Classical guitar ensemble

Classical Guitar

Master of Music – Classical Guitar Performance

  • The program details described below are subject to change. Actual degree requirements for a given academic year may differ from what is listed here.
  • Refer to the 2017-2018 USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements.
  • See the Thornton Admission page for specific application information.
  • Current students should refer to the specific requirements list for their major, which is available through the Thornton Student Affairs office.


The MM in classical guitar is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual instruction and performance class, guitar history and literature, interpretation of baroque music, and music history. The program culminates with two graduate recitals. Guitar electives can include guitar pedagogy, guitar arranging and composition, or jazz or flamenco guitar lessons. Other Thornton electives can include arts leadership, recording techniques, arts journalism, among many other options.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons and Performance Classes (12 units)

MPGU 553 Individual Instruction (lessons) (four 2–unit courses)
MPGU 557 Advanced Classical Guitar Performance Class (four 1-unit courses)

Music Ensembles (4 units)

MUEN 526 Guitar Ensemble (chamber music and guitar orchestra) (two 1-unit courses)
MUEN 5__ Ensemble Electives (Guitar Ensemble, String Chamber Music, Vocal Chamber Music, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Choral Ensemble, etc.) (two 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (5 units)

MPGU 427 Advanced Topics in Classical Guitar History and Literature (3 units)
MPKS 481 Interpretation of Baroque Music (2 units)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (6 units)

MUHL 570 Research Materials and Techniques (2 units)
MUHL 578 Music Since 1900 (2 units)
MUHL 5__ 500-level Music History elective (2 units)

Electives (3 units)

400 or 500- level music or non-music courses (3 units)

Capstone Projects

Two Graduate Recitals
Comprehensive Review

All curricular requirements are evaluated on an annual basis and are subject to change. Students follow the curricular requirements as published in the USC Catalogue for their year of matriculation. A typical graduate credit load is eight units per semester.

Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEE) are administered during Orientation Week just prior to the start of your program. See this MGEE page for more information.