Master's Degree (EdM) in Dance Education with PK-12 Dance Teacher Certification


This degree track is explicitly for individuals who have already obtained an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in dance from an accredited university. Individuals on this track aim to prepare for careers in:

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

For this track we do not accept applications from individuals who have not obtained a dance degree.  Individuals without a dance degree should apply instead to our BFA/EdM track.


EdM students are cultivated as independent professionals and can expect to:

  • Build teaching skills through a comprehensive sequence of education and dance education courses
  • Reflect upon and use artistic knowledge and skills to examine the process of education
  • Work with teenagers and children in various on-campus dance programs
  • Assist with an authentic assessment experience – the NJ DOE CTE High School Practical Dance Exams
  • Conduct teaching practicums and teaching internships in K-12 schools
  • Attend field trips and network with exemplar K-12 programs
  • Network with state agencies and arts in education organizations
  • Socialize with other graduate students in the arts and education
  • 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
  • Vie for paid positions as teaching assistants, substitute teaching and choreography with undergraduate dancers
  • 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 a master’s degree in education (EdM)


EdM students may attend the program full-time or part-time with the exception of the teaching internship semester, which requires full-time enrollment. Course schedules can be crafted to adapt to most work and family obligations. Education courses are offered multiple semesters, including summers, and in morning, afternoon and evening sections. Full-time students attend dance education courses two evenings per week. This track includes an abbreviated summer semester. Students also have the option to maintain their technical artistry through daily classes either in the morning or evening and 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 1st for the following fall. Rolling admissions continues until June 1st.  Incoming students are advised during May and June. They receive access to the Graduate Dance Education Guide (website) and may begin optional reading and writing assignments for their fall courses.   

The following progression is based on full-time study. Part-time study options are available. 

First-Year Graduate Study

During the fall semester students may attend a placement audition and may opt to join daily technique classes. Students attend a comprehensive sequence of dance education courses focused on adolescent learners and may take an additional 3 credits at no additional cost. They are placed in a middle or high school dance program for practicum and attend field trips to exemplar programs for a total of 30 hours of fieldwork. Students work with a national/international guest-artist-educator and attend the NJ DOE November in-service dance workshops. During December they submit their resume and apply for their fall teaching internship placement. During the winter break they propose workshops for the Rutgers Summer High School Dance Conservatory. 

During the spring semester students continue with a comprehensive sequence of dance education courses focused on elementary learners, enroll in education courses, may opt to join daily technique classes and may take an additional 3 credits at no additional cost. Students attend field trips to elementary dance programs and the NJAHPERD conference toward completing 30 hours of elementary teaching practicum. Students attend the second year student portfolio defense and may opt to rehearse and perform for the Graduate Dance Concert.  Students also attend a GSE teaching internship orientation. 

Second-Year Graduate Study

Second year study begins in the summer semester with fieldwork at the NJ DOE CTE High School Practical Dance Exams in late May and the on-line course in assessment in June led by the nation’s top expert on the National Dance Standards, Dr. Rima Faber. During July, students attend daily classes in research, classroom management as well as special workshops for K-12 and studio educators through our Dance Teacher Advancement initiative. This is followed by paid teaching opportunities with the Rutgers Summer High School Dance Conservatory and Kids Create Camp. During August, students may engage in three-weeks of global study and service learning through the South Africa Initiative

In the fall semester students enroll in the teaching internship semester and work full-time in a K-12 school with a certified dance educator from late August to early December. Teaching Interns are visited in their school placements and receive guidance from a Rutgers supervisor. The Dance Education Program relies primarily on retired K-12 dance educators with over 30+ years of teaching experience for internship mentorship. Teaching Interns may invite their partner schools to the Rutgers College and Career Dance Day in November. Teaching interns also attend the Teaching Internship Seminar course one evening per week and work with a guest artist-educator. They may opt to attend the NDEO national conference with program faculty.  Students present their research projects to the BFA community and are encouraged to propose sessions for the NJAHPERD conference. In addition, students are required to attend GSE workshops on job seeking and interviewing strategies. 

During the final, spring semester, students may return to daily technique classes and attend courses. Two of the courses focus on college-to-profession transition and prepare students for seeking employment. Students present at or attend the NJAHPERD conference. They reunite with their K-12 students and may opt to collaboratively produce the Graduate Dance Concert to showcase self-choreographed works with their K-12 dancers as well as works they have set on graduate/undergraduate dancers. Finally, students publish and defend their teaching portfolios.

At the completion of all requirements, the Graduate School of Education confers the EdM degree and graduates 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 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 they are encouraged 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.

Degree Requirements 

EdM Certification Course Offerings and Catalog

Learn more about teacher certification in New Jersey