Master of Fine Arts in Dance

Department of Dance

Designed for students seeking world-class dance studies within a major research university that offer multiple avenues for investigating the permeable boundaries between practice and theory. The degree is aimed at outstanding recent dance graduates as well as returning professionals, particularly those seeking to move from careers at the national/international level in performance or choreography to working in higher education.

Program Requirements

Each MFA candidate works with an individual advisor to outline his or her individual course of study. Classes in physical practice, pedagogy, and dance history support the tracks.


Students choose from one of three tracks:

  • Performance/Repertory
  • Choreography
  • Screen Dance

Improvisation; advanced solo choreography and performance; choreographic production and design; site dance; screen dance; dance and the related arts; and a broad range of physical practice courses provide in-depth experiences for honing the dance artist’s vocabulary, craft and vision.


  • Dance Science
  • Dance History
  • Dance Education
  • Interdisciplinary Arts

Research in Action

All students take a Research in Action core, where students, faculty, and guest artists share their creative and scholarly work.


Students must take two graduate courses of at least two credits each.


The MFA culminates in a thesis project linked to each student’s chosen track.

At least one academic year of full-time residence is required.


All MFA students are fully-funded for two years through graduate student instructor (GSI) appointments. Funding includes full tuition coverage, health insurance, and a stipend. As GSIs, MFA candidates develop strong pedagogical skills in their teaching of undergraduate dance courses and have the opportunity to develop and teach a new course of their own.

For requirement details, please see the Degree Requirements and Term-by-Term Layout for Current Students.

How To Apply

Academic Eligibility

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree in dance. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines will occasionally be considered for admission, provided there is accompanying evidence of professional dance achievement.

Applicants must:

  • Apply to U-M via the Rackham Graduate School Application by December 1
  • Submit an SMTD Artistic Profile by December 1
  • Send official transcripts from all previous schools to the Rackham Graduate School

Click “Apply Now” below to read more detailed information about the application requirements and procedures.

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