Undergraduate Admission

This section is for all first-year and transfer applicants from outside of USC applying for the fall semester. USC does not accept applications for spring admission unless you are already a current USC student. Current USC students should follow the Change 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 COVID-19 and/or natural disaster 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.

Step one

Step two

    • Complete the USC Thornton SlideRoom Portfolio
      • Determine the specific Application Requirements for your chosen program, including audition recordings, compositions, video responses, or lyric sheets where appropriate. Every undergraduate Thornton applicant must submit the appropriate SlideRoom Portfolio, complete with the specific application requirements for your chosen major, for consideration to any Thornton program.
      • All applicants will be required to include a résumé and repertoire list in the SlideRoom Portfolio (Exception: A repertoire list is not required for Music Industry applicants).
      • Music Industry and Choral Music applicants are required to submit a Statement of Purpose.
      • Transfer applicants are required to upload a copy of all college transcripts.
        • Important 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.
      • Classical Performance and Composition only: In addition to the items listed above, a personal introductory video must be submitted through SlideRoom. Click here for details of what this introductory video should include.
      • Optional letters of recommendation for the Thornton School (in addition to the recommendation letters required by USC Admission submitted via the Common Application) may be submitted through the Thornton SlideRoom “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.

Note: All Thornton supplemental materials must be uploaded through SlideRoom, which you will access through the “Portfolio” link in the Common Application.

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” 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” and refer to the “USC Thornton School of Music” SlideRoom link that will automatically populate below the portfolio question.

Step three

      • The results of the first round of consideration will determine whether an applicant will be advanced to a second round of consideration. Exception: The application process for the Music Industry and Composition programs do not include a second round of consideration.
      • Requirements for the second round of consideration will vary by program. Programs in strings and French horn will require additional repertoire for the second round of consideration. For other programs, though additional repertoire will not be required, the second round of consideration may include interactive elements such as an online performance audition and/or interview, the details of which will be provided in late December to applicants who are advanced from the first round of consideration.
      • Notice of the results of the first round of consideration will be sent to applicants via email in late December.

Transfer students: visit our Transferring to Thornton FAQ section for important information about transferring.

International students: visit our International Student Admission section for important information about applying as an international student.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at uscmusic@usc.edu or (213) 740-8986.