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Master of Arts in Dance

The Master of Arts in Dance is a practice-oriented degree created to serve experienced dance educators, primarily in secondary and community college venues. It is designed to broaden and deepen dance knowledge and skills for teaching dance classes and producing dance concerts and elevates an undergraduate teaching credential to graduate status.

Because M.A. candidates are teaching during the academic year, coursework is completed in three intensive, 6-week consecutive summer sessions in which 9-12 units are earned each summer.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will refine proficiency in modern dance movement vocabularies, enabling them to enhance their careers as educators.

2. Students will engage in theoretical inquiry and study in the dance-related areas of history, dance science, and pedagogy, enabling them to enhance their careers as educators.

3. Students will acquire practical skills in the areas of costume and lighting design.

4. Students will explore, practice, and actualize the craft of making dances to communicate a declared intention.

Criteria for Admission into the Program

Candidates must meet the following criteria for entrance into the M.A. in Dance:

1. Prerequisite Courses:

  • two courses in dance composition;
  • one course in dance history;
  • one course in anatomy/kinesiology (must be taken in the past five years);

2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a degree in dance or a related field;

3. Minimum of 3 years experience teaching dance in a high school with a secondary teaching credential, or minimum of 3 years part-time or full-time experience teaching dance in a community college (exceptions will be considered for extensive part-time employment teaching dance in a high school, or for an exemplary employment history of teaching dance in other venues);

4. Three letters of recommendation, of which one must be from a supervisor or colleague;

5. Movement audition and personal interview;

6. Completion of all application materials.

Admission will be granted to students who show high promise of success in graduate study based on past academic record and record of teaching experience.

Retention Criteria

1. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in all graduate work completed at CSULB;

2. Continued satisfactory progress toward degree objectives.

Application materials and application cycles (normally a new class of M.A. candidates begins every three years) is posted at

Advancement to Candidacy

Students will be advanced to candidacy upon successful completion of the following:

1. Satisfy the general university requirements for advancement to candidacy and the department's admission criteria;

2. Maintain a 3.0 GPA in all graduate coursework;

3. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);

4. Complete a minimum of 21 units of coursework;

5. Removal of any incomplete grades;

6. Satisfactory completion of three artistic endeavors completed during the academic year utilizing student performers from the candidate's school;

7. Filing of the student's graduate program form for the Master of Arts in Dance, signed by the student's graduate advisor, and approved by the Associate Dean for graduate accountability.


1. Complete the following:

  • Take 7 units from the following courses: DANC 510A, DANC 510B, DANC 510C, DANC 585A
  • Take 6 units from the following courses: DANC 521, DANC 522
  • Take 6 units from the following courses: DANC 591A, DANC 591B
  • Take 12 units from the following courses: DANC 565, DANC 592, DANC 605, DANC 642

2. Successful completion of a Written Comprehensive Exam to be taken after all coursework has been satisfied.

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