Keyboard Studies

Master of Music – Piano 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 2016-2017 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 piano performance is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual piano instruction, piano pedagogy, piano literature, ensemble, music history and electives. Two graduate recitals are required.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons (8 units)

MPKS 553 Individual Instruction Piano (lessons) (four 2-unit courses)

Music Ensembles (2 units)

MUEN 5__ 500- level music ensembles (two 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (8 units)

MPKS 450a Piano Pedagogy: Intermediate Literature and Functional Skills (2 units)
MPKS 520 Special Studies in Solo Repertoire for Piano (three 2-unit courses)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (8 units)

MUHL 570 Research Materials and Techniques (2 units)
MUHL 5__ 500- level Music History electives (three 2- unit courses)

Electives (4 units)

400 or 500- level music courses (4 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 the MGEE page for more information.