Music Industry Studies, B.S.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually and analytically with the elements of music – rhythm, harmony, and structure.
  2. A basic understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
  3. An acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres, and cultural sources, including, but not limited to, jazz, popular, classical, and world music forms.
  4. The ability to defend musical judgements.
  5. A functional proficiency in at least one area of instrumental or vocal performance.
  6. An overview understanding of the music industry, including the functions and organizational structures of its basic component sectors, and the relationships of these sectors together.
  7. A working knowledge of the multiple ways the music industry and its sectors use principles and techniques of marketing, promotion, management, and merchandising, including the development, manufacturing, distribution and retailing of musical products.
  8. A basic knowledge of the fundamental principles, issues, and systems associated with creative and intellectual property, including but not limited to copyright, publishing, licensing, patents, and trademarks.
  9. A functional knowledge of artist and concert management, including but not limited to promotion and production.
  10. An overview and understanding of organizational structures, practices, and standard issues associated with music organizations.
  11. A basic understanding of how computers and information technologies influence the business environment, e-commerce, and the decisions of various sectors of the music industry.
  12. A basic knowledge of the major information and data sources that support or influence decision-making in the music industry and in business more generally.
  13. An understanding of the fundamental principles of micro- and macro-economics sufficient to apply them to basic economics analysis, evaluation, and decisions-making.
  14. A functional knowledge of accounting, including financial and managerial accounting.
  15. A basic understanding of principles, techniques, and common practices in business law, management, business ethics, and marketing, including but not limited to consumer behavior, market research, publicity, and public relations.
  16. A basic understanding of international business practices.


Entrance Requirements

All applicants to the School of Music must audition on their principal instrument or voice. Admission to any specific degree is dependent on the qualifying audition. A student who wishes to enter the School of Music from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the School of Music from another USC campus must fulfill one of the following:

  1. Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher.
  2. Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.25 or higher on a USC campus. Transfer applicants from regionally accredited colleges and universities are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.25 (on a 4.00 scale) on all college-level courses attempted. If fewer than 30 semester hours of college-level work have been attempted, the applicant must meet both transfer and freshman entrance requirements.

Degree Requirements (121 hours)

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 32-44
2. College Requirements 0
3. Program Requirements 0-7
4. Major Requirements 82

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6 hours) 

SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)

GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language  (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimum passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required, if not already met through Carolina Core or the foreign language placement exam.

GHS – ​Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours) 

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours) 

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (0 hours)

No college-required courses for this program.

3. Program Requirements (0-7 hours)

Supporting Courses (0-3hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours)

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

Electives (0-7 hours)

  • The number of non-music electives needed depends on how Carolina Core courses are fulfilled.  The number of hours of Carolina Core courses and non-music electives must equal 39 hours.  No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the School of Music. The School of Music allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the School of Music.

4. Major Requirements (82 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.

Major Courses

Course Title Credits
MUSC 100Music Convocation (must complete 2 semesters with a grade of satisfactory)0
MUSC 100AMusic Advocacy I: Understanding the Power of Your Music0
MUSC 100LRecital Class Laboratory1
MUSC 150Music Industry Convocation 10

Must complete 5 semesters

Musicianship (17 hours)

Course Title Credits
MUSC 113Special Topics in Popular Music3
or MUSC 140 Jazz and American Popular Music
MUSC 115Music Theory I3
MUSC 215Music Theory II3
MUSC 117Aural Skills I1
MUSC 118Aural Skills II1
MUSC 210Understanding the Psychology of Music3
MUSC 230Introduction to Beat Making and Digital Audio Production3
or MUSC 231 Introduction to Digital Music Creation
Total Credit Hours17

Applied Music Courses (8 hours)

Course Title Credits
MUSC 104Introduction to Piano2
Select 3 courses from the following:6
Group Piano
Group Piano
Class Voice (Basic)
Class Voice (Intermediate)
Basic Guitar
Introduction to Singing
Basic Guitar II
Total Credit Hours8

Ensembles (4 hours)

Students are required to participate in an ensemble for 4 semesters. Major ensembles require an audition for membership. Students enrolling in an ensemble to fulfill a degree requirement must register for at least 1 credit hour.

Course Title Credits
Select 4 semesters of Music Ensemble from the following:4
The Marching Band
Symphonic Winds
University Concert Choir
University Orchestra
University Chorus
Jazz Ensemble
Wind Ensemble
Ensemble - Chamber Orchestra
Total Credit Hours4

Music Electives (6 hours)

Students must complete a minimum of 6 hours of music major electives.  

  • any MUSC or MUED courses

Music Industry (46 hours)

Course Title Credits
ECON 224Introduction to Economics3
MGMT 371Principles of Management3
MUSC 305Introduction to Music Industry Studies1
MUSC 365An Introduction to Audio Recording Techniques3
MUSC 498Music Industry Capstone6
MUSC 565Advanced Audio Recording Techniques3
MUSC 566Fundamentals of Sound Use for Media3
or MUSC 567 Recording Studio Techniques
MUSC 582Music and Money3
MUSC 588Business of Music3
MUSC 590Seminar in Music Industry3
MUSC 593Arts Marketing3
SPTE 202Introduction to Live Entertainment Management3
SPTE 240Business Law3
SPTE 302Artist Representation and Management3
SPTE 303Live Entertainment Tour Management3
Total Credit Hours46

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Music Industry Studies, B.S.