USC Thornton School of Music

At the USC Thornton School of Music, we celebrate our location in Los Angeles, the nation’s center for creativity and innovation. As the music profession changes, we are at the forefront of a forward-thinking educational model that prepares students for careers at the highest level as performers, composers, educators and industry leaders.

Our three exceptional divisions offer cross-genre experiences unique among the country’s top music schools. As a leading international research institution, USC offers students a rigorous, global education that enriches their artistic and musical development.

Our Classical Performance and Composition Division’s curriculum challenges students to develop a distinct artistic voice and create a thriving life and career in music. Our goal? To train artists who will expand classical music’s influence and impact, now and in years to come.

Programs in the Division of Contemporary Music are among the industry’s best and most celebrated. Known for their embrace of new technology and creative collaborations with new media, dance, theater and musicians located around the world, our faculty and students have always been musical pathfinders.

USC Thornton integrates all aspects of musical reflection in our Research and Scholarly Studies Division coursework, from research and pedagogy to innovative strategies of arts leadership. Alumni are working on and off the stage – in higher education and K-12 classrooms, archives, studios, leadership positions, and more.

“One of the things I’m often asked is, ‘Are we preparing students for the real world?’ and I love to say no. We are training our students to go out and change the world into a better place. That’s what artists do.”  Robert Cutietta, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music

Please visit our website for further information regarding application requirements, audition dates and policies, faculty biographies, upcoming events, student and alumni spotlights, and more!


Although we are disappointed that we’re unable to offer in-person visits at this time, we are eager to connect with you virtually! Please click here to view our virtual admission events.


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