Screen Scoring

The USC Thornton Screen Scoring program is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest for musical composition in visual media. With a faculty comprised of working professionals in the film, television and video-game industries paired with a legacy that includes such luminaries as Buddy Baker, Elmer Bernstein, Bruce Broughton, Jerry Goldsmith, Morten Lauridsen, David Raksin and Jack Smalley, the USC Thornton Screen Scoring program offers its participants unrivaled practical experience and industry connections. Partnered with the USC School for Cinematic Arts, the screen scoring program provides student-composers the unique opportunity to collaborate with student-filmmakers, animators, and game designers in creating music for more than 100 annual film, television, animation, and game projects. These projects generally are created “in the box” or are recorded on USC’s John Williams Scoring Stage with Thornton student-musicians. Additionally, as part of their course work, our student-composers record approximately a dozen scoring projects with professional studio musicians and engineers on Hollywood-area scoring stages. These include the Georges Delerue Memorial Scoring Session (52 players) and the capstone recording session (64 players), both of which normally take place on the Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios. To learn more, go to the website for the USC Thornton Screen Scoring program.

Graduate Programs

Master of Music

Screen Scoring

2 semesters | 36 units

This two-semester master’s program focuses on the art and craft of composing, orchestrating, programming, conducting, producing, recording, mixing, editing, copying and integrating music for screen-based media, including motion pictures, television programming, video games, Internet fare and other new visual media. Classes are also offered in technology, entrepreneurialism and the business of making movies.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Notable Alumni

Many notable USC Thornton alumni have been honored with Oscar, Golden Globe, Bafta, Emmy, and/or Grammy nominations and awards, including Christophe Beck, Marco Beltrami, Holly Amber Church, James Dooley, Ludwig Göransson, Jason Graves, Wataru Hokoyama, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Christopher Lennertz, Bear McCreary, David Newman, John Nordstrom, and Duncan Thum, and Austin Wintory along with current faculty members Amy Andersson, Pete Anthony, Laura Karpman, Lolita Ritmanis, Garry Schyman, Lawrence Shragge, and Chris Young. Additional faculty and regular workshop and scoring-session contributors include Jon Burlingame, Siobhán Dougall, M.B. Gordy, Chris Horvath, Patrick Kirst, Baraka May, Alan Meyerson, Peter Rotter, Dennis Sands, Thanh Tran, and Gina Zimmitti.


Jeanine Cowen, chair
Patrick Gilbride, coordinator

TMC 118
(213) 740-3224