The MFA degree program offers working dance professionals the opportunity to study with award-winning dance artists, scholars, and educators. The program focuses on developing interdisciplinary praxis where performance, creativity, and pedagogy become integrated with studies in other art forms and theoretical studies.
Guided by the belief that dance is a fundamental embodied practice for understanding the human condition in a globalized context, the degree establishes students as creatively literate world citizens who can develop interdisciplinary solutions to address complex contemporary issues. The rigorous 60-credit curriculum is led by the graduate full-time dance faculty who model excellence in interdisciplinary research.



Students enrolled in the MFA dance degree program are afforded the opportunity to work with world-renowned visiting artists and scholars. Below is a brief sample list of professionals who have engaged with our students as guests artists and scholars.
  • Kyle Abraham
  • Camille Brown
  • Trisha Brown
  • Nicholas Bruder, Sleep No More
  • Merce Cunningham
  • Maxine Doyle, Punchdrunk
  • Joe Goode Performance Group
  • Rennie Harris
  • Jessica Lang
  • Bill T. Jones
  • Larry Kegwin
  • David Parsons
  • David Parker,  Bang Group
  • Susan Marshall
  • Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women
  • Stephen Petronio
  • Pam Tanowitz
  • Zisan Ugurlu, Viewpoints/La Mama
  • Experimental Theatre
  • Doug Varone
  • Idan Cohen and Dancers
  • Deborah Friedes Galili and Gaga technique
  • LeeSaar Company
  • Ohad Naharin
  • Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company
  • Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor
  • Vertigo Dance Company
  • Shen Wei Dance Arts
  • Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Dr. Claudia Jeschke, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Liz Lerman, Dance Exchange, Washington DC


This period of intensive study includes 60 credits of coursework over a 2-year period scaffolding all four tracks of the curriculum. Sessions are as follows:
  • Summer Session 1
  • Fall Semester 1
  • Winter Session
  • Spring Semester 1
  • Summer Session 2
  • Fall Semester 2
  • Spring Semester 2
During coursework, students will develop a “Praxis Plan” of elective courses that pursues an integration of theoretical and practical inquiry through:
  1. A series of dance-focused special topics courses, and
  2. Additional coursework in other artistic, humanities, and STEM disciplines.
After required and elective coursework is completed satisfactorily, students enroll part-time, focusing on thesis research and production under the supervision of their thesis committees. Students completing their thesis defenses will earn their MFA degrees and emerge with a substantial video and text portfolio of materials targeted toward applications for positions in higher education.


As a designated research university, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, offers excellence in a vast diversity of study areas. Beginning with the four departmental disciplines at the Mason Gross School of the Arts which include art & design, dance, music, and theater as well as an additional film division, MFA students also have access to top-tier departments and faculties in the humanities with course offerings in a diverse number of areas such as philosophy and aesthetics, history, cognitive studies, women and gender studies, queer studies, Jewish studies, Asian studies, and African, Latino, and Caribbean Studies, among many others. Additional STEM areas of study (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) include community health, music technology, landscape architecture, and engineering robotics, among many others.


Located 40 minutes from New York City and 90 minutes from Philadelphia, students easily access the cultural opportunities of world-class cities, including venues such as Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy, The Joyce Theater, DanceSpace, and Movement Research, among many others. Student may also engage in additional world-class training from an infinite variety of contemporary and classical dance techniques, somatic professionals, and world dance traditions. Faculty, students, artists, and scholars from around the world are attracted to our cultural nexus, providing opportunities to explore a diverse range of artistic and scholarly inquiry.

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