The MFA curriculum, known throughout the nation for its excellence, is a rigorous, three-year, 60 credit hour program which includes intensive study of dance technique, choreography, production and theater crafts, music, pedagogy, kinesiology, dance history and other areas of study. The graduate program was established in 1975 and alumni have gone on to contribute to the field of dance in valuable ways. Several alumni have become university provosts, chairs, directors or professors of dance. Many are dancing with professional companies or have formed their own companies while some are solo artists.
Every MFA candidate is expected to fulfill the comprehensive requirements and demonstrate a high level of professional standards and scholarship regardless of specific career goals. Candidates may choose to specialize in performance, choreography or teaching. However, each graduate student must successfully produce and present an MFA Thesis concert.
The MA degree, which requires 30 hours of course work, supports scholarly studies in various aspects of dance such as theory, history, and dance medicine, science, and/or wellnes. The candidate’s program of study will be uniquely designed by the advising faculty. As required by the School of Graduate Studies, a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.75 must be maintained.
Because of the enormous amount of time required for production and class preparation, part-time participation in the program is not recommended. And, because of the course sequences, it is almost impossible to become comfortably integrated and into the program’s dynamic unless work is undertaken in a fall semester.
Additionally, all entering graduate students are placed into the MA track. Re-evaluation is made in the 2nd year as to whether the student would be well served by moving to the MFA track. All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain successful.
The program of study allows for a some elective course work in other departments in areas that are of particular interest to the student. Some of these classes can be supported by the fellowship classes supported by the School of Graduate Studies.
The graduate curriculum has a strong emphasis on technique therefore, regular and consistent enrollment in technique is required by all graduate students. The primary thrust of the technique offered is modern/contemporary however, ballet classes compliment the technique requirement.
Participation in the graduate program requires a continual assessment and monitoring of each individual’s progress. This is done each semester to assist the student’s development. Important considerations about student progress and performance are outlined in the graduate student guidelines.