Master of Fine Arts in Dance

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The Master of Fine Arts in Dance is a 60 credit terminal degree in dance. This master in dance program emphasizes performance and/or choreography within the context of pedagogical, theoretical, and artistic inquiry. The MFA in Dance degree highlights the integration of Christian faith and learning with the advanced theoretical and artistic study of dance. Belhaven University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

The masters degree in dance will give graduates the opportunity to participate in creative work, inquiry, and investigation through curricular offerings in technique, performance, choreography, research methodology, critical investigation and philosophy of dance, among others.

Belhaven's graduate dance program encourages students to develop career-related skills through the practical application of theoretical knowledge, innovative and compositional techniques, and the experiential methodologies of apprenticeships.

Graduate students will submit their work for peer and faculty review, as well as contribute to the field through attendance and participation in regional and national dance conferences. Graduate students will gain experience in teaching through pedagogy courses and the opportunity for teaching assistantships upon the completion of 18 hours of graduate study. The development, compilation and application or incorporation of creative work, inquiry, and investigation will culmination in the graduate thesis project.


Curriculum Summary

Course #Course NameCredits
Studio or Related Areas (39 units required)
DAN502 Graduate Dance Production 3
DAN525/526 Ballet Technique 2
DAN533/534 Modern Technique 2
DAN543/544 Graduate Performance I 1
DAN560 Dance Technology 3
DAN570 Graduate Choreography I 3
DAN571 Graduate Choreography II 3
DAN585 Somatics Practices for Dance I 1
DAN625/626 Ballet Technique 2
DAN643/644 Graduate Performance II 1
DAN660 Performance Media Techniques 2
DAN670 Graduate Choreography III 3
DAN671/672 Graduate Improvisation 1
DAN685 Somatics Practices for Dance II 1
DAN725/726 Ballet Technique 2
DAN733/734 Modern Technique 2
DAN700/701/702 Graduate Thesis Project 7-9
Other Studies in Dance (15 units required)
DAN501 Kinesiology (Lecture) 3
DAN503 Kinesiology (Lab) 1
DAN511 Graduate Seminar 1
DAN575 Graduate Pedagogy (Lecture) 3
DAN576 Graduate Pedagogy (Lab) 1
DAN580 Philosophy of Dance 3
DAN662 Research and Writing for Dance 3
Electives (6 units required)
DAN500 Arts Administration 3
DAN545 Dance and Christian Ministry 3
DAN550/650 Graduate Apprenticeship 2
DAN565 Rhythmic Theory for Dancers 2
DAN590/690 Graduate Independent Study 2
DAN591/691 Graduate Special Topics 2
DAN680 Critical Issues in Dance 3

Audition Information

Audition in-person for the graduate faculty including a ballet and modern technique class, a solo work under 5 minutes and an interview with faculty. Auditions will take place on February 11, 2017 in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Building. For more information, please contact the MFA Program Director at 601-965-1461 or

Applicants must place in a Level III in either ballet or modern technique and demonstrate scholarly and creative capacity necessary to complete the MFA course work. Within the parameters of university admission and admission into the dance department, graduate candidates will be evaluated on an individual basis and admission policies are flexible such that promising candidates who show significant ability and potential in creative/performance components will be given serious consideration.

Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Photos

Admission Information

Admission to the MFA in Dance program is a two-step process. For acceptance in the Master of Fine Arts in Dance program, you must first apply for admission to Belhaven University. Then you must also apply for acceptance to the MFA program. Please use the checklist below to assist you in the admission process. Each item required is necessary to apply, be accepted and register at the university. If you have any questions about admission, contact 601-968-5988 or

Application deadline is January 31, 2017.

Required: A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in dance or a dance-related area. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform graduate level work as exhibited by an undergraduate GPA of 2.8 and a 3.0 in dance-related studies.

Applicants must be accepted to the university and submit these additional application materials for application into the program.

  • 300-500 word letter of intent, indicating your interest in pursuing graduate studies in dance.
  • Professional resume, minimum 2 years of field-related experience preferred.
  • Two complete recommendation forms (one academic and one dance-related).
  • A writing sample (no more than 15 pages) which demonstrates analytical and verbal ability, preferably related to the field of dance.
  • A choreographic and/or performance sample from the last five years, 10-15 minutes, in DVD format.

All admission questions and materials can be submitted to:
Belhaven University, Adult and Graduate Programs
4780 I-55 North, Suite 125
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone: 601-968-5988 I Fax: 601-352-6969

Accepted/Current Student Information

Download the Graudate Student Dance Handbook.

For questions concerning the MFA in Dance Program:
Belhaven University, Dance Department
1500 Peachtree St., Box 314
Jackson, MS 39202
Attn: Emily Wright,