International Programs

The USC Thornton School of Music welcomes students from several institutional partners abroad to study in Los Angeles for one semester during the Fall or Spring. In each exchange, a USC Thornton student will study at an overseas school, while a student from the same institution will study at USC Thornton.

Three students sit on the lawn at the Thornton School of Music, laughing.

Program Requirements


Undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of our partner institutions may apply, according to the policies of their home institution, if they will be in their junior or senior year of study during the exchange.

Language Requirement

Demonstration of English proficiency is required in order to obtain the necessary visa. Proficiency will generally be determined through a video interview between the visiting student and the sponsoring faculty member at USC Thornton.

Partner Institutions

In general, scholarship at USC Thornton will be similar to coursework taken during the same semester overseas and the studies completed here will be transferable for credit toward the student’s international degree through a pre-approval process guided by the student’s host advisor. The following institutions are available for participation.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Lyon, France

Paris, France

Program Costs

Students are responsible for making all necessary arrangements and paying all necessary associated costs.


Room & Board


Medical Expenses & Medical Insurance

Books & Supplies

Personal & Miscellaneous Expenses 

Passport & Visa Costs


Students register and pay the standard tuition at their home institution during the semester of exchange. Students visiting the United States will be responsible for paying the mandatory fees (approximately $1800) that are charged in excess of tuition at USC Thornton.

Selection Process

Visiting international students will be selected to participate in the exchange program according to the process detailed below.

Home Institution Application

 Students apply for consideration by their home institution according to guidelines set by their home institution. Specific guidelines will be provided by the home institution to eligible students.

Home Institution Pre-Selection

The faculty of the home institution screens applicants and selects a small pool of students to be considered for final selection by USC Thornton.

USC Thornton Application

The students pre-selected by their home institution submit a new application to USC Thornton according to guidelines set by USC Thornton. An application fee may be required. Specific guidelines will be provided to the pre-selected students through the international exchange coordinator at the home institution. This application is generally submitted online and will require materials that could take time to prepare, including:

  • Media uploads of the applicant’s artistic work.
  • Letter of motivation, describing the reasons why the student is interested in participating in the exchange program.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae, which should list the student’s musical, professional, and academic experience.
  • Learning agreement, including the courses at USC Thornton that the visiting student would propose to take during their time of study if selected for the exchange program.
  • Transcript of academic work completed to date at the home institution.
  • Copy of a valid passport.
USC Thornton Audition Guidelines

For specific department audition requirements, please select the appropriate program from the following page:

  • Undergraduate: Accepting applications for: performance and composition majors
  • Graduate: Accepting applications for: performance and composition majors

For other areas of emphasis, contact the Thornton international exchange advisor at for guidance.

USC Thornton Final Selection

USC Thornton makes the final selection based on the materials submitted by students who were pre-selected by the home institution. Video or phone interviews for assessment of language proficiency will be arranged during this stage of the process if needed.


USC Thornton will notify all applicants in early April regarding final selection. This notification will be issued via email and will indicate whether or not you have been selected by USC Thornton for participation in the exchange program. At the time of notification, students selected for the exchange program will be provided information regarding how to obtain the necessary visa and make other preparations for their time of study at USC Thornton.

Application Cycle

All dates below are projections and are subject to change.
November 15

Application for semester exchange at USC Thornton is available.

March 1

Deadline: Application for Final Selection.

April 1

Notification of Final Selection

Linda Diaz in Antwerpen with the 'Fight On' hand gesture.

USC Thornton fall semester begins.


USC Thornton Spring Semester begins.

Musicians playing jazz at the Amsterdam Blue Note.

Stay Connected

Join our mailing list to be notified of general deadlines and travel announcements. Questions regarding Thornton International Exchange Programs can be directed to