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. Students must submit a statement of purpose and composition portfolio to the director of music admissions.
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. Clifford Leaman, to let him know of your interest in switching majors, then submit a statement of purpose, transcript and composition portfolio to the coordinator of composition, Dr. John Fitz Rogers.
Statement of Purpose - The statement of purpose should take the form of a short letter (ca. 250 words) addressed to the coordinator of composition, Dr. Rogers, 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 on CD, if available. Recordings are not required but are helpful. Scores are normally two-sided bound copies with appropriate 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.