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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance






Associate Professor

Keefe, Maura, Full Member

Pearson, Sara, Full Member

Widrig, Patrik, Full Member

Assistant Professor

Fang, Adriane, Full Member


Jackson, Paul D., Adjunct Member

Mayes, Alvin, Adjunct Member

More DANC Faculty Information

Dance (DANC)   

Program Title and Classification


Graduate Degree Program

College: Arts and Humanities


The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance, focusing on developing highly skilled teaching artists with concentrations in either performance or choreography. The program is designed to give outstanding students advanced training, experience in teaching, and opportunities for creative growth. The School also offers MA, MFA, and PhD degrees in theatre. For more information visit the School website at

Aimed primarily at modern or contemporary dancers with a high skill level and background in creating and performing at a professional level, the MFA Dance program integrates studio, theory, and pedagogical practices, culminating in the third year in both a shared concert of original work(s) and an off-campus internship in a professional organization, agency, company, or school.

The competencies that students learn during the program will allow them to teach a broad range of dance and dance-related subjects after they graduate. They will be able to produce and present dance in a number of contexts and modalities, on campus, in professional and site-specific venues, and in the community.

The program provides many performance opportunities, which are directed by faculty members, visiting guest artists and fellow students. Important emphasis is given to dance theory and practices in western and world dance and to the study of current issues. We wish our graduates to exhibit a high degree of insight into the cultural contexts in which dance has developed in the past and continues to develop today.

Students are expected to spend a significant amount of time learning about technical aspects of dance as well as promotion and house management and the myriad of other organizational details that go into producing a dance performance. They will be actively involved in the practical application of this knowledge as part of their training.

The program is highly selective (four students per year) and auditions are required. The MFA is a full time three-year program. Financial support is available for each student selected.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • CV/Resume
  • Sample of Work: A 10-15 minute video, providing example of applicant’s choreography with a description to includename of the work, performers and other choreographers, either on the applicant’s professional website or through a Vimeo/YouTube link entered into the Multimedia Requirements section of the application

Applicants should have a strong undergraduate preparation in technique and dance composition. They should have completed the following undergraduate courses or their equivalent: improvisation, kinesiology, dance teaching methods, dance production, Laban Movement Analysis, and two semesters of dance history or one semester of history and one of dance philosophy, ethnology or aesthetics. Undergraduate deficiencies will be considered on an individual basis.

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website:

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
24 Jan
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
7 Feb

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

60 credits required

The following courses are required. Students should check with their advisor to determine the remainder of their coursework. 

DANC 600: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Dance (3 credits)

DANC 604: Dance Pedogogy (2 credits)

DANC 608: Choreography I (3 credits)

DANC 610: Workshop in the Direction of Dance Production (3 credits)

DANC 611: Dance Technology and Media (3 credits)

DANC 708: Choreography II (3 credits)

DANC 719: Choreographic Project (3 credits)

DANC 766: Movement Observation and Analysis (2 credits)

DANC 784: Dance in a Global Context (3 credits)


Students enrolled in the program must complete a total of 60 credit hours of study with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to graduate and will be assessed on a regular basis to determine their progress. Graduation from the program requires the successful completion of a final project demonstrating a synthesis of craft and artistic understanding as well as professional competence in the area of concentration. Final projects consist of: (1) the thesis project consisting of the public presentation of a body of dance works choreographed by the candidate, along with written documentation of the project as agreed upon with the thesis adviser; (2) the presentation of an online portfolio of selected indicators of artistry and pedagogy. The thesis project work may be presented in one or more publicly attended events, in a shared capacity with another MFA candidate. Candidates are responsible for the organization of all production elements involved in the presentation of the project.


Facilities and Special Resources

The location of campus, eight miles away from Washington D.C., places the School a half hour away from America’s arts district where one may study and enjoy a wide variety of offerings of ballet, modern and world dance. Washington D.C. is also a center for policy and participation in the public discourse about the arts.

Financial Assistance

Four candidates are admitted each Fall, and each of the four are offered financial support through teaching assistatnship appointments, or if available, fellowships. Assistantships are never guaranteed and funding can change year to year. All qualified applicants may be nominated for Graduate School fellowships; the deadline for all applications is posted on the TPDS website annually. For more information, visit or call 301-405-6694.

Contact Statement

The Guidelines for the Graduate Program provide course requirements, examination procedures and descriptive materials for the M.F.A. program. For specific information, contact: Associate Professor Karen Bradley,



Patrik Widrig, Head of MFA in Dance

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance StudiesClarice Smith Performing Arts Center

University of MarylandCollege Park

MD, 20742

Telephone: (301) 405-3652

Fax: (301) 314-9599


Crystal Gaston, Assistant to Director & Coordinator Graduate Services

2809 Clarice Smith PAC

University of Maryland

College Park MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-405-6675


Associated Information




Competency based degree with emphasis on developing highly skilled teaching artists with concentrations in either performance or choreography. Option to receive Certification in Laban Movement Studies.