Music Industry

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Undergraduate Application Deadline

December 1st (First-year and Transfer)

Undergraduate Application Requirements

This section is for all first-year and transfer applicants from outside of USC applying to the Bachelor of Science (BS) Music Industry program for the fall semester. USC does not accept applications for spring admission unless you are already a current USC student.

Note: This information applies only to undergraduate Music Industry applicants. Current USC students should follow the change/addition of major application process.

All required materials must be submitted by December 1. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after December 1. Any application not complete by December 1st may be removed from consideration.

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of Science degree in Music Industry program from those who have already completed a degree in the same field will be withdrawn and the application fee will not be refunded.

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.

Applying For

Fall Admission

Auditions Required?

No.

Questions?

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

Complete the USC Application

All applicants must complete the USC Undergraduate Application and submit all other application materials required by USC Admission by the December 1st deadline: First-year applicants, Transfer applicants, International applicants. The USC Undergraduate Application fee is $85. Click here for more information.

First-Year/Freshman: Important Notes for Completing the Common Application
  • Early Action (EA) is not available for majors requiring a portfolio or audition, which includes all undergraduate Thornton majors. Therefore, all first-year/freshman applicants to the Thornton School must select the “Regular Decision” option for the “Preferred admission plan” in the Common Application. Applicants will not be able to select a Thornton major under the “Early Action” admission plan in the Common Application.
  • Undergraduate applicants to the Thornton School are only permitted to select one Thornton major through the Common Application and it must be selected as the first-choice major.
  • Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to a second Thornton major must complete the Second Major Request process by December 1. Please note that it is important to plan ample time to complete this process. Click here for Second Major Request instructions.
  • The final application deadline for undergraduate applicants to the Thornton School is December 1. The Common Application will list multiple deadlines but all Thornton applicants must complete both the USC Undergraduate Application process and the Thornton SlideRoom Portfolio by the December 1 deadline to be considered for admission. Applicants who fail to complete the application process by December 1 may be removed from consideration.
Transfers: Important Notes for Completing the Common Application
  • Undergraduate applicants to the Thornton School are only permitted to select one Thornton major through the Common Application and it must be selected as the first-choice major.
  • Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to a second Thornton major must complete the Second Major Request process by December 1. Please note that it is important to plan ample time to complete this process. Click here for Second Major Request instructions.
  • The final application deadline for undergraduate applicants to the Thornton School is December 1. The Common Application will list multiple deadlines but all Thornton applicants must complete both the USC Undergraduate Application process and the Thornton SlideRoom Portfolio by the December 1 deadline to be considered for admission. Applicants who fail to complete the application process by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

All applicants must complete the Thornton SlideRoom portfolio by the December 1st deadline. The SlideRoom application fee is $25. First-year applicants who receive a Common Application fee waiver will automatically have their SlideRoom fee waived. Transfer applicants who receive a Common Application fee waiver must email Brittany Jimenez at seits@usc.edu by November 1 to request a SlideRoom fee waiver.

All Thornton supplemental materials must be uploaded through SlideRoom, which you will access through the link provided in the “Portfolio Instructions” section in the Common Application (see details below). Thornton supplemental materials will not be accepted via mail or email.

All first-year applicants: By selecting a Thornton program in the first-choice major field, the Common Application will automatically populate with the following text: “Because of the major you selected above, you will need to submit a Portfolio for your program to complete your application”. Select “Yes, I understand.” and refer to the Portfolio Instructions in the left hand column.

All transfer applicants: By selecting a Thornton program in the first-choice major field, the Common Application will automatically populate with the following text: “Because of the major you selected above, you will need to submit a Portfolio for your program to complete your application”. Select “Yes, I understand.” and refer to the “USC Thornton School of Music” SlideRoom link that will automatically populate below the portfolio question.

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

SlideRoom Requirements

Statement of Purpose

You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose (400 – 550 words) 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?

Two supplemental short essays

You are required to submit a short essay (100-350 words each) in each of the following two (2) topic areas:

Essay 1

  1. Which of the following statements best describes you? Explain why.
    • I want to be a successful artist, songwriter or producer.
    • I want to be successful in assisting artists, songwriters, or producers (who are not me) to develop their careers.

Essay 2

  1. Please select one of the prompts below and respond. There are no right or wrong answers. This is your chance to be creative.
    • If Lucy is “in the sky with diamonds”, where is Charlie Brown?
    • “There is no such thing as a new idea.” – Mark Twain. Are any innovations in the Music Industry original, or just a different combination of old ideas?
    • What did Plato mean when he said the following? “Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.”
    • According to Harlan Howard, “Country music is three chords and the truth.” Pick a genre of music and define it in a similar style to Harlan Howard and explain why.
    • What would have happened in the song had Olivia Rodrigo not gotten her “driver’s license”? Explain.
    • If you were to develop the next Oreo flavor and size, and associate it with an Artist’s brand – what would you call it, and what size and flavor would it be?
Video/Digital Media Submissions

A video submission consisting of two (2) recordings: You are required to submit a video recording in the SlideRoom media section responding to the following two (2) prompts:

  • A 1 minute video answering the following question: what will your first job be once you graduate from the Music Industry Program? How will you go about finding and securing this job?
  • A 1 minute video addressing the following: many artists and music industry professionals have incorporated philanthropic endeavors into the fabric of their business. Identify one of these artists or industry professionals and explain what philanthropic endeavor they support and why you feel it is important.

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

  • Musical and/or musical related work(s): You may submit up to one (1) optional musical and/or musical related work. Examples may include music performances, music productions, compositions or mixes, copies of music work, budgetary outlines, contracts, etc.
Introductory Video for All Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants to undergraduate Thornton programs are required to submit a single-take, unedited, and preferably unrehearsed 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?

Music Industry Final Project Video

The music profession is changing, and we’re changing with it. USC Thornton’s undergraduate music curriculum maintains a rigorous foundation of the finest professional training, while also offering flexibility for students to chart their own pathway. We aim to develop leaders in the music profession, who can not only take advantage of traditional opportunities, but also discover new ones – and even create their own.

One of the components of this forward-thinking curriculum is the required Final Project, completed in the senior year, which allows students to develop and fully realize a unique project related to their work as young music professionals. This could involve product development, a live music concept, exploring new technologies, addressing a pressing social issue through music, conducting original research, or any number of other possible approaches.

To help us get to know our applicants and their unique identity as young music professionals, 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 Final Project idea today, what is the project you would propose and why?”

Résumé

The résumé is generally 1-2 pages in length and should focus on the following:

  • Education- emphasizing your academic history;
  • Professional endeavors: identify work, internships, and/or volunteer positions
  • Extra-curricular activities: identify activities beyond your classes
  • Leadership: identify leadership roles you may have held as part of any of your previous experience(s)
Transcripts
  • First-year applicants are not required to upload transcripts in SlideRoom but must submit official transcripts to USC Admission, as required.
  • Transfer applicants are required to upload a copy of all college transcripts in SlideRoom in addition to the official transcripts that must be submitted to USC Admission.
    • Note: USC Admission also requires official high school transcripts (with date of graduation) and official college transcripts of any and all college coursework completed through the fall term for all transfer applicants.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

In addition to the recommendation letters required by USC Admission submitted via the Common Application, undergraduate applicants may submit up to two (2) optional letters of recommendation via the SlideRoom Portfolio “References” section. Important notes for optional letters of recommendation:

  • Any optional letters of recommendation you want reviewed by the Thornton faculty must be submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom “References” section by December 1. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after December 1.
  • Required letters of recommendation submitted to USC Admission through the appropriate Common Application avenues will automatically be included with the Thornton SlideRoom application for review by Thornton Faculty for first-year/freshman applicants.
  • USC Admission will not receive any optional letter of recommendation submitted through the Thornton SlideRoom “References” section.
  • Any recommendation sent via mail or email will not be reviewed by the Thornton faculty.