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Graduate Curriculum


The MFA in Classical & Contemporary Dance is a degree in creative investigation. The objective of the MFA program is to develop practicing artists with the ability to translate artistry into the skills of teaching dance in academe.


Candidates for the MFA degree will pursue emphasis in either Ballet or Modern Dance and will focus their studies leading toward the thesis concert in either choreography or performance. These tracks will be determined in collaboration with the graduate faculty.


The MFA curriculum offers advanced studies in dance and dance-related subjects including:  classical and contemporary dance techniques, choreography, pedagogical practice and analysis, dance production and design, dance history as a cultural investigation, performance practicum, issues and analysis in dance, and research problems and methodologies. The degree includes some elective options, including the potential for studies abroad, and directed studies course work.  MFA studies require both written and concert theses, and culminate in an oral examination that addresses the content of these theses.


MFA candidates must earn 60 hours in approved graduate courses, including the production of a concert of choreography/performance and a formal written thesis. The content and format of each of these shall be determined and evaluated by the student’s graduate advisory committee.


A comprehensive oral examination must be passed before the MFA degree is awarded.


Upon approval, entering candidates may transfer up to 6 hours of graduate study in dance earned prior to admittance.


As a component of the individualized guidance offered in the MFA program, and based on each applicant’s background and experience, specialized studio-based investigations may serve in place of traditional technique classes. Any unique studio courses intended to replace technique classes must be proposed, designed in consultation with, and receive permission of the dance faculty.


The program requires 60 hours of course work including the following:


18 hours of technique from the following courses
          DANC 60100 Ballet Technique and Artistry
          DANC 60200 Modern Dance Technique and Artistry
          DANC 70100   Ballet Technique and Artistry
          DANC 70200 Modern Dance Technique and Artistry
          DANC 70400 Advanced Studio Practice  *permission only


21 hours of studio studies

          DANC 60533 Dance Pedagogy I: Practice and Analysis
          DANC 60553 Graduate Choreographic Studies

          DANC 60773 Graduate Performance Analysis
          DANC 70533 Dance Pedagogy II: Practice and Analysis
          DANC 70553 Advanced Choreographic Studies
          DANC 70983 Concert Thesis
          3 studio elective hours


21 hours academic studies
          DANC 60603 Issues and Analysis in Dance
          DANC 60613 Dance Research Methods
          DANC 60663 Dance History: A Cultural Investigation
          DANC 70603 Research Problems
          DANC 70990 Written Thesis
          6 free elective hours