Course Descriptions

Dance Program


This degree is structured to meet two objectives: (1) to offer advanced preparation of the dance artist by providing intensive studio training, choreographic and performance opportunities and (2) to provide the developing artist with a philosophical, theoretical, and research orientation to dance as an art form.

Entrance Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Master of Fine Arts program offered by the Dance Program must first meet all of the requirements for admission to Graduate Studies. Particular Dance Program requirements are as follow:

1. A bachelor's degree in Dance, or a demonstrated equivalent level of achievement,

2. A grade point average of 2.5 in overall undergraduate work,

3. A grade point average of 3.0 in Dance courses.

4. The student must submit one official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work to the Dance Program.

5. As a final requirement for admittance, the student must demonstrate through audition (to be undertaken no more than one year prior to the commencement of study) quality performance and understanding which is acceptable to a graduate review committee. Undergraduate prerequisites will be determined by the graduate advisor on the basis of this audition.


MFA Graduate Committee. A Master of Fine Arts Graduate Committee in Dance is composed of three members of the Department of Theatre and Dance graduate faculty and is selected by the student before he/she completes twelve hours. This selection will be done in consultation and with the approval of the graduate advisor.

Transfer Credit. Up to eighteen hours of graduate credit may be transferred toward the Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. However, the MFA Graduate Committee reserves the right to refuse graduate credit from another institution or from Sam Houston State University for any courses not done specifically under the direction of the Dance MFA Graduate Committee.

Period of Study Required. The Master of Fine Arts degree requires a minimum of 48 semester credit hours. A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained. The MFA candidate is expected to maintain continuous physical training in ballet and modern technique classes during the time he/she is enrolled. Requirements of the degree must be completed within a period of six years.


27 hours core curriculum in Dance
6 hours thesis
6 hours electives in Dance
9 hours electives in related fields
48 hours total

No more than six hours of graduate credit in dance technique may be earned in less than the advanced placement level. All candidates must achieve advanced placement in dance technique classes in order to be recommended for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance.

A thesis is required of all MFA candidates. The thesis will be a formal concert of the student's works, accompanied by a supporting paper. The works will consist of either the student's performance, creative work, or reconstructed repertory. The proposed content and extent of the thesis must be approved by the graduate committee prior to the presentation of the thesis performance. The written paper must comply with the specifications for the written thesis which are available through the Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. A record of the performance, either in film, video tape, or notated form, must be included as part of the candidate's accompanying paper.

The student must also pass an oral examination testing general knowledge of dance concepts, philosophy, and traditions as they relate to his/her thesis work. The oral examination will be conducted by the candidate's graduate committee and selected members of the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance and the dean's representative. After the oral examination has been passed and the thesis performance and supporting paper have been approved by the graduate committee, the candidate is recommended for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. A record of the thesis will be supplied by the candidate to be retained permanently by the University.


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