Vocal Arts (Classical Voice/Opera)

Master of Music (MM), Graduate Certificate (GCRT)

Graduate Spring Application Deadline

October 1st

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Apply to the Graduate Vocal Arts (Classical Voice/Opera) Programs

This section is for all first-year and transfer applicants from outside of USC applying to the Bachelor of Music (BM) Vocal Arts 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 classical voice applicants. For jazz voice, please refer to the Jazz Studies program page. For Choral Music, please refer to the Choral Music program page. Current USC students should follow the change/addition of major application process.

The total application fee is $110 ($85 for the Common Application and $25 for the Thornton Portfolio in SlideRoom). All required materials must be submitted by December 1.

Recordings/materials must be submitted online through the SlideRoom Portfolio by the December 1st deadline and will not be accepted via mail or email for any program. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after December 1. Any application not complete by December 1st 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 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

Spring Admission

Auditions Required?

Yes, 2 rounds

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.

Prescreen Recorded Audition

Applicants to programs in Vocal Arts must submit a video recording 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. Applicants will be notified of prescreen results and live audition details via email from the corresponding Thornton department.

Master’s applicants must submit five or more selections of contrasting styles. The five selections may consist of a combination of art song, operatic arias and/or oratorio arias; one of the five selections must be an aria or art song in English and the others must represent at least two other foreign languages. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required.

Graduate Certificate applicants must submit at least five selections of contrasting styles. The five selections may consist of a combination of art song, operatic and/or oratorio arias; one of the five selections must be an aria or art song in English. At least three of the five selections should be operatic arias and represent three different languages. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required.

Résumé

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.

Statement of Purpose (Optional)

Graduate applicants are encouraged to prepare a brief statement of their professional goals, as well as their purpose in applying for the Vocal Arts program. The Statement of Purpose is typically 1-2 pages in length.

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 Vocal Arts applicants for the spring semester. Recommendation letters are to be submitted online through the Thornton SlideRoom portal via the “References” section by October 1. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after October 1.

Perform Audition if Invited

The results of the prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Applicants will be notified of prescreen results and live audition details via email from the corresponding Thornton department. Please do not make travel plans to audition at USC Thornton until you have received confirmation of your audition appointment.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to visit our campus and live audition events can be the ideal opportunity for this kind of visit. We therefore encourage applicants to perform their live auditions in person on the USC campus. Applicants who live more than 100 miles from the USC campus and are unable to travel to Los Angeles for their live audition can indicate their preference for an online audition on their Thornton application in SlideRoom. Applicants who live within a 100 mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in-person.

Live Audition Requirements

Master’s applicants must submit five or more selections of contrasting styles. The five selections may consist of a combination of art song, operatic arias and/or oratorio arias; one of the five selections must be an aria or art song in English and the others must represent at least two other foreign languages. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required. The same selections may be used for both the prescreen recording and the live audition.

Graduate Certificate applicants must submit at least five selections of contrasting styles. The five selections may consist of a combination of art song, operatic and/or oratorio arias; one of the five selections must be an aria or art song in English. At least three of the five selections should be operatic arias and represent three different languages. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required. The same selections may be used for both the prescreen recording and the live audition.

Piano Accompaniment

Piano accompaniment is required for all voice auditions (in-person or online). Applicants who live within a 100 mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in-person. Voice applicants who are invited to perform a live audition on the USC campus are strongly encouraged to bring their own pianists for their audition. If a voice applicant performing their live audition on the USC campus is not able to bring their own pianist to the audition, contact the Vocal Arts Department Office to request a Thornton-provided pianist within one week of receipt of the audition confirmation.