Students who are interested in pursuing dance on the graduate level in New York may want to consider finding a school in the state that offers an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in dance program. This article will highlight five of these programs in greater detail in order to provide prospective students with information about what these programs entail, what kinds of differences exist among New York programs, and admission standards.
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Overview of MFA Dance Programs in New York
Hunter College at the City University of New York
Hunter College. set in New York City, offers an MFA in Dance program to interested students that requires the completion of 60 total credit hours. The curriculum is split into several different categories, from dance technique to pedagogy and theory. A course in physical training must be completed four times in order to earn the MFA and is tailored to each student's dance style, interests, technique, and goals. Students also have the opportunity to select 12 credits worth of elective coursework according to their interests, and students are encouraged to pursue new areas of research as is possible.
New York University
New York University offers a unique program for students which will allow them to earn both an MFA in Dance as well as an M.A. in Teaching Dance by the time they complete the program. Graduates will be prepared to pursue their own careers as dancers and also will have the ability to teach dance from pre-kindergarten to university level. This program can be completed in two continuous years of full-time study (including summers), during which students must take 76 credits worth of coursework to fulfill the requirements for both degrees. Two semesters of student teaching in New York City are included. Courses will cover topics in teaching creative movement, philosophy of dance, history of dance, and dance composition. The program culminates with an experience in which students will perform in-residence with the Second Avenue Dance Company, during which time they will be able to create and perform their own choreography, as well as that of other dance professionals.
Sarah Lawrence College
Located in Yonkers, Sarah Lawrence College offers an MFA in Dance program in which students must complete 48 credit hours over the course of two years. This full-time program focuses on helping its students maintain and further develop their proficiency in dance and also encourages them to explore research in dance, as well as develop a final project that students must present at a showcase at the end of the program. During each semester, students must participate in three graduate seminars, each of which is devoted to a different aspect of the study of dance. Students will also take courses to complete the requirements of the degree, some of which may cover topics like movement awareness, dance improvisation, and physical conditioning.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
Another option for students is the 60-credit MFA program in dance offered by the College of Brockport - State University of New York. The program focuses specifically on choreography and performance, as is reflected in the curriculum. Students are required to complete nine credits of core courses that focus on dance research and history, as well as dance at the secondary school level. In addition, students must complete 15 credits of dance technique courses. Another 24 credits must be completed through elective courses, which include options like somatic, dance therapy, and opportunities to study at foreign dance institutions. The remaining 12 credits are completed through graduate seminars and a master's thesis.
University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo also offers an MFA program in dance, which requires the completion of 60 credit hours over a span of three years. The curriculum of this program is split into several different areas. Students will complete 10 credits of physical practice courses; nine credits of creative process classes; twelve credits that are focused on dance history, theory, and research; three credits of anatomy; five credits of teaching pedagogy; and two credits of technology. Additionally, nine credits are earned through the completion of a master's thesis, and students must earn an additional ten credits by taking elective courses.
Admissions Standards for MFA Dance Programs in New York
MFA programs in dance are typically designed for students who have a background in dance, either through previous academic study, professional dance experience, or both. Some programs may stipulate that applicants must have a B.A. or B.F.A. degree in dance in order to be considered, unless they can show that they have a significant amount of dancing experience. Other programs may also only consider applicants with at least five years of experience, so prospective students are advised to check with each program they are interested in before applying. When applying, students will need to submit academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, personal statement, and typically results from the GRE exam. Also, due to the nature of these programs, an audition is often part of the admissions process.
To review, students have a number of options in the state of New York when it comes to choosing an MFA program in dance. These programs do differ, to some extent, in the courses offered and how many credits are required, as well as the admissions standards.