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Department of Dance

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Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance

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 Department of Dance at Sam Houston State University must first meet all of the requirements for admission to Graduate Studies. Particular Department of Dance requirements are as follows:

  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. One official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work submitted to the Department of Dance.
  5. Audition demonstration (to be undertaken no more than one year prior to the commencement of study) of 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.

Specific Requirements

MFA GRADUATE COMMITTEE. A Master of Fine Arts Graduate Committee in Dance is composed of three members of the Division of Theatre and Dance graduate faculty and is selected by the student before he/she completes 12 hours. This selection will be done in consultation and with the approval of his graduate advisor.

TRANSFER CREDIT. Up to 18 hours of graduate credit may be transferred toward the Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree. 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 60 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.


Minimum MFA Course Requirements



Core Curriculum 36 hours
Thesis 6 hours
Electives in Dance 9 hours
Electives in Related Fields 9 hours
  60 hours total


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 Fine Arts & Mass Communications. A record of the performance, either in film, video, 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 division faculty 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 degree of Master of Fine Arts in Dance. A record of the thesis will be supplied by the candidate to be retained permanently by the university.



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