Vocal Arts (Classical Voice/Opera)

Bachelor of Music (BM)
Master of Music (MM)
Graduate Certificate (GCRT)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Note: This information applies only to classical voice applicants. For jazz voice, please refer to the Jazz Studies requirements. For Choral Music, please refer to the Choral Music requirements.

Applicants to programs in Vocal Arts must submit an audition video recording to be evaluated by the faculty.  Only video recordings are acceptable. The results of the first round of consideration will determine whether an applicant will advance to the second round of consideration.

Audition recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall SlideRoom portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

  • UNDERGRADUATE APPLICANTS– For instructions on how to access the SlideRoom portal to submit your recording click HERE
  • GRADUATE APPLICANTS– For instructions on how to access the SlideRoom portal to submit your recording click HERE

Please note: Current USC Thornton students applying for a graduate program may not be required to submit an audition recording for the first round of consideration.  Applicants may be allowed to use a recital or jury as their audition, and some departments might allow current Thornton students to make special arrangements for an audition in lieu of uploading a recording. Please check with your teacher or department chair BEFORE you submit the SlideRoom form to determine what is possible in your case.  In all cases, current Thornton students must indicate on the application that they are a current Thornton student or they may not advance to the second round of consideration. Current Thornton students are encouraged to consult the special Application Requirements for Current Thornton Students posted on The Thornton Admission website.  Questions about advancing to the second round of consideration may be directed to your department chair or Kit Bellamy in the Thornton Admission office.

First Round of Consideration

Undergraduate applicants must submit two selections of contrasting styles, from the standard classical solo vocal repertoire. It is recommended that one of the selections be in English and the other in a foreign language. All selections must be memorized.

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.

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.

DMA applicants must submit at least six selections of contrasting style which represent at least four languages, one of which must be English. Selections may include art song, operatic arias and/or oratorio arias. It is recommended that one of the selections be a piece composed in the last 30 years.

Important note: Piano accompaniment is required for all voice audition recordings.  Pre-recorded accompaniment tracks are acceptable for use with audition recordings.

Second Round of Consideration

Details regarding the second round of consideration for this program will be sent in late December via email to applicants who are advanced from the first round of consideration. No additional repertoire will be required for the second round of consideration, but may include interactive activities such as an online performance audition and/or interview.

Additional information

  • DMA applicants are required to submit a “Doctoral Introductory Video” as part of their SlideRoom Portfolio. For detailed instructions click here.
  • DMA applicants are required to submit 3 letters of recommendation via the SlideRoom portal, one of which must be from a professor who has assessed a substantial research or analysis paper that the applicant has written.

Teaching Assistantships

Assistantships in Vocal Arts are available to students pursuing MM and DMA degrees in Vocal Arts. Duties include teaching non-vocal majors in a voice-class setting and in individual private lessons. A separate TA Application form is required, and can be found on the Teaching Assistantships website.

With the TA Application form, TA Applicants must submit a teaching video, statement of purpose, and one letter of reference. Complete details and requirements can be found on the Teaching Assistantships website. A live audition and interview are normally required of all TA candidates, but for fall 2021 these will be conducted via an on-line platform as part of the second round of consideration. A complete TA application must be submitted in order to be considered.

Important note

Undergraduate applications are not accepted for Spring admission to this program unless the applicant is already enrolled at USC. All applicants for Spring admission are also required to submit an audition recording for the first round of consideration. Spring applicants will be notified via email regarding their first round decision.