Teaching Assistantships

Many departments within the Thornton School offer teaching assistantships to qualified master’s and doctoral students pursuing degrees within the Thornton School. In many cases, a special TA application must be submitted in order to be considered.

Download the Thornton TA application and details here:

TA Application

TA Application Deadline: December 1

Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions are offered in a variety of areas including:

  • Choral and Sacred Music
  • Classical Guitar
  • Early Music
  • Keyboard Studies
  • Jazz Studies
  • Keyboard Collaborative Arts
  • Musicology
  • Music Teaching and Learning
  • Music Technology
  • Music Theory
  • Music Industry
  • Opera Accompanying
  • Percussion
  • Studio Guitar
  • Vocal Arts
  • Wind Ensemble

The TA application form is not required from applicants to the following TA positions. Only applicants to the corresponding MM and DMA degrees are considered for these TA positions.

  • Choral and Sacred Music
  • Early Music
  • Music Teaching and Learning
  • Music Theory (Composition students only)
  • Musicology
  • Percussion (classical)

    Most Thornton Teaching Assistantships are 1-year appointments and can be re-assigned to new students each year. It is common, however, for TA’s to keep their position for more than one year while they complete either a masters or doctoral degree.

    TA duties can include teaching private lessons to non-music majors, teaching class-piano, drumming proficiency classes, or class-voice, assisting faculty with lecture courses as well as administrative tasks, leading discussion sessions, teaching sight-singing, preparing scores and handling logistics for ensemble rehearsals, conducting choral ensembles, and piano accompanying (opera, choral ensembles, vocal students, auditions).

    Compensation for most TA positions includes a tuition waiver, health and dental benefits and a stipend of roughly $15,000 per year. Specific benefits and award amounts vary from year to year.

    Note: The TA application must be submitted directly to the appropriate department within the Thornton School in order to be considered. TA Applications submitted to the Thornton Admission office or to the USC Graduate Admission office will not be considered.

    Download the Thornton TA application and details here:

    TA Application

    Important information

    For students applying for Admission to USC as well as a TA position:
    Supporting documents submitted as part of your SlideRoom application will be reviewed as part of your TA application. (Such as: resume, recommendation letters, educational history and transcripts). It’s not necessary to submit extra copies of those documents with your TA application. Please be sure the supporting documents you upload in SlideRoom are relevant to both your application for admission and to your TA application.

    Please don’t upload the TA application form in SlideRoom or with your USC on-line Graduate Application.

    For current Thornton students who are applying for TA positions, but are not applying for admission:
    Please submit the following with your TA application, all in one package: resume, repertoire list, 2-3 letters of recommendation, copies of transcripts form all institutions you’ve attended including USC (unofficial transcripts are OK), any other requirements specified for your particular TA position (click the “TA Application link” above for details).

    ***Current students in Choral and Sacred Music, Composition, Musicology, Music Teaching and Learning, and Percussion interested in being considered for TA positions should speak directly to the faculty in those areas, as a formal application is not required.