Jun 20, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Dance, MFA

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Donna Faye Burchfield, Program Director
(215) 717-6580

Esther Siddiquie, Program Associate
(215) 717-6110

School of Dance Office
Terra Building 3rd Floor
School of Dance Website
(215) 717-6110



Learn more and apply to the Dance program.


This flexible program will offer students continued growth as artists with the opportunity to situate their study and practice within a contemporary landscape of artistic, cultural, social and economic contexts.  The curriculum, built within an experimental and mobile architecture, relies heavily on a collaborative interdisciplinary network of international artists, mentors and thinking partners, as well as local and international partners.

The Low-Residency track is designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals.

The Philadelphia Residency track is designed for young artists with a strong interest in expanding their knowledge and experience in an uninterrupted way.  A four-term cohort (summer, fall, spring & summer) and a six-term residency cohort (fall, spring, summer, fall, spring, summer) are available.

Program Objectives

The School of Dance educates dance artists through a in-depth study of dance as part of the academic life and academic life as a part of dance at the University.  Students become proficient in studio practice, and are consistently asked to express themselves through their practice, as well as verbally and in writing.  Emphasis on languaging dance within the contemporary world is emphasized through course work that includes history, theory and criticism alongside courses that focus heavily on making & doing.  We prepare them to become leaders in the field they will enter, and encourage them to take part in helping to shape that field.

  • Students will share an expanded understanding of dance as part of culture and history.
  • Students will gain direct exposure to and actively engage in a wider arts culture and community, whether at the local, regional, national, or international level.
  • Students will have a deepened awareness of the role of dance in society within both local and global contexts.
  • Students will develop constructive critical feedback methods alongside their peers, and demonstrate the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Students will archive, document, collect and share their research, practice, and creative projects in a multitude of ways.
  • Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of somatically informed physical techniques, body practices, and exercise modalities that shape contemporary dance training and dance-making.
  • Students will develop innovative and experimental ways to language dance both verbally and in writing.

Program Requirements (60 credits)

Major Requirements - Low Residency (60 credits)

  • Select 38 credits: from subject DANC (Dance) 600 level 38 credits
  • Select 22 credits: from subject DANC (Dance) 700 level 22 credits

Major Requirements - Philadelphia Residency (57 credits)

  • Select 47 credits: from subject DANC (Dance) 600 level 47 credits
  • Select 10 credits: from subject DANC (Dance) 700 level 10 credits

General Electives (3 Credits)

  • Complete 3 credits. This requirement is satisfied by 500, 600, or 700 level courses and may be completed through independent study.

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