The Hunter College MFA program in Dance prepares dance artists/educators for careers and professional roles in the field of dance through a wide-ranging program of dance technique and choreography, complemented by appropriate coursework in theory, perspectives and contexts, history, and dance pedagogy. The MFA in Dance is considered the terminal degree in the field; it is the baseline qualifying credential for the college/university teaching job market, a challenging laboratory for furthering deep personal artistic accomplishment, and an important venue for the development of contextual and aesthetic understanding. The MFA program enrolled its first students in 2018.

Admission Requirements & Process

Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree in any subject, at least 5 years of professional dance experience, and a clearly demonstrated career plan for which academic study of the art form is appropriate.

All applicants are required to complete the online Hunter College graduate school application and submit an updated CV by April 1st, 2021. 

Select candidates will be asked to provide additional video materials (links or files) of creative works. 

Upon review of materials, a few candidates will be invited to participate in a 45 minute virtual meeting for a presentation of the candidate's professional perfoming and creative career (20 min), an interview by the selection committee about career goals(20 min). Further details for the presentation will be available after the candidate's application has been submitted. Admission will occur only in the fall semester. 

The GRE exam is not required for application for the MFA/Dance Program. An undergraduate degree in Dance is desirable, but not required. Based on a proficiency exam and one-on-one assessment administered early in the course of study, undergraduate courses may be required to cover specific deficiencies in the student's preparation.


The degree plan comprises courses in dance pedagogy, theory, criticism, aesthetics, history, research methods, cultural studies, physical training, and extensive creative work in performance and choreography. The capstone of the curriculum is the MFA project, an intensive research process culminating in the presentation of significant creative work.



The MFA program requires 60 credits and is a terminal degree. The program's standards are those articulated by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The credit requirements are as follows:

  • Theory and Perspectives - 12 credits

  • Dance Technique - 11 credits

  • Creative Work - 11 credits

  • Pedagogy - 6 credits

  • Major MFA project - 8 credits

  • Electives - 12 credits

The 12 elective credits will make it possible for the student to investigate particular areas of interest, and possibly develop a secondary area of interest and expertise.


Curriculum Details


The 6-credit Pedagogy requirement consists of the following courses:

  • DANED 76000 - Dance Methods I: Curriculum Design and Pedagogy for Productive Teaching and Learning (3 cr)

  • DAN 75000 - Topics in Teaching for College/University (3 cr)


The 12-credit requirement in Theory/Context/Perspectives is met by the following courses:

  • DAN 74000 - Aesthetics (3 cr)

  • DAN 74200 - Graduate Dance History (3 cr)

  • DAN 74400 - Modes of Inquiry (3 cr)

  • DAN 74600 - Special Topics in Dance (3 cr)

Dance Technique

The following courses meet the 11-credit requirement in Technique:

This course is required 4 times for the MFA (2 credits each time): This will be an individualized program of dance technique focusing on personal interests and needs.

  • DAN 70100 - Dance Technique (8 cr–2 cr x 4)

  • DAN 70500 - Maintenance of the Dancer’s Instrument (3 cr)

Creative Work

The 11 required Creative Work credits are distributed as follows:

  • DAN 73000 - Studies of Forms (6 cr–3 cr x 2)

  • DAN 73300 - Process and Projects (3 cr)

  • DAN 73500 - Performance and Presentation (2 cr–1 cr x 2)


The 12 credits of electives are chosen from across the college curriculum or approved outside projects according to particular student interests. Independent study with the Dance faculty in ground-breaking research is encouraged.

MFA Project

The MFA Project consists of:

  • Development of approximately one hour of new performance work

  • Close interaction with faculty as aesthetic and compositional strategies are developed, clarified and implemented

  • Preparation of work for public presentation, collaboration with producing partners, including development of PR materials

  • Extensive (20-25 pages) written document designed to foster critical self-awareness, effective evaluation skills, and understanding of personal focus, context and functionality in the community of artists as well as the broader cultural landscape

Contact: Maura Nguyen Donohue, for more information