The following courses are open to all USC students as electives or as part of a music minor. While many electives don’t require musical experience, special departmental clearance is required for classes that include a “D” in their 5-digit section number.

We also encourage you to explore our General Education (GE) courses, which will fulfill GE-A, GE-G, and/or GE-H requirements for USC undergraduates.

For more information, contact the Thornton Student Affairs office: TMC 200 • Phone: (213) 740-4721 • thornton.studentaffairs@usc.edu

Please note: This list is not comprehensive; contact Thornton Student Affairs for more course offerings. Many of these courses are not available for credit for music majors.

Music History and Culture

MUJZ 588 Special Studies* 2 units
MUSC 102gw World Music 4 units
MUSC 115gp Western Music as Sounding History 4 units
MUSC 200gw The Broadway Musical: Reflections of American Diversity 4 units
MUSC 210g Electronic Music and Dance Culture 4 units
MUSC 250gw The Music of Black Americans 4 units
MUSC 320gw Hip Hop Music and Culture 4 units
MUSC 373g Writing About Popular Music 4 units
MUSC 422 The Beatles: Their Music and Their Times 4 units
MUSC 423 Classic Rock: Popular Music of the Sixties and Seventies 2 units
MUSC 424 Iconic Figures of Popular Music 2 units
MUSC 460 Film Music: History and Function from 1930 to the Present 4 units
MUSC 465 Music, Television and American Culture 4 units
MUSC 499 Special Topics** 4 units

*Restricted to graduate students.
**New topics are offered semi-regularly. Check the Schedule of Classes for offerings for particular semesters.

Instrumental and Vocal Classes

MPPM 120 Popular Music Performance 2 units
MPGU 120abcd Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar 2 units
MPGU 121 Intensive Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar 4 units
MPGU 125 Beginning Fingerstyle/Chord Guitar 2 units
MPGU 126 Easy Fingerstyle Beatles 2 units
MPPM 240 Drumming Proficiency for the Popular Musician 2 units
MPPM 340 Intermediate Drumming Proficiency for the Popular Musician 2 units
MPKS 150abcd Beginning Piano 2 units
MPST 163 Beginning Harp 2 units
MUJZ 150x Beginning Jazz Improvisation 2 units
MUJZ 218a Afro-Latin Percussion Instruments 2 units
MUJZ 450 Intermediate Jazz Improvisation 2 units
MPVA 141, 241 Class Voice 2 units


Ensembles at the 300 level are for undergraduates; those at the 500 level are for graduates. Entry to other, more advanced ensembles may be available based on an audition.

MUEN 305/505 Vocal Jazz Ensemble 1 unit
MUEN 307/507 University Chorus 1 unit
MUEN 308/508 USC Apollo Chorus 1 unit
MUEN 310/510 University Concert Choir 1 unit
MUEN 311/511 USC Oriana Choir 1 unit
MUEN 312/512 USC Chamber Singers 1 unit
MUEN 322 Trojan Marching Band 1 unit
MUEN 332/532 Jazz Chamber Music 1 unit
MUEN 324 University Band 1 unit
MUEN 326/526 Guitar Ensemble 1 unit
MUEN 327/527 Chamber Music for Strings 1 unit
MUEN 329/529 Jazz Ensemble 1 unit

Music Industry, Music Technology and Arts Leadership

ARTL 499 Special Topics 2 units
ARTL 500 Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship* 2 units
ARTL 501 Executive Leadership in the Arts* 2 units
ARTL 502 Issues in the Arts and the Contemporary World* 2 units
ARTL 503 Arts Organizations: Innovation and New Models* 2 units
ARTL 504 Arts and Community: Current Practice & New Visions* 2 units
MTEC 245 Introduction to MIDI Sequencing 1 unit
MTEC 246 Introduction to Audio Recording and Editing 1 unit
MTEC 248 Introduction to Music Notation 1 unit
MTEC 275 Fundamentals of Audio Engineering 4 units
MTEC 277x Introduction to Music Technology 4 units
MTEC 443 Desktop Music Production 2 units
MTEC 444 Non-Linear MIDI Sequencing 2 units
MTEC 446ab Computer Assisted Recording and Editing 2 units
MTEC 474ab Electronic Synthesizer Techniques 2-2 units
MTEC 477 Remote Recording Techniques 2 units
MTEC 499 Special Topics** 2 units
MTEC 575 Music Technology and Production* 4 units
MUIN 272x Basics of the Music Industry 4 units
MUIN 370 Music Publishing and Licensing 2 units
MUIN 372x The Business and Legal Aspects of the Music Industry 4 units
MUIN 410 Marketing, Branding and Strategic Alliances in Music 2 units
MUIN 420 DIY Music Marketing 2 units
MUIN 425 Live Music Production and Promotion 4 units
MUIN 430 Artist Management and Development 4 units
MUIN 443 The Business of Music for Visual Media 4 units
MUIN 497 Current Topics, Case Studies and Analysis** 2 units
MUIN 499 Special Topics** 2 units
MUIN 570 The Music Industry* 4 units

*Restricted to graduate students.
**New topics are offered semi-regularly. Check the Schedule of Classes for offerings for particular semesters.

Songwriting and Composition

MUCO 101x Fundamentals of Music Theory 2 units
MUCO 130abx Basics of Music Theory 3-3 units
MUCO 221abx Composition for Non-Majors I 2-2 units
MUCO 321 Composition for Non-Majors II 1-2 units
MUSC 255 Songwriting I 2 units
MUSC 355 Songwriting II 2 units
MUSC 455 Songwriting III 2 units

Private Lessons

Private lessons are generally available in all instruments in classical, jazz, or popular music styles. Contact Thornton Student Affairs for the class number. These classes are at the 300 level.

Click here for information about private lessons in classical piano, strings, and voice. To request D-clearance to enroll in Individual Instruction, please click here.