General Ed., Minors & Electives

Regardless of your major or level of experience, we invite you to study and create music with us.

Why USC Thornton?

Our Classical, Contemporary and Scholarly divisions offer a wide array of elective courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. For questions about admission requirements, as well as pre-minor advisement and specific application procedures, please contact the Thornton Student Affairs office.

USC Thornton Student Affairs
TMC 200 • Phone: (213) 740-4721 •

General Education Courses (GE)

USC Thornton offers several four-unit courses that fulfill general education requirements, such as classes in world music, EDM, or even hip-hop. Explore our General Education page for current opportunities.


All USC Thornton minors require an application for admission. Please refer to our list of Minors Descriptions for specific admissions requirements, as well as prerequisite courses.

It’s important to apply as early as possible to the minor of your choice, as admission unlocks access to related courses. If you’re not admitted to your first choice, staff members will help you explore other options.

Elective Courses

For a list of electives available, please visit our Electives page.

While most electives do not require experience with music, some do. Check the Schedule of Classes for a “D” next to the 5-digit section number of the class you would like to add. If you see a “D,” departmental clearance is required.

Elective Piano, Strings & Voice

All USC students are eligible to enroll in one-on-one private piano, string, and/or voice lessons, or a group piano/voice class within the Thornton School of Music. Visit the Elective Piano, Strings & Voice page for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I rent an instrument?
Students may be able to rent instruments for use in USC Thornton courses from Music Operations. We offer instrument rental by the week or by the semester and have a wide array of instruments to choose from. Visit BMH 101 for rental rates and more information.

Can I use the practice rooms?
Music majors, minors, and students enrolled in any Thornton course that requires you to sing or play an instrument may have access to the practice rooms. Once you have registered for a qualifying course, bring your valid USC ID to Music Operations in BMH 101 to sign up for practice room access.