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California State University, Long Beach
2012-2013 CSULB University Catalog


Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

This 60-unit plan of study emphasizes performance and choreography grounded in the modern dance genre, and requires 3 years in residence to complete all course work. This degree is a rigorous program designed to challenge professionally experienced dancers to develop their artistic and analytical work through numerous performances and choreographic opportunities. Curriculum is integrated in technique, composition and theory.

The Department of Dance has chosen to keep the MFA degree program small and selective in order to provide adequate resources to all students in the degree plan. It is expected that applicants for the MFA in Dance should have some life experiences in the field prior to application; therefore, this would normally preclude a person who was recently awarded an undergraduate degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Students will explore, practice, and actualize the craft of making dances to communicate a declared intention.
  • 2. Students will refine proficiency in modern dance and ballet movement vocabularies, enabling them to pursue careers in the professional arenas of performance/choreography and/or education.
  • 3. Students will engage in theoretical inquiry and study in the dance-related areas of history, music, film/video, aesthetics, dance science, and dance criticism.
  • 4. Students will attain substantial knowledge/practical skills in preparation for teaching, including theoretical, practical, and kinesiological perspectives.
  • 5. Students will acquire practical skills in the production aspects of dance, including costume design, lighting design, and stage management and/or public relations.

Criteria for Admission into the Program

Candidates admitted into this program will be selected on the following criteria:

  • 1. Meet University admissions requirements;
  • 2. B.A., B.F.A., or M.A. degree in dance or equivalent with a 3.0 GPA in upper division dance courses;
  • 3. Professional goals consistent with the plan of study;
  • 4. Life experiences in the field;
  • 5. Audition in performance and choreography.

All MFA candidates are admitted on a conditional status. Removal of the conditional admit will occur after the following:

  • 1. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);
  • 2. Completion of all prerequisites;
  • 3. Completion of 20 graduate dance units with a GPA of 3.0;
  • 4. Approval of Graduate Advisor.


Advanced technique, Dance Composition (3 courses), Dance History (2 courses), Music for Dance, Anatomy/Kinesiology, Dance Notation or Laban Movement Analysis, Dance Production (2 courses). Candidates may take prerequisite courses along with graduate courses.

When an undergraduate degree is completed in a program which has different requirements than those of the CSULB dance major, additional preparation may be required before the student can be considered for classified status. Up to 24 units from an M.A. degree program may be acceptable, with approval of the graduate advisor.

Application Requirements

  • 1. A CSULB post-baccalaureate application.
  • 2. The following returned to the CSULB Dance Department:
    • A. Letter of application;
    • B. resume;
    • C. 3 letters of reference;
    • D. VHS video or DVD of a recent group choreographic work;
    • E. 2-page (typed, double spaced) personal statement addressing how graduate work will fulfill intended professional goals.
  • 3. Audition on the CSULB campus to include a technique class and presentation of a 3-5 minute solo composition.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy will occur based on the following:

  • 1. Unconditional admission status;
  • 2. Completion of 30 graduate dance units with a GPA of 3.0;
  • 3. Successful choreography produced in a graduate concert;
  • 4. Evaluation by graduate faculty of the candidate's satisfactory progress toward the degree;
  • 5. Removal of any incomplete grades.

Performance/Choreography Concentration

Take 8 units from the following courses: DANC 511A, 512

Take 4 units from the following courses: DANC 511B, 514

Take 15-17 units from the following courses: DANC 505, 565, 588, 597, 605, 693

Take 12 units from the following courses: DANC 520A, 520B, 520C, 520D

Take 5 units from the following courses: DANC 580A, 580B, 585A, 585B, 592, 595

Take 6 units of the following course: DANC 699 Thesis/Project

Take 8-10 units of additional coursework.

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