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School of Music

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Degree Programs

The School of Music prepares musicians for professional careers and leadership in music teaching, performance, composition, research and related fields, offering more than 20 degree programs.  With a combination of passion and pragmatism, nurturing and virtuosity, cost and value, depth and breadth of opportunity, the UofSC School of Music provides a perfect balance of high musical standards, a caring environment vested in student success, and career and musical life preparation.

Undergraduate Degrees

The B.A. in Music is designed for students who want to major in music while receiving a broad, liberal arts education. B.A. students will select a cognate (12 credits) or minor area (18 credits) outside the School of Music to prepare for a variety of careers that may be interdisciplinary in nature.

Students must satisfy all general education requirements as specified in the chosen degree. These requirements are designed to give students broad experience in liberal arts and sciences and opportunities to develop intellectual skills in analysis and evaluation, as well as competence in written and oral communication. These requirements vary somewhat between the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of music degrees.

The B.A. in Music with a Concentration in Musical Theatre is designed for students interested in focused study in Musical Theatre. Students receive applied instruction in the various styles of Musical Theatre and participate in a musical theatre ensemble. In lieu of a cognate or minor, students in this concentration complete 18 credit hours of dance and theatre courses.

This degree offers an excellent general education combined with rigorous training in an area of emphasis (composition, jazz studies, music education, music theory or performance). One-on-one training with world-class faculty and visiting artist/teachers and diverse performance opportunities prepare our graduates for the challenges of a career in music.

You can choose one of several areas of emphasis for your bachelor’s of music degree. 

  • Composition Area
  • Jazz Studies Area
  • Music Education Area
  • Performance Area
  • Theory Area

The University of South Carolina School of Music is excited to reveal a new degree program focused on studies within the music industry.  Created in cooperation with the nationally renowned Darla Moore School of Business and the University’s Sport and Entertainment Management program, the Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies is a liberal arts degree with a major in music industry studies featuring coursework intended to provide students desiring a career in the $12.8 billion music industry with the skills and dispositions that can make the dream a reality.  Along with classes focused in the various music industries, business, marketing, and recording skills, students will also acquire an education in musical theory, history, and performance, creating well-rounded graduates able to speak the language of music as well as navigate the myriad aspects of the music industry. 

To enhance learning in the classroom, students will have ample opportunities for experiential learning with local and regional music venues, artists, artists managers, promoters, recording studios, musical instrument producers, and music retailers of all kinds.  Unique to this degree is the lack of traditional audition; prospective students will instead complete a portfolio and interview process for acceptance into the program.

Students interested in this program should contact Coordinator of Music Industry Studies, Jeremy Polley, via email at polley@mailbox.sc.edu.  Application requirements can be found in our undergraduate auditions area.

The School of Music offers music minors for majors and non-majors. Check any prerequisites and note that all minors require a consultation for admission.

The performance certificate is awarded by the School of Music to recognize those undergraduate music students with degree emphases other than music performance as well as musically-talented students who major in other disciplines. The performance certificate will allow gifted and highly motivated students to acquire additional credit, professorial interaction and guidance, and departmental distinction in music performance. Incoming freshman may demonstrate their fitness for the performance certificate during their qualifying or scholarship audition. Continuing students are eligible to enter this program by application to the coordinator of the appropriate area faculty and upon recommendation of the area faculty jury.

Graduate Degrees

The Certificate of Graduate Studies in Music Performance is designed for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in music and wish to focus on applied music study and performance activities.

This degree program is offered in conjunction with the College of Education. Students who successfully complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (Music Education) degree will be prepared for careers in music education and are qualified for South Carolina teacher certification.  

Students who successfully complete our master’s program in music education further their knowledge and understanding through study of history, philosophy, learning theory and pedagogical practice. Teacher certification is required for admission to this degree. 

Three tracks are available:

  • Recital Track
  • Thesis Track
  • Nonthesis/Nonrecital Track

Our graduate programs encourage you to expand your musical knowledge and skills through contact with our world-class faculty. A variety of concentrations are available at the master’s level to prepare you for a fulfilling career in music.

Composition

Our composition students work with active composers in an environment dedicated to innovation and musical excellence.

Conducting

Choral and instrumental (band or orchestra) conducting students enhance their skills and musical knowledge in the classroom and on the podium.

Jazz Studies

Our jazz program fuses performance, composition and arranging into a study plan that prepares students for the professional performance arena.

History

Music history study at the USC School of Music integrates historical, cultural, theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches leading to a rich understanding of music from different perspectives.

Opera

Opera Theatre students develop characterization, stage presence, diction, movement and other necessary theatrical skills through classes, coaching, workshop activities and public performances.

Performance

One-on-one training with world-class faculty and visiting artist/teachers and diverse performance opportunities prepare our students for the challenges of a career in music.  The community engagement concentration is now available as well.

Piano Pedagogy

Students gain performance skills, knowledge of piano repertoire, and understanding of appropriate pedagogies through this program of study, and they apply their knowledge and skills in supervised teaching of a wide range of students.

Music Theory

Music theory students receive advanced training in music theory, analysis, history and research that prepares them for study at the doctoral level. The degree culminates in a thesis project where students pursue a particular area of interest in music theory or analysis. Students also pursue elective coursework in related fields such as music composition, entrepreneurship, performance, and technology.

Violin/Viola Pedagogy

This degree is designed to prepare students for teaching upper strings from the beginning through advanced levels. Students will study various pedagogical sources and topics such as scales, techniques, and graded literature. The program will include practical experience through the Suzuki Strings at USC program.

Our graduate programs let you hone your musical talents by working with world-class faculty to develop the knowledge and skills you need to build successful careers in performance, teaching, and research. You can choose from the following programs for your doctoral study.

Composition

Our composition students work with active composers in an environment dedicated to innovation and musical excellence.

Conducting

Choral and instrumental (band or orchestra) conducting students enhance their skills and musical knowledge in the classroom and on the podium.

Performance

One-on-one training with world-class faculty and visiting artist/teachers and diverse performance opportunities prepare our students for the challenges of a career in music performance.

Piano Pedagogy

Students gain performance skills, knowledge of piano repertoire and understanding of appropriate pedagogies through this program of study. They apply their knowledge and skills in supervised teaching of a wide range of students.
 

The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in music education attracts outstanding students who have an interest in research in the areas of music teaching, the psychology of music learning and early childhood music.

Doctoral students are encouraged to develop an area of musical expertise outside the doctoral major.  

 


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