Boasting a faculty of world-class touring and recording guitarists, the USC Thornton Studio Guitar program is considered one of the finest guitar graduate programs in the world. This division of contemporary music offers Master of Music (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as a Graduate Certificate (GCRT) in Studio Guitar.
An innovative and groundbreaking program, it was the first of its kind and the first to offer a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in a stand-alone guitar program with a strong emphasis on jazz stlyes and the development of popular music skills and techniques, the program also provides a foundation in classical training. The alumni include top touring sidemen with major recording artists, composers for film, television and other media, classical ensembles, music supervisors and world-renowned teachers and professors of music. Our alumni have performed with a diverse array of distinguished artists and ensembles including John Mayer, Jennifer Lopez, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Miley Cyrus, Ben Folds, Eels, Michael Bublé, Ray Charles, Enrique Inglesias, Ricky Martin, and Mark Anthony. Acclaimed alumni include Paul Jackson Jr., Lee Ritenour, Andy Abad, Adam Hawley, Charles Altura, Matt Greif, Andrew York (of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), Richard Smith and Larry Koonse.
Note To Undergraduate Guitarists: The Thornton School offers three different programs for undergraduate guitarists- Jazz studies, popular music performance, and classical guitar performance. Undergraduate jazz guitar applicants, please refer to the Jazz Studies requirements. Undergraduate popular music guitar applicants, please refer to the Popular Music Performance requirements. Undergraduate classical guitar applicants, please refer to Classical Guitar requirements.