Welcome to the Thornton School of Music

Congratulations on your recent admission to the USC Thornton School of Music!
We are excited about your admission and we look forward to personally welcoming you to the Thornton School in August.

Letter of Admission and youSC Portal

USC issues Letters of admission electronically via a secure portal called youSC. To view your admission letter, you must create an account (register) on the youSC portal, then log-in. If you do not see your admission letter in the youSC portal right away, please be patient, it may take 2-4 business days for it to appear.

Be sure to print your admission letter and also and save a copy to your computer. Admission letters are only available via the youSC portal for a few months. Once the letters are removed from the portal, they are no longer available, so it is very important to save a copy of your letter now.

Read your letter of admission carefully. If the second page of your letter indicates that you have “continuing registration requirements,” you must satisfy them as stated in the letter. (For example, you may need to verify your previous degree, or your department may require you to maintain a specified grade point average.) If you have questions about these requirements, you may contact Thornton Admission and Student Affairs, or speak to your academic advisor when you meet before fall classes begin.

Statement of Intent and Commitment Deposit – Deadline April 15, 2024*

Please communicate your plans to us through the online Statement of Intent form. 

*Note that the $500 deposit is waived for Teaching Assistants.

USC Graduate Welcome Website

Please visit the Graduate Welcome Website as soon as you can to learn more about the process to accept the offer of admission (“submit your statement of Intent”) and to find information on a variety of important topics including financial aid, housing, orientation, immunization requirements, tuition and fee payment methods, prior degree verification, and more.  

Be sure to review the New Student Checklist to ensure that you complete the steps necessary to enroll at the university. (Exceptions to the checklist:  you’ll register for classes during or soon after Orientation, and you can’t pay your tuition until after registration – all other items on the checklist should be completed before orientation.)

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees for USC Thornton programs are different than most other programs at USC. The cost of attendance figures you find on the Financial Aid website and in your Financial Aid Summary may not accurately reflect the actual tuition and fees for your program.  For the most accurate representation of the cost of your intended program of study, please refer to the tuition and fee estimates posted on the Thornton website. (scroll to the bottom of the page to “tuition and fee estimates”)

Financial Aid

Thornton Merit Aid: Scholarships and TA Positions

Need-Based Aid: Student Loans And Work-Study

USC Graduate Housing

If you are interested in living in USC housing, we encourage you to apply early as graduate housing tends to fill quickly. You’ll be eligible to apply for housing 24 hours after you submit your statement of intent through the YouSC portal. There are some accommodations reserved especially for Thornton Graduate Students – Details are available here. Information about all other USC housing options can be found on the USC Housing Website.

Off-Camus Housing (not owned or managed by USC) is plentiful in the USC neighborhood and around greater Los Angeles. To locate housing near USC, do an online search for “apartments near USC, Los Angeles” or “Apartments in University Park, Los Angeles.”
USC Housing also provides an online listing of non-USC-owned housing: Off-Campus Housing Listing Service

USC Thornton Orientation, Advisement, & Course Registration 

New students are required to attend two orientation sessions, both will take place in August 2024:
1. USC’s General Graduate Student Orientation Session (in person in August 2024). Follow the link for more information.
2. Thornton Graduate Student Orientation session (online in August 2024).
At Thornton’s Graduate Student Orientation Session, new students will meet their academic advisor, receive information about their curriculum, and will have the opportunity to register for all or some of their fall classes.

Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEEs) for master’s and doctoral students will be scheduled on August 15-16 and will be administered remotely (online) for the most part. (Note that students in Music Industry and Arts Leadership, as well as graduate certificate and artist diploma students do not take MGEEs). A small number of in-person exams will be administered on August 20. These entrance exams are not part of the admission process, but are required of students entering a graduate degree program in the Thornton School in order to assess their background knowledge in core music subjects. Follow the link above for details. 

Detailed information about orientation, academic advisement, registration, MGEEs, and other important items will be provided separately on the New Student Information website. The link to the New Student Information website will be sent starting in mid-April to all students who accept the offer of admission. Additional details related to orientation, advisement, and registration will be emailed to students in July. 

For planning purposes, please make a note of the following.
Specific dates and times for most items will be provided after May 1 to students who accept the offer of admission.

International Students – Important Information 

I-20s are issued to international students after the offer of admission has been accepted. Immigration documents such as the statement of financial support and letter of sponsorship are required after a student has accepted the offer of admission (submitted Statement of Intent). 

If you plan to enroll at USC Thornton, be sure to submit your Statement of Intent as soon as possible so you can begin the I-20 process as soon as possible. Details about the process to submit immigration documents and request an I-20 can be found on USC’s I-20 Processing Website, and USC’s Trojan International Checklist.

VERY IMPORTANT – Special I-20 budget amounts have been set for students in some Thornton programs. 

I-20 budget amounts are listed below for your convenience, and are also available on the Cost of Attendance page on the financial aid website.

I-20 Budget Amounts for MOST Thornton MM, MA, and DMA programs:

  • Master:  $67,759
  • GCRT & ARTD:  $47,327
  • Doctoral: $67,759

International Students in the following programs should refer to the I-20 budget amounts on the USC Graduate Admission website:

  • MS Music Industry
  • MM Screen Scoring
  • MS Arts Leadership

Connect With Us!
Online Information Sessions for Admitted Students

Hosted by Kit Bellamy, Associate Director of Graduate Admission unless otherwise indicated. Sessions will address common questions that many admitted students have, such as housing, financial aid, cost of attendance, time to degree, and will include time for Q&A.

Admitted Students in Screen Scoring
– With Jeanine Cowen, Screen Scoring Program Director & Kit Bellamy
Tuesday, March 26 at 12:00 PM PST
Advance registration required, Click Here.

Admitted Students in Vocal Arts
– Hosted by Vocal arts faculty.
– Meet Vocal Arts and Opera faculty members and receive specific information about the Vocal Arts and Opera program.
Saturday March 30, 4:00 -5:00 PM PST Advance registration required, Click Here.
Sunday April 7, 4:00 -5:00 PM PST Advance registration required, Click Here.

Admitted students in:
– Classical Performance
– Vocal Arts
– Jazz Studies
– Arts Leadership
– Composition
– Choral and Sacred Music
– Music Teaching and Learning  
Friday, April 5 at 4:30 PM
Advance registration required, Click Here.

Admitted Students in Music Industry
Monday April 8, 4:30 PM PST
Advance registration required, Click Here.

Experience the Thornton School

If you’re in Southern California, consider attending a Thornton concert or performance event.
A listing of upcoming concerts and events can be found in Thornton’s online Events Calendar

Attend a Performance

Discover the many collaborative learning opportunities at the Thornton School featuring students, faculty and alumni from our classical, contemporary and research & scholarly divisions.

USC Thornton jazz studies alum Ethan Chilton (BM ‘20, MM ‘22) is all about taking full advantage of opportunities by experimenting with his peers. As a student at Thornton, he didn’t limit himself to writing for jazz ensembles only. His work included orchestral musicians as well.

In “Going Solo,” collaborative pianist Seoyon MacDonald gets an unexpected opportunity to make the world-premiere recording of an unpublished Shostakovich work.

USC Thornton debuted a new course last spring, Performance Technology (MTEC 499), focused on training students to use technology like Ableton Live for performance.

“A Life in Music” shares stories of USC Thornton alumni whose passions evolved into multifaceted careers, creating something that is uniquely their own. 

Read more USC Thornton Spotlights here.

Questions? Contact Us!

USC Thornton Admission Office
Email: uscmusic@usc.edu
Phone: (213)740-8986
Office: The Music Complex (TMC) 200 – the office suite on the top floor of TMC

Kit Bellamy, Associate Director of Graduate Admission
Email: keb@usc.edu
Phone: (213)740-8986