MFA in Dance

    Credit: Jaqlin Medlock. Choreography by LeeSaar The Company, Blood (2015)


The MFA degree in Dance serves working dance artists with a minimum of 5 years experience in the field who want to expand their range by integrating a variety of new artistic and dance studies fields. Students engage with advanced technical training in a variety of movement methods, including contemporary, classical, and somatic practices, and apply those skills in staged performances.
Our MFA degree curriculum emphasizes both theory and practical coursework in an effort to expand the student’s creative research using cross- and interdisciplinary methods. The degree provides opportunities for dance artists to engage with and learn about critical pedagogy, and work toward a faculty position in higher education. In each artistic, theoretical, and pedagogical learning environment, students are mentored by our faculty to become leaders in and advocates for the dance field.


The six degree program goals below detail departmental expectations for graduate level scholastic growth in the areas of performance, creativity, dance studies, pedagogy, cross- and interdisciplinary research, and leadership in the field.
  • Refine conservatory training in contemporary, classical, and somatic techniques to cultivate greater interpretive skills for professional artistic presentation as well as to give training toward an advanced level of pedagogical demonstration
  • Develop multiple performance opportunities including self-produced, faculty, and globally-based guest artist works and opportunities as interpreters for choreographic thesis projects
  • Acquire comprehensive skills in improvisational and choreographic strategies to strengthen advanced choice-making in the creative process and research
  • Develop a praxis of integrated theoretical frameworks and studio projects that develop a range of cross- and interdisciplinary creative processes and research methods
Dance Studies
  • Build firm scaffolding of critical thinking and writing skills through theoretical course work
  • Establish a comprehensive range of dance studies competencies including philosophy, aesthetics, history, and technology as they intersect with creativity and performance
  • Develop and refine a knowledge and understanding of dance pedagogy that becomes the foundation for excellence in transformative teaching
  • Apply historical, cultural and critical pedagogical frameworks to in-studio technical, performance and creative practices
  • Acquire advanced competency in creating course materials such as syllabi and multiple forms for assessment supporting pedagogical accountability and reinforcing student self-management and regulation in the classroom
Cross- and Interdisciplinary Creative Research
  • Understand and value of both cross- and interdisciplinary modes of research that integrate dance with other artistic, humanities, and/or STEM fields
  • Develop and refine theoretical and artistic vocabularies and methods for advanced creative process and research in cross- and interdisciplinary artistic works
  • Create a final thesis project that fulfills a mature artistic vision for cutting-edge cross- and interdisciplinary creative work
Leadership in the Field
  • Acquire advanced communication skills through a firm foundation of personal assessments that require both oral and written components
  • Develop advanced technological literacy through coursework to support transformative teaching and research excellence in chosen areas of study
  • Understand the scope of dance as a field with multiple pathways to success toward entering the professional field ready to lead and advocate for a clear set of dance values and beliefs


How to apply to the MFA degree.

To learn more about the program, visit our About page or check out our MFA brochure below:

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