Graduate Admission

This section is for all graduate applicants including current USC students applying for a USC graduate program (FALL Semester only). The total application fee is $115 ($90 for the USC Graduate Application and $25 for the SlideRoom Media/Materials upload). All required materials must be received by December 1 (Except “Arts Leadership”). Please note that this is a received deadline, NOT a postmark deadline.

Step One

      • Determine the specific Application Requirements for your chosen program, including prescreen recordings, compositions, or writing samples where appropriate. Materials should be uploaded through the SlideRoom link provided below. The fee for SlideRoom is $25.
      • Upload a Resumé, Statement of Purpose, and Repertoire List (where appropriate) through SlideRoom.
      • 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. Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.
      • 1-3 Letters of Recommendation are required from all Graduate applicants unless otherwise stated in the “program application requirements” section for your particular program. All DMA applicants must submit at least one letter from a professor who has assessed a substantial research or analysis paper that the student has written. Recommendation letters are to be submitted online through the Thornton SlideRoom portal.
      • DMA applicants only: In addition to the items listed above, a “Personal Introductory Video” must be submitted through SlideRoom. For details click here.

    Note: Recordings/Materials will not be accepted via mail or email for any program. Recordings/Materials must be submitted online through SlideRoom by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

    To access the SlideRoom portal to submit your Media/Materials click on the following link:

    Thornton Grad SlideRoom (Fall only)

    Step Two

        • Complete the USC Graduate Application. The application fee is $90. Application fee waivers are available to students who qualify. It is necessary to apply for a fee waiver before the application can be submitted. If you plan to apply for a waiver of the USC application fee, please do so well before the application deadline. Details and instructions can be found here.
        • Submit official transcripts and required test scores to the USC Admission Office.
        • All required materials must be received by December 1.

    Important notes: DMA applicants must take Thornton’s DMA Written Examination on the weekend of their live audition. Applicants to the programs listed below need not take Thornton’s DMA Written Exam, and instead must submit GRE scores. Additional details regarding the DMA Written Examination can be found here.

    GRE scores are required from applicants to the following programs:

    • PHD in Musicology
    • DMA in Choral Music
    • MM in Community Music
    • MM in Contemporary Teaching Practice
    • DMA in Early Music
    • DMA in Music Teaching and Learning
    • DMA in Sacred Music
    • MA in Early Music
    • MM in Music Teaching and Learning

    Step Three

        • Perform an Audition — Applicants to programs requiring an audition, who pass the pre-screen round, will be automatically scheduled for a live audition. You will be notified of your prescreen results and audition date and time via email by the end of December. Note: Please do not make travel plans or purchase tickets until you have received official notification that your audition has been scheduled.

    Special notes

    If you are interested in Teaching Assistantship, please submit an application.

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

    Are you a USC Thornton student right now? If so, please see special application information for current Thornton students, here.

    Questions? Feel free to contact us at or (213) 740-8986 or (800) 872-2213.