This is the first version of the 2022-23 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The Master of Fine Arts program in dance offers two emphasis areas in choreography or performance. Students must first complete the online application and then be selected to interview and audition to be considered for admission.

Learning Outcomes

Movement Expertise: Achieve professional-level expertise in contemporary movement practices and techniques as a means to advanced, body-based creative research and teaching.

Creative Research: Establish individualized creative research trajectories that couple dance theories and practices and foster coherent aesthetic points of view in both scholarly and performative contexts.

Communication: Demonstrate skilled communication through artistic process and product, and through verbal, written, digital, pedagogical, and emerging artistic forms.

Artistic Citizenship: Understand and develop the combined artistic, social, and organizational skills of the artist-citizen who, in humane ways, contributes to the local, national, and global dialogues about dance and contemporary culture, and to the evolution of the professional field.

Career Readiness and Sustainability: Understand the diverse and ever-changing nature of the field of dance and develop the relevant agility to hold significant roles in a sustained, lifelong career.

The Master of Fine Arts program in dance requires a minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate credit. The program is designed to be completed in four to six semesters in residence. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00.

Students who demonstrate accomplishment in dance performance and/or choreography may apply for admission to the M.F.A. program. Applicants select the choreography or the performance emphasis before they are admitted.

The M.F.A. with a major in dance requires the following coursework.

Dance Core

A total of 26 s.h. of core coursework is required for students in each emphasis area.

One of these:
DANC:4535Elementary Ballet Pedagogy3
DANC:4545Teaching of Modern and Contemporary Dance Forms3
All of these:
DANC:4060/DPA:4060The Contemporary Dance Scene3
DANC:5060/DPA:5060Theories of Dance and the Body3
DANC:6050Graduate Improvisation II3
DANC:6060Graduate Seminar in Dance2
DANC:6080Graduate Production Practicum1
DANC:6350Graduate Choreography III3
DANC:7990Thesis (8 s.h. required)8

Movement Technique

Choreography emphasis students select 8 s.h. and performance emphasis students select 14 s.h. from the following.

DANC:3030Major Ballet I1-3
DANC:3040Major Contemporary Movement Practices I1-3
DANC:5085Graduate African Caribbean Dance Practices3
DANC:5530Graduate Majors Ballet II1-3
DANC:5540Graduate Contemporary Movement Practices II1-3
DANC:6030Graduate Majors Ballet III1-3
DANC:6040Graduate Contemporary Movement Practices III1-3
DANC:6540Graduate Contemporary Movement Practices IV1
DANC:7550Graduate Contemporary Movement Practicum2-3
DANC:7560Graduate Ballet Technique Practicum2-3

Emphasis Courses

Students select courses from their emphasis area below.

Choreography Emphasis

Choreography emphasis students complete 14 s.h. from the following.

All of these:
DANC:5550/DPA:5550/THTR:5610Collaborative Performance3
DANC:6450Graduate Choreography IV3
DANC:6990Graduate Independent Projects (6 s.h. required; 2 s.h. for each project)6
2 s.h. from these (1 s.h. for each performance):
DANC:6880Dance Gala Performance1-4
DANC:6881Collaborative Dance Performance Concert1
DANC:6882Graduate/Undergraduate Concert1-4
DANC:6883Faculty/Graduate Concert1-4
DANC:6884Undergraduate Event1-4
DANC:6885M.F.A. Thesis Concert1-4
DANC:6887M.F.A. Event1-2
DANC:6888Special Project Student Performancearr.
DANC:6889Graduate Performance Credit1-3

Performance Emphasis

Performance emphasis students complete 14 s.h. from the following.

Both of these:
DANC:5055Embodying Voice/Performing Persona3
DANC:6990Graduate Independent Projects (4 s.h. required, 2 s.h. for each project)4
Minimum of 7 s.h. from these:
DANC:3885Repertory Dance Company1-3
DANC:6880Dance Gala Performance1-4
DANC:6881Collaborative Dance Performance Concert1-4
DANC:6882Graduate/Undergraduate Concert1-4
DANC:6883Faculty/Graduate Concert1-4
DANC:6884Undergraduate Event1-4
DANC:6885M.F.A. Thesis Concert1-4
DANC:6887M.F.A. Event1-2
DANC:6888Special Project Student Performancearr.
DANC:6889Graduate Performance Credit1-3

Electives

Choreography emphasis students select 12 s.h. of electives, including one course from the digital performing arts area; performance emphasis students select 6 s.h., including one course from the digital performing arts area.

Digital Performing Arts

One of these:
DANC:3050Body/Image: Dance and Media in Discourse and Practice3
DANC:3875/THTR:3875Topics in Digital Performing Arts3
DANC:3895/DIGA:3895/THTR:3895Performance, Art, and New Technologies in Society3
THTR:3876/CINE:3876/DANC:3876/DIGA:3876/INTM:3876Video for Performance3
DANC:5880Installations and Interactive Performance3
DANC:5890Producing and Directing Digital Video3

Additional Electives

All students should consult their advisor for approval of elective coursework.

Courses numbered 3000 or above

Admission is based on a review of submitted choreographic and performance work, letters of recommendation, transcripts, teaching application, statement of purpose, and curriculum vitae. Selected applicants participate in an interview and audition which includes a solo dance, a teaching audition, and when possible, an on-campus visit that includes advanced classes in ballet and contemporary movement practices to determine class placement level.

Demonstrated accomplishment in performance or choreography is a prerequisite for admission to the program. For more information, see Graduate Program on the Department of Dance website.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Graduates establish successful, professional careers as professors in higher education and as dance-makers and artistic directors, performers in regional and national companies, writers who contribute to knowledge in the field, and teachers for the next generation of dancers.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Dance, M.F.A.

Choreography Emphasis

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
60 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; ; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a, b
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
DANC:5060 Theories of Dance and the Body c 3
DANC:6050 Graduate Improvisation II c 3
DANC:6080 Graduate Production Practicum c 1
DANC:6350 Graduate Choreography III 3
DANC:6990 Graduate Independent Projects d, e 2
 Hours12
Spring
DANC:6060 Graduate Seminar in Dance c 2
DANC:6450 Graduate Choreography IV e 3
DANC:6990 Graduate Independent Projects d, e 2
Movement Technique course f 1
Digital Performing Arts course g 3
 Hours11
Second Year
Fall
DANC:4060 The Contemporary Dance Scene c 3
DANC:4545
Teaching of Modern and Contemporary Dance Forms c
or Elementary Ballet Pedagogy
3
DANC:6990 Graduate Independent Projects d, e 2
Movement Technique course f 1
 Hours9
Spring
Dance Performance course h 1
Movement Technique course f 3
Elective course i 3
Elective course i 3
 Hours10
Third Year
Fall
DANC:5550 Collaborative Performance e 3
Dance Performance course h 1
Movement Technique course f 2
Elective course i 3
 Hours9
Spring
DANC:7990 Thesis j 8
Movement Technique course f 1
Final Exam k
 Hours9
 Total Hours60
a
The program is designed to be completed in four to six semesters in residence.
b
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
c
Typically this course is offered every other year. Check MyUI for course availability since offerings are subject to change.
d
Complete a total of 6 s.h. (2 s.h. for each choreography project).
e
Choreography emphasis required course.
f
Complete at least 8 s.h. of movement technique coursework. See the General Catalog for list of approved courses.
g
See the General Catalog for list of approved courses.
h
Complete a total of 2 s.h. (1 s.h. for each performance) to satisfy the choreography emphasis. See the General Catalog for list of approved courses.
i
Complete at least 9 s.h. of electives. Work with faculty advisor to determine appropriate coursework and sequence.
j
A minimum total of at least 8 s.h. of thesis credit is required.
k
Thesis defense.