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Master of Fine Arts in Dance


CSULB Dance is excited to announce the start of our new two-year M.F.A. degree in Dance in which students are in residence during the academic year and complete one summer course between years one and two. 
This 60-unit plan of study emphasizes choreographic exploration and presentation in addition to preparing students for teaching careers in higher education. The program provides M.F.A. candidates with theoretical and practice-based study, teaching opportunities, production skills, and a thesis project focusing on the creation of original choreography. CSULB Dance has chosen to keep the M.F.A. degree small and selective in order to provizde students with ready resources and mentorship. We seeks candidates whose experiences include professional-level investigation and choreography in dance beyond the baccalaureate level. Practitioners of any movement/dance genre are encouraged to apply to the M.F.A. in Dance degree program.

CSULB Dance works diligently to provide scholarships and award support for M.F.A. candidates, including the endowed Celeste Kennedy Scholarship for Graduate Dance Study and other competitive and merit-based College of the Arts funding. M.F.A. candidates with teaching experience may also earn income within the department by applying for Teaching Assistant positions beginning in their first year of study. Teaching Assistants are usually assigned general education and non-major technique classes, which are offered in a variety of genres, in accordance with the TA’s area of expertise and experience.


Our M.F.A. in Dance is centered on the following student learning outcomes:

  • Craft dances that communicate a declared intention; skills include actualizing concepts, directing and collaborating with performers and contributors, processing feedback, implementing revisions, and ethically/critically considering the role of the work in the contemporary climate.
  • Produce their own danceworks; students will demonstrate a working knowledge of lighting design, costume design, stage management, technical direction, house management, and/or public relations. Additionally, students will be able to work in collaboration with theater technicians and design professionals.
  • Articulate effectively in oral and written form their artistic and pedagogical goals/vision/philosophy, positioning them to work in higher education and/or the professional creative field.
  • Identify and characterize trends in the contemporary dance canon, and articulate and advocate for the role of their work within the field.
  • Organize and communicate both practical and theoretical dance concepts in diverse pedagogical contexts, using knowledge gained via teaching practicum, internships, and the study of dance science.


Application Deadline: December 1, 2019
Audition: February 1, 2020

Admission information
MFA Curriculum and Degree Requirements (PDF)

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Professor Dr. Colleen Dunagan, Graduate Advisor at or 562.985.7040.