Master's Degree (EdM) in Dance Education: Non-certification Track


This track is for the professional and pre-professional dance educator who has already obtained an undergraduate degree in dance from an accredited university and has already obtained PK-12 teacher certification in New Jersey or another state. This track is for individuals who aim to:

  • Advance their career in K-12 education
  • Conduct graduate study to enable alternate career opportunities in the arts and education
  • Prepare for doctoral study and careers in post-secondary education

The valid K-12 teacher certification required for the non-certification track includes the New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) and New Jersey Standard certificate as well as New York Initial and Professional certificates or other comparable certification from other states.  The New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility (CE) is not accepted as a qualified teaching credential unless it has reverted to a Standard certificate after one year of validated, full-time PK-12 teaching.  Individuals with the New Jersey Provisional certificate must expect to have a minimum of 400 hours of documented and validated teaching experience prior to graduating from the Ed.M. program to be accepted to the non-certification track.  Out-of-State certificates must align with New Jersey required internship and qualified PK-12 teaching experience.  Applicants who do not hold K-12 certification may apply to our Ed.M. Certification program. 


EdM Non-Certification students are acknowledged as independent professionals and can expect to:

  • Refresh teaching practices through an opportunity to be a learner
  • Experiment with new ideas in a supportive environment
  • Examine embodied cognition and research about learning to transform dance teaching approaches
  • Reflect upon and use artistic knowledge and skills to examine the process of education
  • Translate dance learning into the edu-speak that administrators can understand
  • Acquire analysis and assessment skills to gain insights into students
  • Critically reflect on teaching practices in order to better understand strengths and weaknesses
  • Investigate the parallels between literacy and dance literacy
  • Infuse instructional practice with innovative educational technology
  • Conduct and use research to revise curriculum with acuity and skill
  • Deepen and expand teaching repertoire through a comprehensive sequence of courses
  • Build leadership profiles through the NDEO student chapter and active membership with DanceNJ  and daCi.
  • Participate in teacher advancement workshops and attend local and national conferences
  • Attend a wide variety of dance and other arts events at Mason Gross and Rutgers
  • Opt to collaboratively produce a mainstage EdM concerts comprised of self-generated choreography performed by BFA and their own 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 a solid degree in education


Most EdM Non-Certification students work full-time, attend the program part-time and have successfully had one or more courses per semester subsidized by their employing school district. Current teachers are encouraged to apply for Federal Student Aid, which now provides several loan forgiveness programs for K-12 teachers and individuals in public service such as public university teachers.

Course schedules can be crafted to adapt to most work and family obligations.  Education courses are offered multiple semesters, including summers, during the evening and also at other times of the day. Dance education courses meet beginning at 5:35 PM weeknights to accommodate employed dance educators. In addition, there are several on-line courses and hybrid course options. Students also have the option to maintain their technical artistry through evening technique classes or may opt to join in evening rehearsals for the Graduate Concert.


The program admits students in the fall semester only. Students wishing to be considered for scholarships must apply by February 1 for the following fall. Rolling admissions continues until June 1. 

Incoming students are advised during May and June. Students with pre-existing graduate education credits may transfer appropriate credits to the program. Based on transcript review, some students may waive required courses and replace these with specialized courses of interest that lead to additional endorsements including supervisory certification or preparation for doctoral study. Students receive access to the Graduate Dance Education Guide (website) and may begin optional reading and writing assignments for their fall courses.  


Students may enroll in one or more classes per semester. They have up to five years to complete the degree. Students must complete the Foundations of Dance Education course before continuing on to the methodology courses and must complete the Research course before moving on to the Professional Issues courses. They participate in guest artist-teacher workshops and are welcome to attend the numerous dance and other arts events at Mason Gross and Rutgers. EdM Non-Certification students may perform and attend evening rehearsals for the Graduate Dance Concert. During the semester of or just after their culminating course(s) they may produce choreographic works for the Graduate Dance Concert that includes their K-12 students and/or graduate and undergraduate dancers. 


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 teaching portfolio that can be used for career advancement or doctoral application. The portfolio includes performance and choreography samples, the teaching vision as well as sample lesson plans, units of study, curriculum design, a management plan, and sample assessments, etc.


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, offers the excellence of a research university at affordable tuition costs. The Dance Department awards several partial scholarships each year for applicants of merit who apply by February 1st. In addition, 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. One advantage of graduate study in the Graduate School of Education is that tuition costs are capped at 12 credits allowing students to take up to 15 credits with no additional fee. Applicants and students are also encouraged to apply for Graduate School of Education scholarships and to explore other funding options at the Rutgers GradFund website. Applicants are encouraged to apply for Federal Student Aid, which now provides several loan forgiveness programs for K-12 teachers and individuals in public service such as public university teachers.

EdM Non-Certification Course Offerings and Catalog

Learn more about teacher certification in New Jersey

Download a list of reciprocal states [PDF]