Courses of Study and Degree Requirements

The required coursework of The MFA curriculum encompasses Artistic Research (12 units), Theory (6 units), Disciplinary or Interdisciplinary Study Electives (21 units) and Thesis (9 units).


  • Artistic Research: Choreographic Praxis (3 units); Movement Research I and II (3+3 units); Critique I-IV (3 units)
  • Theory: Corporeal Ideologies: Theories of Dance (3 units); Contemporary Dance History or Corporeal Practices: Introduction to Dance Studies (3 units)
  • Thesis: Dance Research and Writing (3 units); Movement Research III (3 units); Thesis Project (3 units)

Each student's culminating Artistic Research (practical component of the Thesis) will be presented to the public in an appropriate format (performance, exhibition, installation, site-specific work, social choreography, etc.) as part of their graduation requirement during Spring Year II of their MFA Program. 

Sequence of Required Coursework

Year I, Fall 

  • Theories in Dance (3 units) - survey of theories in dance / performance studies
  • Choreographic Praxis (3 units) - A practice-based survey of expanded notions of Choreography
  • Movement Research I (3 units) - individually designed, mentored movement research including workshops by guest artists
  • Elective course 1 (3 units) in a discipline outside of dance
  • Critique I 

Year I, Spring 

  • Introduction to Dance Studies OR Contemporary World Dance History (offered every
  • alternate year, 3 units each) - survey course focusing on social, political, religious and gender histories related to various dance cultures of the world
  • Elective course 2
  • Elective course 3
  • Elective course 4
  • Critique II 

Year I, Summer second term

  • ARKS Dance Research Laboratory presented in collaboration with ADF

Year II, Fall - 12 units

  • Dance Research and Writing (3 units) - discussions on various research methodologies in Dance history, ethnography and choreographic practice. Writing Intensive course.
  • Movement Research II (3 units)
  • Elective course 5 (3 units)
  • Elective course 6 (3 units)
  • Critique III

Year II, Spring  

  • Thesis Project (3 units) 
  • Movement Research III (3 units)
  • Elective course 7 (3 units)
  • Critique IV (3 units)
  • Public presentation of the practical component of the thesis project and Oral Defense 

Year II, Summer first term

  • final submission of written thesis document