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School of Music


Audition Information for Bachelor of Music Composition

The first step in the application process is to apply for general admission to USC and the School of Music. All students who indicate composition as their intended major are considered for admission to the composition program. 

Please note that all prospective composition majors must also successfully audition on their primary instrument to be admitted to the School of Music. Students who want to be considered for a composition scholarship award must also complete the composition interview process. Students who receive a composition scholarship are required to attend Composition Seminar (Fridays, 2:30-4 p.m., R210) during the spring and fall terms.

Current undergraduate students who want to change their major to composition should first make an appointment to see the director of undergraduate studies, Dr. Tina Stallard, to let her know of your interest in switching majors, then submit a statement of purpose, transcript and composition portfolio to the coordinator of composition, Dr. Fang Man.

Statement of Purpose - The statement of purpose should take the form of a short letter (ca. 250 words) addressed to the coordinator of composition that describes why you wish to major in composition, what you hope to accomplish as a composition major, and what you plan to do with your degree when you graduate.

Composition Portfolio - The composition portfolio consists of 1-3 completed works you have composed or arranged with recordings, if available. Recordings are not required but are helpful. Scores should include title/instrumentation/author information on the cover. Submissions usually take the form of short works for solo instrument, or less often, works for chamber ensemble or large ensembles such as band, chorus or jazz ensemble.

Letters of Recommendation - Applicants should also submit 1-2 letters of recommendation prior to their composition interview. The letters should be from teachers or mentors familiar with your musical and/or academic background.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.