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Bachelor of Music – Violin, Viola and Cello 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 2017-2018 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 BM in strings is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (individual instruction, string pedagogy, orchestra repertoire, interpretation of baroque music), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, conducting, chamber music and symphony) and USC’s general education and writing program. Junior and senior recitals are required.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons (16-18 units)

MPST 153-453 Individual Instruction Violin, Viola, or Violoncello (lessons) (eight 2-unit courses)
MPST 301 Individual Instruction in Viola for violin majors (2 units)

Music Ensembles (16 units)

MUEN 320 USC Symphony (Large Ensemble) (eight 1-unit courses)
MUEN 327 String Chamber Music (eight 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (6 units)

MPST 471b String Pedagogy (2 units)
MPST 472 Orchestra Repertoire-Strings (two 2-unit courses)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (46 units)

MUHL Music History and Literature (three 4-unit courses)
MUCO 132ab-232ab Aural Skills (four 2-unit courses)
MUCO 133ab-233ab Music Theory (four 3-unit courses)
MUCO 338 Elementary Orchestration (2 units)
MUCD 343 Instrumental Conducting I (2 units)
MPKS 250ab Keyboard Instruction I (two 2-unit courses)
MPKS 350ab Keyboard Instruction II (two 2-unit courses)
MPKS 481 Interpretation of Baroque Music (2 units)

General Education (32 units)

GE Six 4-unit courses in various fields of study
(see for detailed requirements)
WRIT 150/340 Two 4-unit courses in Writing

Foreign Language (8 units)

Two courses in the same language (two 4-unit courses)

Electives (6-8 units)

Music or non-music courses (6-8 units)

Capstone Projects

Junior Recital
Senior Recital

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 undergraduate credit load is 16-18 units per semester.