The Master of Fine Arts in Dance provides an opportunity to increase knowledge, broaden understanding, and develop research and artistic capability. Building on a well-balanced undergraduate education, graduate students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of the specific discipline of dance, supported by a personal commitment to high scholarly and artistic standards. A fundamental purpose of the School of Dance is to encourage each graduate student to demonstrate outstanding standards of scholarship and to produce high-quality original research and creative work.
The diverse graduate population provides a sense of community in which students can learn from various perspectives. In addition, the close alliance between the graduate and undergraduate students provides an opportunity for graduate students to choreograph on and perform with some of the top undergraduate dance students in the country. The triple-track program allows the graduate student to explore and gain experience, skills, and knowledge in ballet, modern, and jazz dance.
Propelled by the work of award winning teachers and choreographers, UA Dance is a diverse program that includes training in ballet, modern and jazz combined with a liberal arts education. The UA Dance Ensemble has performed in the Kennedy Center, The Joyce Theater, in China and Germany, and has toured Ecuador, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Scotland and the Netherlands. Specializing in preparing students for professional performance and teaching careers, UA Dance offers BFA and MFA degree programs. (NASD accredited.)
To apply for admission for the graduate program, the candidate must have extensive dance training, hold an undergraduate degree in dance and meet the minimum requirements of the UA Graduate College.
Four Steps for Graduate Application to the School of Dance:
1. MFA candidates must apply to the University of Arizona prior to auditioning for the School of Dance.
2. The School of Dance office must receive the following applicant materials prior to auditioning:
-Statement of Purpose letter (a brief and focused essay about one's career or research goals)
-Curriculum Vitae (comprehensive resume)
-Three letters of recommendation
-DVD (or online link) of recent creative work (performance/choreography)
3. Mail the above audition requirements to:
University of Arizona School of Dance, 121 Gittings Building
ATTN. Amy Ernst, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Tucson, AZ 85721-0093
4. A two-day physical audition is required. Auditions must be scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays to take and observe classes; perform a 2-3 minute solo followed by an interview with dance faculty; teach a non-major class in one of three genres: ballet/modern/jazz; meet resident graduate students; and become familiar with the UA campus and Tucson proper.
Graduate Admission Status
Once your application to the Graduate College has been processed, the School of Dance will review all application materials and consider an on-campus audition/interview. Since nearly all applicants have previously earned a BFA degree in Dance, we do not encourage any applicant to apply without having already completed all prerequisites. A 2-3 year hiatus is also recommended between completion of a BFA and entering the MFA program to demonstrate self-motivated professional activity.
a. Students will be admitted to enter graduate studies who meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate College and the School of Dance including:
i. Demonstrated advanced level in technique in ballet, modern dance, or jazz dance.
ii. Have completed at least one year of dance composition, achieving a grade of “B” or higher; or at least two professional compositions that have been publicly presented.
iii. Have completed at least one year of Dance or Drama Theatre Production, achieving a grade of “B” or higher; or at least 2 years of professional experience.
iv. Have competed at least one course each in:
1. Music history/literature, music for dance, or two years of applied music study.
2. Anatomy for Dance; Kinesiology; or Biomechanics.
3. Aesthetics of dance or the arts, or in dance ethnology/anthropology.
4. Dance History
b. All students applying for admission to the program of study must also meet qualitative standards determined by the dance faculty including:
i. Review of three confidential letters of recommendation
ii. Review of the applicant’s performance or choreographic work
iii. Review of the student’s written Statement of Purpose
iv. On-site audition, with personal interview
c. Criteria for admission to the program of study are based on the quantitative and qualitative requirements listed above, and admission will be determined according to:
i. Each student’s demonstrated expertise in performance or choreography
ii. Evidence of self-motivated professional experience in the field
iii. Potential for successful completion of the degree at the University of Arizona
iv. Personal maturity, independence and academic and artistic integrity
v. THE GRE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR CONSIDERATION
In conjunction with the Director of Graduate Studies, each student is responsible for developing a written Plan of Study. This plan is to be filed with the Graduate College during the penultimate semester in residence.
Students must complete 60 units of graduate level courses. The specific Dance Graduate Curriculum for the MFA in Dance is designed with the option in either Choreography and/or Performance.
Graduate Financial Aid and Scholarships
Only after acceptance can the School of Dance offer graduate support in the form of Teaching Assistantships which include an out-of-state tuition waiver, as well as the possibility of Graduate Tuition Scholarships and/or Graduate College Fellowship Awards.
Important Online Links:
Required test(s): No Tests Required for Admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Dance.
Please refer to Admissions Requirements
The Graduate curriculum in dance allows the student to focus on choreography, performance, teaching, and research in dance. It also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies with other arts, humanities, and sciences in support of the student's development as a scholar, teacher, and artist.
The M.F.A. in Dance degree has two areas of emphasis, choreography and performance, that allow for intensive focus. The program facilitates and nurtures dance artists in their area of emphasis while offering a comprehensive graduate education in dance. The M.F.A. degree is 60 units requiring 2-3 years of residency at the University of Arizona. The curriculum includes core courses and dance technique as well as courses in theory and pedagogy.
For complete program information concerning the M.F.A. in Dance curriculum, please refer to the M.F.A. in Dance Handbook at:
A minor is not required for the M.F.A. in Dance. Please refer to Admissions Requirements.