Five-Year Dual BFA/EdM


This degree track is a unique opportunity to earn both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree at a cost savings, in five years, within a professional school climate. Students on this track have many career options, including:

  • Dance performance and choreography careers
  • Dance teaching careers, including PK-12 public school teaching
  • Educational leadership in dance communities
  • Doctoral study and careers in PK-12 dance teacher preparation on the university level

No other university in the country pairs advanced artistry training with a master’s degree in dance education and teacher certification credentialing. Students must apply to and be accepted for the BFA program to be eligible for this track. Students apply to the EdM degree during the junior BFA year.


Excellence in modern dance performance, outstanding creative achievement, and strong teaching skills are the goals of the dance and dance education program. The diverse interests of the Mason Gross and Graduate School of Education faculty ensure expert direction in four core areas of study: technique and performance, creative process and choreography, theoretical dance study, and education and dance education.

BFA/EdM students thrive within an innovative and artistically demanding curriculum and can expect to:

  • Develop artistic integrity through daily technique classes, a comprehensive choreography curriculum and scholarly theory classes
  • Perform in student, faculty and guest artist work, with the opportunity to tour with the student University DanceWorks company in the junior year, attend ACDFA conferences and perform in NYC venues
  • Develop and showcase their own choreography in student concerts and the Senior BFA concert
  • Expand knowledge and literacy through comprehensive liberal arts studies
  • Build teaching skills through a comprehensive sequence of education and dance education courses
  • Receive mentorship through gradated levels fieldwork, practicum and teaching internships in K-12 schools
  • Build leadership profiles through the NDEO student chapter and active membership with DanceNJ and daCi.
  • Participate in global studies in Jerusalem, London, and Taipei.
  • Attend local and national teacher advancement workshops and conferences
  • Collaboratively direct a student-produced mainstage EdM concerts comprised of self-generated choreography performed by BFA and K-12 student dancers
  • Work with faculty mentors who hold professional credentials and have careers in the profession and education outside of the university walls
  • Produce and defend a digital teaching portfolio targeted toward career development or continuation into doctoral study
  • Graduate with both a BFA and a master’s degree in education (EdM)


Students on the 5 Year BFA/EdM track overlap degree requirements at two different schools:  the BFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts and the EdM at the Graduate School of Education.  The BFA portion of the program includes daily modern-dance technique classes for all four years, supported by regular ballet training and study in other dance forms. Placement classes assure that each dance student works at the level best suited to advance his or her proficiency. Students have a variety of performance opportunities throughout the program. Our faculty of working choreographers and dance artists supports each student's search for original expression. Students begin their study of creative work with closely supervised problem-solving and improvisation practice. This work continues through courses in choreography. Students on this track have the option to produce work for student concerts and the senior choreography project.

Freshman Year

Students focus on the dance performance and liberal art courses in the BFA curriculum.

Sophomore Year

Students continue with a focus on the BFA classes and liberal art courses and also begin taking introductory-level education and dance education courses. The education courses initially apply toward the liberal arts requirements. In addition, students complete a semester of guided fieldwork with experienced dance educators in the K-12 schools. 

Junior Year

Students may study abroad in Jerusalem, London or Taipei or they may take one dance education course and tour with the student dance company, University DanceWorks.  Between the fall semester and the winter break students take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and apply to the Graduate School of Education.  Graduate applications are due on February 1.  Students are informed of their acceptance to the EdM program in March and accepted students attend the GSE induction ceremony.  Upon acceptance, the education courses taken during the sophomore year that initially counted toward liberal arts, revert to the dance education major. 

Senior Year

Accepted students begin a comprehensive sequence of education and dance education courses along with senior dance and dance theory courses.  BFA/EdM students are waived out of Choreography III and IV and Advanced Improvisation, but may enroll in these courses toward elective credit.  Students conduct 60 hours of mentored dance teaching practicum in K-12 schools.  During January of the senior year students and/or their families should consider opening a new FAFSA application designating the Graduate School of Education as the school of enrollment and seek graduate study loans.  At the end of senior year, given that all undergraduate requirements have been fulfilled, the BFA degree is conferred by Mason Gross.

Graduate Year

Students return as a GSE student for summer courses and assist with the NJDOE High School Dance Performance Exams.  They teach in the Rutgers Summer High School Dance Conservatory and Kids Create Camp.  Students may opt to travel abroad to conduct dance service learning through the South Africa Initiative.  In the fall semester they complete a full-time teaching internship in a PK-12 school.  During the spring semester they may opt to continue with daily technique classes, finish graduate courses, publish and defend their teaching portfolios and produce the Graduate Concert. 

At the completion of all requirements, the Graduate School of Education confers the EdM degree and students are recommended to the NJ State Department of Education for K-12 dance teacher certification – Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS).  New Jersey teacher certification has a life-time validity allowing graduates the flexibility in pursuing a performance career prior to a teaching career if so desired.  New Jersey K-12 dance certification has reciprocity in 36 states.  Students who wish to apply for teacher licensure in New York City or other states may obtain special advisement from the EdM program director. 


Alumni are encouraged to remain active in the EdM community by sponsoring teaching interns as cooperating teachers, guest teaching, attending summer workshops for PIP points offered through our Dance Teacher Advancement  initiative and submitting work for the bi-annual alumni concert. 


During the program, students gradually accumulate a web-based teaching portfolio that includes their performance and choreography samples, teaching vision as well as sample lesson plans, units of study, curriculum design, a management plan, sample assessments, and evidence from their fieldwork, practicum and teaching internship. Two courses in professional issues during the final semester of study prepare students for the college-to-profession transition and for seeking employment.


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, offers the excellence of a research university at affordable tuition costs.  The Dance Department awards several types of scholarships each year for BFA students based on merit or financial need.  In addition, each year a newly admitted BFA/EdM junior receives a partial scholarship for the EdM program based on merit.  The department appoints and employs two graduate work-study eligible students each year.  Students are also funded to teach in the Rutgers Summer High School Dance Conservatory, Kids Create Camp, Extension Division program, and to work as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses.  During the final graduate year, tuition costs are capped at 12 credits allowing students to take up to 15 credits with no additional fee.  During senior year students and their families are encouraged to apply for Federal Student Aid, including summer tuition aid.  The Federal Student Aid Program now provides several loan forgiveness programs for K-12 teachers and individuals in public service such as public university teachers.  Graduate students may also apply for Graduate School of Education scholarships and they are encouraged to explore other funding options at the Rutgers GradFund website. 

BFA/EdM Degree Requirements

BFA Course Offerings and Catalog

BFA/EdM Certification Course Offerings and Catalog


Students interested in the 5 Year BFA/EdM degree must first apply to and be accepted for the BFA dance program to be eligible for the EdM track.  Students apply to the EdM during the junior BFA year.

BFA alumni who did not opt for the 5 Year track while a student at Mason Gross are welcome to apply to the EdM degree after graduating from Mason Gross. However, the post-baccalaureate track will take two full-time years (or longer for part-time study) to complete. Mason Gross BFA alumni are waived from the EdM audition requirement.