Graduate Degrees

Master of Music

Unit and Grade Requirements

Thirty units of graduate work are required; a minimum of 15 units (excluding thesis) must be at the 500 level or higher. All students must satisfy the special requirements of their major department (see departmental adviser). Students must complete at least 26 semester units at USC, including the thesis or recital. A grade point average of not less than 3.0 (A= 4.0) is required for all graduate courses in music, and a grade of B or higher is required for all courses in the major department. Students who transfer credits must achieve this average on all combined transferred and residence units.

Transferred Credits

All credits transferred must be the equivalent of corresponding current work at USC. Transfer work must have been completed within seven years from the date of admission to a master’s degree program to be applied toward that degree. Transfer credit petitions must be filed with the appropriate faculty chair and the chair’s decision made no later than the end of the first year in either the master’s or doctoral program.

Time Limit

The time limit for completing the Master of Music degree is five years. Progress is measured from the beginning of the first course at USC applied toward the degree. Extensions will be granted by petition to the Thornton School for only the most compelling reasons.

Thesis Requirements and Guidance Committees

A composition portfolio is required of candidates for the Master of Music degree in composition; a thesis or final project is required of candidates for the Master of Music degree in music education. For music education majors, the thesis will consist of a research document written on a topic approved by the music education department, the final project will consist of a creative project that will present the arrangement, production or design of innovative ideas, materials or curricula for specific applications in teaching music. Before registering for 594a Thesis, a student must choose a guidance committee composed of three regular faculty, approved by the department chair, of which at least two come from the home department. The chair of the guidance committee directly supervises the preparation of the thesis, the final acceptance of which is based upon the unanimous recommendation of all three members of the committee.

Master’s Recital

At least one public recital is required of all candidates for the Master of Music degree with a major in choral music, composition, organ, strings, vocal arts or wind and percussion instruments. Two public recitals are required for majors in conducting, guitar, jazz studies, keyboard collaborative arts and piano. Candidates should apply at the Music Operations Office for recital dates. Some departments require that a candidate be prepared to play or conduct the program for the approval of a faculty committee in advance of the recital.

Students majoring in conducting may complete the recital requirements with a formal public recital or with special projects assigned, approved and attended by faculty from the conducting department, who also judge the acceptability of all such performances.

Comprehensive Review

Candidates for the Master of Music must pass a comprehensive review toward the end of their course of study. This review, which is administered by the faculty of the major department, consists of an oral or written examination or a specially designated course; it will cover relevant aspects of musical performance, literature and technique.

Master of Music in Choral Music

Prerequisite

Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Music degree or its equivalent. Completed course work must include at least the following: Conducting MUCD 340, MUCD 343 and MUCD 441; Music History and Literature MUHL 331 and MUHL 332; Theory and Composition MUCO 232b, MUCO 233b and MUCO 338x. One year of German or French is strongly recommended. Applicants must have attained senior standing in a principal performance medium.

Keyboard Proficiency

A keyboard proficiency test will be given by the choral faculty during the student’s first semester in residence to determine if additional study in keyboard is required.

Comprehensive Review

A final oral examination in choral literature, conducting and rehearsal techniques will be administered by the choral music faculty.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUCM 440 (2), MUCM 541 (2), MUCM 542 (2), MUCM 543 (2), MUCM 590 (2) 10
MUCD 443 (2), MUCD 541 (6) 8
Ensemble 2
MUHL 570 (2), electives at 500 level (4) 6
MPVA 439 (2), MPVA 501VO (2) 4
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Composition

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in composition or theory.

Curriculum Requirements Units
Ensemble 2
MUHL 570 (2), electives at the 500 level in MUHL or MUCO (6) 8
Individual instruction 501 in any performance medium (MPxx 501) or applicable MUCD or MUEA instruction 4
MUCO 537 (8), MUCO 592 (2), MUCO 536 (2) 12
Electives 4
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
M.M. composition portfolio 0
30

Master of Music in Conducting

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree with a music major and have at least one year of experience conducting an orchestra.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUCD 550 (8) 8
Ensemble (preferably chamber music) 4
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 575 (2), MUHL 591 (2) 6
One course from MUHL 573 (2), MUHL 574 (2), MUHL 576 (2), MUHL 577 (2) or MUHL 578 (2) 2
MUCO 501 (2), MUCO 502 (2) 4
Electives 6
Two graduate recitals 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Jazz Studies

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in jazz studies or its equivalent.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUEN 505 or MUEN 529 (4), MUEN 532 (4) 8
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (2) 6
MUJZ 443 (2) or MUJZ 545 (2) 2
MUJZ 547 (2), MUJZ 553 (8) 10
Electives 4
Two graduate recitals 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Music Education

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in music education and have one year of teaching experience beyond supervised student teaching.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUED 500 (3), MUED 505 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (4) 9
MUCD 441 (2) or MUCD 443 (2) 2
MUCO 501 (2) or MUCO 502 (2) 2
MUED 594ab (4), or MUED 590 (2) and MUED 592 (2) 4
Two courses from: MUED 501 (3), MUED 502 (3), MUED 503 (3) or MUED 504 (3) 6
Individual instruction (organ, piano, string instrument, vocal arts, or wind or percussion instrument), courses in conducting, composition or arranging, or ensemble 4
Electives in music 3
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Keyboard Collaborative Arts)

Prerequisite

Applicants must hold the Bachelor of Music degree with a major in piano or keyboard collaborative arts or equivalent background as determined by the collaborative arts faculty. It is strongly suggested that students who have not previously taken courses in Italian, French, English and German diction, or in song literature, enroll in the appropriate course(s) (MPVA 440, MPVA 441, MPVA 479) as part of their electives.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (4) 8
MPKS 481 (2), 553CP (8), 560 (2), 561 (2) 14
Electives in music 8
Two graduate recitals, one with voice(s), the other with instrument(s) 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Classical Guitar)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in music with guitar as the principal instrument.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUEN 526 (2), electives (2) 4
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (2) 6
MPGU 427 (3), MPGU 553CG (8), MPGU 557 (4) 15
MPKS 481 (2) 2
Electives 3
Two graduate recitals 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Studio Guitar)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in music with guitar as the principal instrument.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUEN 526 (2), electives (2) 4
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (2) 6
MPGU 553SG (8), MPGU 558 (4) 12
Music electives 4
Electives 4
Two graduate recitals 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Organ)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in organ or equivalent.

Curriculum Requirements Units
Ensemble 2
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (4) 8
MPKS 481 (2), MPKS 553OR (8) 10
Music electives (at least two from the 500 level) 6
Electives 4
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Piano)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree in piano or equivalent.

Curriculum Requirements Units
Ensemble 2
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL electives at 500 level (6) 8
MPKS 553P (8), MPKS 450a (2), MPKS 520 (6) 16
Electives 4
Two graduate recitals 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Violin), (Viola), (Violoncello), (Double Bass) or (Harp)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in a string instrument or equivalent.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUCD 443 2
MUEN 527 (2) and MUEN 520, MUEN 530 or MUEN 550 (4) 6
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (4) 8
MPKS 481 2
MPST 553 (8) 8
Music electives 4
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
30

Master of Music in Performance (Vocal Arts)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in vocal arts. Students who have not had formal training in foreign language, diction, vocal pedagogy, acting for singers, song literature and in Italian, French or German languages must show competency in these areas through examination or complete appropriate course work with a grade of B or higher.

Curriculum Requirements Units
Ensemble 2
MUHL 570 (2), electives at 500 level (2) 4
MPVA 443 (2), MPVA 540 (2), MPVA 541 (2), MPVA 553VO (8) 14
Electives in music (400 or 500 level) 5
Electives 5
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
30
Comprehensive Review

A final examination in vocal pedagogy, art song and oratorio literature and diction will be administered by the vocal arts faculty. Students are required to write extensive program notes for the degree recital.

USC Opera

USC Opera is an integral part of the Vocal Arts Department, providing career development opportunities for singers, coach/pianists, conductors and directors. The program includes instruction in opera history and literature, coaching techniques, stage direction, body movement for singers, stage training, role study and analysis.

The opera workshop is a repertory experience involving preparation and performance of operatic works and excerpts for performance both on and off the USC campus.

Master of Music in Performance (Flute), (Oboe), (Clarinet), (Bassoon), (Saxophone), (French Horn), (Trumpet), (Trombone), (Tuba) or (Percussion)

Prerequisite

The applicant must hold a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in a wind instrument or percussion or equivalent.

Curriculum Requirements Units
MUCD 443 2
MUEN 523 (4), MUEN 525 (4) 8
MUHL 570 (2), MUHL 578 (2), MUHL electives at the 500 level (4) 8
MPWP 481 or MPWP 482 (2), MPWP 551 (2), MPWP 553 (8) 12
Graduate recital 0
Comprehensive review 0
30