The Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography offers students the opportunity to explore dance history, theory and criticism in depth along with a hands-on introduction to production. This combination of theoretical study with production experience gives students a unique understanding of how dance creates meaning.  



For a list of admission requirements to the MFA program, see Graduate Program - MFA in Dance Admission in the Admission section of this Catalog. 

Fall, spring and summer semesters - $467 (per semester hour)



The MFA degree is a low-residency, 60-unit plan of study emphasizing choreography and the creative process of generating new works that are grounded in both classical and contemporary dance genres. This degree is geared toward artists in transition from significant performance careers into choreographic and teaching careers. The MFA at JU nurtures the development of more rigorous and refined relationships between three aspects of creative production: stimulus, practice and analysis are seen as mutually interdependent forces that continually shape artistic experimentation and response.

Studio or Related Areas

Code Course  Credit
DANC 500 Graduate Seminar    4
DANC 510 Examining Practice I     3
DANC 511 Examining Practice II  3
DANC 512 Examining Practice III  2
DANC 513 Examining Practice IV  2
DANC 515 Methods of Practice  3
DANC 520 Contemporary Body Practices  2
DANC 521 Creative Synergies  6
DANC 530 Intermedia I      2
DANC 531 Intermedia II    3
DANC 535 Pedagogy I  3
DANC 536 Pedagogy II  3
DANC 540 Graduate Critique  4
DANC 550 Research-Based Project/Thesis  4
DANC 551 Advanced Practicum   4



Other Studies in Dance

Code Course Credit
DANC 517 Dance History, Theory and Criticism I  2
DANC 518  Dance History, Theory and Criticism II  2
DANC 522 Body Politics    2
DANC 532 Research and Development I  2
DANC 533 Research and Development II    2
DANC 580 Portfolio  2







The Master of Fine Arts program requires the equivalent of at least two (2) years of full-time graduate study, with a minimum of 60 semester credit hours. Over 50% of the curriculum (32 credits) will be delivered during the onsite residency program during non-traditional semester and less than 50% of the curriculum (28 credits) will be delivered in a hybrid format using online study. This two-year degree program would consist each year of a six-week Summer Intensive, a one-week individual residency to work with undergraduate students in dance at JU, and two (2) semesters of hybrid/distance instruction. 

Transfer of Credit - Transfer of Credit will not be allowed in the graduate curriculum.

Policies - Policies are clearly published on the program and University web sites and course catalogs.

Transcript Evidence - Consistent with graduation requirements and verified by the University registrar prior to the degree being granted from the program.

Thesis Requirment - The course DANC 560. Research-Based Project/Thesis Continuous Enrollment (1 credit), will be required of candidates who do not pass DANC 550 to assure the Thesis requirement is met. This course description is as follows: Prerequisite DANC 550. This course is Pass/Fail. May be repeated for credit. Students must enroll in DANC 560 each subsequent semester until the completion of the research-based project/thesis. Faculty will periodically review individual student’s progress in meeting course goals and completing the project/thesis. Upon completion of the project/thesis, faculty will approve the final paper and arrange for final paper presentation sessions. Students are expected to complete all objectives for DANC 550 and finalize their projects for committee approval prior to their presentations.

Written and Oral Defense Qualifying Examination - The graduate student will select his/her exam committee and the written comprehensive examination will be distributed and evaluated through that committee. The committee may elect to have the MFA candidate complete an oral defense of the exam results. This exam will substantiate the candidate’s knowledge of the curriculum.

Thesis Project - During the Summer II intensive the student submits a 5-15 page proposal for the final thesis project to be approved by the thesis committee. The final project could take the form of a concert of dances or some other performance event in which the students’ research is made evident. For example, students may undertake to create site-specific dances occurring over several months, organize opportunities for interactive choreography with distinct groups of performers, choreograph a dance to be viewed on CD-ROM. Whatever the final form, the project must demonstrate a thorough investigation and committed execution of a defined aesthetic concern. The final project includes a written component to be completed as a requirement of the thesis. This document, 20-40 pages in length, outlines the aesthetic focus of the student's research and provides a historical and philosophical contextualization for the project.​