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Low Residency MFA Dance Programs

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by

Looking for the best low residency MFA dance programs? You’ve come to the right place. You see, I have talked to a lot of people about such programs and I have created this guide for you. It outlines some important characteristics of low residency programs. It also has reviews from past students in low residency MFA dance programs. Finally, it has a list of blogs and resources where you can get even more information on this subject.So, if you want to know the best low residency MFA dance programs, keep reading…

Are you interested in dance and want to pursue a Master’s degree? Then you might consider enrolling in a low residency MFA in Dance program. These programs combine your love of performance with the art of teaching, by granting you with an online masters in dance degree.

Have you decided that you wish to pursue a career in the world of dance? If you have, then we encourage you to look into low residency master degree dance programs. These programs can help dancers and performers across the country and even around the globe. While many people believe that these programs provide no real benefit, we believe otherwise.

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Master of Fine Arts programs in dance are typically designed for individuals who have already been working as professionals in the field of dance, either as dancers themselves, teachers, or choreographers, among other possibilities. These programs allow students to continue working, as they are structured so that students spend minimal time on campus and are able to pursue coursework online. While each program is different in regard to its on-campus requirements, generally low-residency programs will require students to attend one or more multi-week residencies during the program in order to benefit from hands-on and in-person instruction. Below, we will cover five courses that are common components of the curriculum of these programs.

Low Residency MFA Dance Programs

Information About Low-Residency MFA Programs in Dance

Master of Fine Arts programs in dance are typically designed for individuals who have already been working as professionals in the field of dance, either as dancers themselves, teachers, or choreographers, among other possibilities. These programs allow students to continue working, as they are structured so that students spend minimal time on campus and are able to pursue coursework online. While each program is different in regard to its on-campus requirements, generally low-residency programs will require students to attend one or more multi-week residencies during the program in order to benefit from hands-on and in-person instruction. Below, we will cover five courses that are common components of the curriculum of these programs.

History, Theory, and Criticism in Dance

MFA programs in dance generally include a course that covers topics in history, theory, and criticism in dance. In this course, students will study major developments in dance over the 20th and 21st century. Additionally, the course will likely cover the relationship between dance and culture, and students will study relevant critical writings in this field. Students will learn about various theoretical perspectives of dance and how they have been applied to the field in the past as well as how they are applied today.

Individualized Practice

Given the independent nature of these programs, it is also common that students will take a course in individualized practice. Such a course would typically require the student to design his or her own dance and practice schedule, which can be approved by the dance faculty, in the pursuit of the student’s personal goals. While students will practice on their own, this type of course would also usually involve remaining in close contact with a faculty advisor to discuss new revelations, challenges, or goals.

Pedagogy

These programs also will typically include a course that focuses on some aspect of pedagogy, given that many students in these programs may be working as teachers or may aspire to become teachers of dance. A course in pedagogy will provide students with an overview of the methods used in teaching dance, as well as a historical discussion on teaching techniques. This course may require students to conduct their own observations of dance teachers or to provide an assessment of their own teaching skills and strategies in order to reflect on ways in which they can improve and further develop as a teacher.

Performance and Critique

Another course that is commonly found in these programs is a course that focuses on dance performance and the critique of dance. Students may be required to observe dance performances in order to offer their insight and provide critiques that are rooted in dance theory and history. Additionally, this course may provide students with a venue in which to perform their own pieces in order to receive constructive feedback from their fellow students and instructors.

Portfolio

These programs also may require students to complete a portfolio course, which involves compiling all of their professional work in dance in order to review it. The portfolio course is intended to help students create a coherent body of work, which includes choreographed pieces as well as a personal artist statement, CV or resume, and any awards, grants, or fellowships that a student may have earned. The course may culminate in a presentation in which students discuss the development of their work in public.

General Admissions Guidelines for Low-Residency MFA Programs in Dance

Low-residency MFA programs in dance are designed for students who already have extensive professional experience in the field. Because of this, admissions committees will likely heavily consider applicants’ professional experience when considering them for admission and each program may set specific admission requirements in terms of how many years of experience an applicant must have. When applying to these programs, students also must submit a number of documents that provide admissions committees with more information, including past academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Programs will also typically require that applicants submit a portfolio of their creative work in dance and may also require that students complete an interview process.

In summary of the information above, students who have been working as dance professionals can find low-residency MFA programs in dance which require a minimal in-person commitment and still allow them to obtain a terminal graduate degree in dance and further advance their careers.

  • 1. University of Florida: School Info School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)Program Info: Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master’s Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • 2. Cornell University: School Info School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)Program Info: Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Non-Degree: Coursework
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • 3. New York University: School Info School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)Program Info: Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Non-Degree: Certificate
    • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master’s Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • 4. The University of Alabama: School Info School locations:
    • Alabama (1 campus)Program Info: Areas of study you may find at The University of Alabama include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master’s Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • 5. University of Iowa: School Info School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)Program Info: Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

fully funded dance mfa programs

University of California, San Diego

  • San Diego, California
  • Points: 98

The MFA program at the University of California, San Diego allows students to focus on the type of art that interests them most. Students must have a background in art history, and those with more art history courses are given preference for assistantships. The program includes digital media, video, film, photography, public art, installation art, performance art, sculpture, and painting.

Tuition: $3,814 per semester

Enrollment: 285,216

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Points: 85

The School of Art & Art History at the University of South Florida offers an MFA in studio art that allows students to pursue in-depth study of their favorite media, themes, and ideas. Students can choose to focus their studies on video, sculpture and extended media, printmaking, photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, or animation and digital modeling. Each student in the program receives a full tuition waiver and either an assistantship or a scholarship.

Tuition: $4,174.92 per semester

Enrollment: 49,591

University of California, Irvine

  • Irvine, California
  • Points: 79

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine offers a rigorous graduate program in visual arts. This is a three-year program, and the third year is dedicated to the creation of a thesis exhibit. Each student in the program is assigned to a teaching assistant or teaching associate role under faculty supervision.

Tuition: $5,721 per semester

Enrollment: 285,216

Purdue University

  • West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Points: 73

Purdue University offers an MFA in creative writing through the College of Liberal Arts and MFAs in studio arts, industrial/interaction design, interior design, and visual communication design through the Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance. Regardless of which program you choose, there is a teaching assistantship available with a ten-month stipend of $18,000, remission of tuition, and other benefits.

Tuition: $4,603.90 per semester

Enrollment: 41,573

Indiana University Bloomington

  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Points: 72

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington offers an MFA in creative writing. The program is three years long and culminates in writing a book-length thesis in the student’s choice of genre. All students receive some sort of financial aid, usually a teaching assistantship. First-year students often receive a supplemental fellowship as well.

Tuition: $5,188 per semester

Enrollment: 48,514

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, Arizona
  • Points: 71

Arizona State University offers a fully funded MFA in creative writing. The program has small classes and provides one-on-one mentorship for students. MFA students can apply for a teaching assistantship that carries a $18,564 per year stipend in addition to health insurance and a tuition waiver. The program is three years long, and the curriculum is evenly divided between writing and literature courses.

Tuition: $5,860 per semester

Enrollment: 71,946

University of Houston

  • Houston, Texas
  • Points: 68

The University of Houston offers an MFA in studio art with a concentration in sculpture, photography and digital media, painting, interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms, or graphic design. The program takes three years to complete and includes 12 hours of art history, 18 hours of concentration study, and 24 hours of related art courses. Paid teaching assistant positions and other paid positions are available for graduate students.

Tuition: $5,486.76 per semester

Enrollment: 45,364

Iowa State University

  • Ames, Iowa
  • Points: 65

Iowa State University offers an MFA in creative writing and environment. The three-year program encourages writers to focus on environment and place in their writing. Students engage in one-on-one mentorship with a professor, interdisciplinary study, environmental fieldwork, literature coursework, and creative writing workshops. They offer a stipend of $19,250 for both the Hogrefe Fellowships (they typically offer two per year) and for the teaching assistantships (typically 8 per year). They fund students all three years.

Tuition: $4,879 per semester

Enrollment: 36,321

University of California, Davis

  • Davis, California
  • Points: 62

UC Davis offers an MFA in art studio that provides an interdisciplinary visual arts education. The program is two years long and allows students to explore a variety of media. Students are encouraged to collaborate with other disciplines while engaging in creative practice and learning art theory. Paid teaching assistant positions and Art Studio Program Fellowships are available to help students pay for their graduate education.

Tuition: $6,817 per semester

Enrollment: 285,216

Georgia State University

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Points: 62

The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University offers an MFA in studio with concentrations in textiles, printmaking, sculpture, photography, interior design, graphic design, drawing and painting, and ceramics. Students gain real-world experience from gallery shows and workshops. All students receive teaching assistantships that provide a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend. Students can also compete to receive the Welch Fellowship.

Tuition: $4,776 per semester

Enrollment: 32,082

mfa dance programs europe

MA Applied linguistics is the most common of a number of Masters, or MA as they are commonly known, which have a higher concentration on science and focus less on classroom practice .

Dance is a movement-based art form. Students of dance and other performing arts often develop confidence, self-awareness, and self-discipline through their coursework and practice. Graduates of the topic might seek to become professional dancers, drama therapists, or teachers.

Master in Choreography

Tilburg, Netherlands: This part-time 2 year innovative Joint Degree Master Choreography is run jointly by Codarts University of the Arts in Rotterdam and Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg. The programme is designed to support experienced movement makers from a variety of fields while they carry out research into questions initiating from their current practice. 

MA in Dance

Bath, United Kingdom: Within the context of contemporary movement practice, our postgraduate dance programme has a specialist focus on site, collaboration, and screen-based practice. Our Dance degree offers a creative environment that supports you to explore and develop your specialist practice within an international community of emerging dance artists. 

Master in Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy

Utrecht, Netherlands: Contemporary performance practices are increasingly hybrid projects that approach and transcend the borders of theatre, dance, visual arts, music, media and daily life. Theatre and dance are inextricably linked with other media that shape our reality; they extend beyond the theatre’s walls and inject themselves into our daily lives. 

MA Choreography and Performance Practices

Lincoln, United Kingdom: Practice is at the heart of MA Choreography and Performance Practices at Lincoln. This studio-based programme is designed to attract dance and movement practitioners interested in dance performance, choreography, facilitation, and research. The programme is designed to directly addresses the changing landscape of contemporary dance and performance by encouraging students to engage with, and challenge, existing ideas and trends. 

MFA in Choreography

London, United Kingdom

Develop your choreographic identity over two full years as part of a creative, collaborative and supportive environment.

Master of Arts in Dance Pedagogy

Helsinki, Finland: In the Master’s Program in Dance Pedagogy, art pedagogy is seen as a form of artistic activity where pedagogical questions are ever-present. In the context of art pedagogy, art, performance, and teaching are viewed as encounters where aesthetic, ethical, and political phenomena are intertwined. Art and pedagogy feed off each other, which gives rise to change in both. The program consists of advanced studies in the arts, studies in the theory and practices of art pedagogy, research studies, teaching practices, international interaction, and elective studies that support the development of the student’s identity as an art pedagogue. 

Master of Arts in Dance

Zürich, Switzerland: The Master of Arts in Dance offers two specializations: Choreography, on one hand, Teaching and Coaching Dance Professionals on the other. It builds the choreographic and teaching skills needed to work with dance professionals and to qualify for the relevant professions. Coursework includes choreographic methods, teaching skills, and artistic research with a view to developing an individual artist or teaching profile. The programme promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and helps students to establish a sustainable network within the international field of dance. 

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