Graduate Bulletin

Dance, M.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 11

All department and university application materials must be received by the Dance Department. After acceptance at the department level, final review of all application materials is made by the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

A supplemental application, which is required, can be obtained at

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from qualified representatives of academic or professional communities in dance.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and an undergraduate degree in dance or equivalent professional experience. Depending on the individual's professional goals, certain prerequisite courses may be assigned to fill in any gaps in preparation.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

 A baccalaureate degree is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should address how the applicant's experience and education have prepared the individual for advanced study in dance and how the degree will support her/his professional goals. It should be 3-5 typed pages in length.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 79 iBT or 550 PBT.

Graduate Interview Day:

All applicants are expected to attend the Dance Department’s graduate interview day or to make other arrangements to complete interview day requirements. The day includes a workshop class with portions taught by several members of the faculty, a 5-7 minute presentation on an area of research interest, and an interview. All applicants are interviewed by one or more members of the M.A. faculty.


A resume that details experience in dance, art, education, scholarship, and/or public leadership is required.

Writing Sample:

A recent scholarly or academic research paper must be submitted as a writing sample.

Transfer Credit:

Graduate credits from an accredited institution may be transferred into the M.A. in Dance program. Transfer credits must be approved by the graduate coordinator, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 33

Required Courses:
Core Courses (18 credits), including 6 credits each in:
Cultural Perspectives
DANC 8859:  Writing the City
DANC 8873:  Concepts of Culture
Creative Perspectives
DANC 8861:  Dancing Self in Community
DANC 8862:  Embodied Craft
Pedagogical Perspectives
DANC 8867:  Educational Inquiry in Dance
DANC 8872:  Educating Dance

Research Methods and Thesis (6 credits)
Technique or Corporeal Improvisation, or elective (3 credits)
Electives (6 credits), including 3 credits in Dance and 3 credits outside the department

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Master's Thesis:
The M.A. thesis is a substantial research project developed over three semesters, culminating in a written thesis of 20,000 words. During Spring semester of the first year of full-time study, students carry out bibliographic research, develop an annotated bibliography, and create a thesis proposal in a mentored seminar setting. A thesis advisor, with whom the student works until the completion of the project, is then determined. Prior to graduation, students make a formal presentation of their thesis research for dance faculty, students, and invited guests. Detailed guidelines for the M.A. thesis process and evaluation are found in the Graduate Handbook.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

Department of Dance
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 309
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843

Department Contacts:


Mary Garcia


Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Mark Franko


Dr. Sherril Dodds


About the Program

The Dance Department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. All students are expected to develop a command of the discipline of dance, as a performing art and as both subject and medium of inquiry. The department's mission places high value on the role of dance in a pluralistic, multicultural society.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location:


Although all of the department courses are offered on Main Campus, students may take the out-of-department credits on another campus.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Dance
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 309
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843

Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interests in African American Studies, Anthropology, Education, History, Jewish Studies, Media Arts, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater Arts, Women's Studies, and the like.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The graduate programs are ranked among the top twelve in the nation as determined by the Dance Career Guide. The Doctor of Philosophy program is one of four programs in the country.


The M.A. in Dance is pending plan approval by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

Areas of Specialization:

The M.A. in Dance is a research-centered degree that allows students to follow and integrate strands in cultural, creative, and educational studies of dance. Through coursework blending experiential and theoretical inquiry and an in-depth thesis project, the program prepares students for doctoral education in dance. It also provides master’s level professional development in research, writing, the creative process, and pedagogy.

Job Placement:

Graduates perform and choreograph with companies throughout the world, teach at all levels of education, serve as arts administrators and policymakers for the arts, and publish extensively.


Not applicable.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are able to take technique classes and some core coursework with permission of the instructor and the department chair. If accepted into the program, those courses (up to a maximum of 9 credits) may be applied toward the degree program.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Academic Internships (AIs) are available. Teaching responsibilities usually include teaching university general education courses. On occasion, TAs are assigned to teach B.F.A. Dance courses for which they are qualified. This award includes a monthly stipend, book allowance, and tuition remission. Assistantships are generally awarded for a minimum of one year.

The TA/RA/AI application is part of the supplemental dance application for admission. Continuing students who have not held an assistantship also submit a written application in the semester prior to commencement of the award.

Updated 11.5.13