The Master of Fine Arts in Dance Program

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance Program in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University offers an innovative approach to dance technique, composition, improvisation and production. It involves an energetic interplay of studio work with professionally distinguished dance instructors, seminars with faculty who are experts in their fields and independent studies in choreography. This two-year program will expand your dance skills while engaging you with current concepts of dance as an art form, as an expression of culture and identity, and as a mode of critical thinking.

The overarching goal of this program is to develop each student's personal artistic practice while encountering a global perspective on dance studies, performance, pedagogy, and choreography.

Members of our dance faculty have performed with such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jane Comfort & Company, Thomas-Ortiz Dance, Utah Repertory Dance Theatre and Broadway tours. The department also has a vibrant semi-professional resident dance company, WUDance Collective, with which students have opportunities to perform.  The Performing Arts Department has a long history of engaging the talents of contemporary guest artists who bring new perspectives on processes, concepts, and choreography to our students.

The Road Ahead

Program of Study

What does the MFA program look like? What requirements are there? The WashU Bulletin will help you plan your path.

Review Program Requirements

Admission & Financial Support

Admission Guidelines

The deadline for admission to the MFA in Dance Program is December 4.  All students must apply to the MFA program online and follow the specific instructions contained there.  The Prospective student (or students interested in the program should have either a BFA or BA in Dance and professional dance experience or a BA in a related dance field and professional dance experience.

Applications for the MFA in Dance Program require the following:

  • a completed online application plus fee
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a personal statement describing your primary area(s) of interest and your rationale for graduate study
  • a writing sample of eight-to-twelve pages; please upload to the GSAS website under 'Supplemental Forms'
  • transcript(s) from undergraduate institution(s)
  • three letters of recommendation

Final candidates for admission will take part in a zoom interview with the entire dance faculty.  Candidates are asked to submit a Teaching Statement, as well as one video of them performing 1-3 minutes of their own choreography or someone else’s. Both the Teaching Statement and the video should be submitted one week prior to the interview. The video will not be shown outside of the committee.

Please Note: GRE Scores are not required for admission to the MFA in Dance Program.

Financial Support

The Department is committed to securing financial support for qualified students. MFA students will receive financial aid in the form of full tuition remission. Additionally, MFA students will receive a University Fellowship in the first year.  Candidates are considered for continued financial assistance in their second year based on their satisfactory academic progress.

Special Fellowship Opportunities for MFA Students

Washington University and the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences offer several special fellowships for qualified graduate students in certain programs, and because these awards bring with them additional funding and opportunities. 

Certificate Programs

We are proud to offer two certification programs available to graduate students. Learn about our Post-Baccalaureate Dance Teacher Certification Program and our Certificate Program in Somatic Studies.

Learn More About Our Certificate Programs
Heather Beal MFA in Dance 2018


Still have questions about the MFA in Dance? Please contact the Director of the MFA in Dance Program.

Email Professor Das