part of USC Thornton’s Music Industry program’s supplemental portfolio submission, MS applicants must upload the following items in SlideRoom:

Required:

  1. Statement of Purpose (500 – 550 words). You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose that communicates your plans and goals related to the pursuit of this program. Why do you wish to pursue the MS in Music Industry degree at USC Thornton? How do you envision this degree meeting your personal, academic, and/or professional goals for the future?
  2. Two supplemental short essays (100 – 350 words each). You are required to submit a short essay on each of the following two (2) topics:
    • The music industry is changing dramatically every day. As of today, streaming of recordings is at an all-time high, touring has slowed down dramatically, and TikTok has risen as a significant music discovery tool. If you had a crystal ball that allowed you to look into the future, where do you see the music industry in January 2023? What would your dream position be within the music industry in January 2023? Utilize fact-based research, concrete examples of your own experience(s), and gut instinct to support your position.
    • If you could pick any living individual in the world to interview, who would it be? Why did you pick this person? What would be the first question you would ask them?
  3. A video submission consisting of three (3) recordings: You are required to submit a video recording responding to each of the following three (3) prompts:
    • A 1 – 2 minute video that addresses the following: An introduction of yourself describing your background and passion for music and the music industry without using the word “passion” in your description.
    • A 1 – 2 minute video that addresses the following question: How do you envision being impactful in the music industry with your MS degree from USC Thornton’s Music Industry program?
    • A 1 – 2 minute video answering the following question: Tell us about the last time you took a risk. Was it the right decision? What would you have done differently?
  4. Résumé: You are required to submit your résumé focusing on the following:
    • Education- emphasizing your academic history;
    • Professional endeavors- identifying work, internships, and/or volunteer positions;
    • Extra-curricular activities- identify activities beyond academics; and
    • Leadership – identifying leadership roles you may have held as part of any of your previous experience(s).
  5. Letters of Recommendation: You must submit at least one (1) letter of recommendation for the Music Industry program portfolio. Letters of recommendation for the Music Industry program may be from teachers, mentors, or people who know you well, either within or outside of your former school. The letters should give additional context or information to support your admission that is not already provided in your application or other submitted documents (e.g. résumé, transcripts).
  6. GRE: Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), while not required, are strongly encouraged. A strong score on this exam can strengthen a student’s application and improve their chance of being admitted to the program. Please include your scores on the application form where indicated, and be sure that an official score report is sent to USC’s Graduate Admission office by the application deadline. Score Submission instructions can be found here.
  7. Transcripts: 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 online student system will not be accepted. Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.
  8. Important information for International Applicants: In addition to the application materials required of all applicants, international applicants must submit a statement of financial support, and certified translations of any documents (transcripts, diplomas, financial documents) not issued in English. Detailed requirements are available here.
  9. TOEFL or IELTS: TOEFL or IELTS scores are required from International applicants for whom English is a second language. Please include your scores on the application form where indicated, and be sure that an official score report is sent to USC’s Graduate Admission office by the application deadline. Minimum test score requirements and other relevant information can be found here.

USC Application for Graduate Admission

Supporting Information

It is not necessary to complete the “Supporting Information” section in the USC Graduate Application. We prefer that you upload the supplemental online portfolio, as defined above via SlideRoom instead. You will still need to upload your résumé where indicated, click through the “Supporting Information” section, and “opt-out” of submitting information there.

Important policies for those applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry

  • Those who hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Industry from USC Thornton are not eligible to apply to the Master of Science program in Music Industry at USC Thornton.
  • Those who earned a minor in Music Industry at USC Thornton are eligible to apply.
  • Those who earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry, Music Business, or another closely related field at another institution are strongly encouraged to review the curriculum and carefully consider the similarities and differences between the Master of Science program at USC Thornton and the degree they have already earned. It may not be advisable to pursue the Master of Science program at USC Thornton if it is very similar to an already-completed bachelor’s degree. Because application fees are not refunded at USC Thornton, prospective applicants are urged to consider these issues before submitting an application to the Master of Science program.

Audition

An audition is NOT required of MS Music Industry applicants.