New Student Events: DMA/PhD

USC Graduate Student Orientation

All students who are new to USC (both domestic and international) are encouraged to attend USC’s Graduate Orientation. Details about Welcome Trojans orientation events for graduate students will be sent to your USC email address. More information will be made available on the USC Orientation website.

USC Thornton Graduate Student Orientation

By July 15, all new graduate students, including those who hold bachelor’s degrees from USC, will be provided information regarding academic advisement and registration for fall classes. Orientation materials and details will be hosted online, with more information to be sent to students.

Fall Course Registration
Please note that registration for fall classes will take place in early August as part of Thornton Graduate Student Orientation. You may see a note in your myUSC landing page that references your ability to register for classes now, but you will not register until early August.

Academic Expectations Zoom Meeting on August 5, 10:00AM PDT
This is a mandatory Zoom meeting for all new graduate students. During this meeting, you will meet your advisors and learn about your degree requirements and university policies.

Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEEs)

Online exams from August 15-16, in-person exams on August 20
See detailed information on the Music Graduate Entrance Examinations (MGEE) website. The fall administration of the MGEEs will take place in August. Some exams will be administered online from August 15-16, while some in-person exams will take place on Tuesday, August 20. Please review the MGEE website on a regular basis for the most up-to-date information.

It is essential for all students to take their exams prior to beginning their coursework. Failure to do so may delay progress in the degree program. Students who hold a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts degree from the Thornton School of Music are exempt from any examination in fields in which they have taken comparable coursework.

Teaching Assistant Training

TBD (during week of August 19), in-person
All teaching assistants are required to participate in this mandatory training session. TAs will be contacted separately with the specific date and time of the training. Contact the Thornton Office of Admission if you have any questions.

USC Thornton Welcome Events

No earlier than August 19
USC Thornton will host special in-person welcome events in late August for all new incoming Thornton students. These events will take place on campus. More information will be shared about these events when details are finalized.

Registration and Tuition Deadline

August 23, 5:00PM
All new students must register for fall classes and pay their tuition by 5:00PM on Friday, August 23. Failure to meet this deadline may result in late registration and/or late settlement fees. Students are encouraged to pay their bills online at