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Program Description

The MFA in Dance at Florida State University prepares students to undertake a continuous and engaged physical practice as part of a rigorous embodied research trajectory. Students work individually and collaboratively to develop, analyze, and synthesize the fluid dimensions of their creative processes toward a culminating thesis project.

High value is placed on the cultivation of a sophisticated inquiry into dance artistry. The curriculum supports development of diverse skills in: classical and contemporary dance techniques, pedagogy, visual design and production, dance science, historical perspectives and critical theory, dramaturgy, musical inquiry, as well as technical and artistic integration of dance-specific technologies.

Graduate Application

School of Dance Application

MFA Creative Project

The candidate’s culminating research is a graduate creative project. Each project may reflect choreographic and/or performance work in combination with other areas of focus that the candidate may have pursued. A faculty member serves as creative project mentor and is designated by mutual agreement of the student, the MFA program director, and the mentor. Candidates will receive detailed procedures for accomplishing this creative project, which also includes a formal creative project proposal and a post-project conference with faculty and production staff.

Comprehensive Examination

The required comprehensive examination consists of two parts, written and oral. It is scheduled no earlier than the term in which the student is completing all required coursework. The student must enroll in DAN 5960 for the term in which the exam is taken.

Curriculum Requirements

Please note:

  • Course names, numbers, and requirements are subject to change.
  • Semester hours for each course are shown in parentheses.
I. Dance Technique (12 hours)

DAA 5118 (1) – Contemporary Dance

DAA 5218 (1) – Ballet

  • Both ballet and contemporary dance courses are taken two days per week throughout enrollment.
II. Other Requirements

DAA 5618 (3) – Choreography

DAA 5648 (2) – Choreographic Process

DAN 5149 (3) – Dance Studies

DAN 5158 (3) – Theory of Dance Performance and Directing

DAN 5190 (2) – Theory and Practice in Dance Technique

DAN 5191 (3) – Seminar in Dance Research

  • Additional dance history course available at 3 credits per course.

DAN 5592 (2) – Screendance Composition

DAN 5608 (2) – Music Praxes in Dance

DAN 5508 (3) – Visual Design for Choreography

DAN 5590 (2) – Studies in Dance Technology

DAE (3) – Science of Dance Training

III. Electives (20 hours)
IV. Creative Project (3 Credits for two semesters)

DAN 5972r (6)

V. Master’s Comprehensive Examination (0 hours)

DAN 5960 (0)

VI. MFA Creative Project Defence (0 hours)

DAN 5970 (0)

The total credit requirement for graduation as an MFA candidate: 66 credits

Graduate Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships are available to qualified students and often combines teaching and research or a combination of different work responsibilities. When applying, it is important to include as much information as possible about special abilities, interests, and experience.

  • Teaching Assistantships: To be eligible for an assistantship in technique (ballet or contemporary dance), the student must first successfully complete the apprenticeship program (see below).
  • Research Assistantships: These involve work in specialized areas such as costumes, publicity, production, etc. Applicants must demonstrate ability in their chosen area.
  • Apprenticeship Program: Candidates for apprenticeships must have achieved the most advanced level in the technique they wish to teach. Their work at this level will be assessed for at least one semester. During the same term, the candidate will observe a minimum of ten nonmajor technique classes and will teach three nonmajor classes, which faculty members will observe and assess. After successfully completing this apprenticeship, the student is eligible for consideration as a teaching assistant. Candidates designated as returning professionals by the graduate faculty are exempt from the apprenticeship requirement.

How to Apply for Aid: Download, complete, and return the Graduate Apprenticeship Assistantship Application.

Future Students: Auditions/Admissions

For more information about application and audition procedures, contact:

Jeffrey Bray
Academic Program Manager
School of Dance
P.O. Box 3062120
Florida State University
Tallahassee FL 32306-2120

For more information about graduate program curriculum, please contact:

Anjali Austin
Graduate Program Director
School of Dance
P.O. Box 3062120
Florida State University
Tallahassee FL 32306-2120