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About the BFA Program

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Video shows BFA Dance students in various classes, rehearsals, and community events in the Ohio State Department of Dance. 

The Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance program is committed to cultivating a rigorous curriculum that draws upon multiple disciplinary and artistic approaches while encouraging students to position their own work and development within broad social contexts. Our curriculum is designed to develop concrete skills in performance, choreography, and pedagogy and to instill an intellectually broad and deep appreciation of the role that dance plays in human culture around the world while ensuring our students are competitive in the current marketplace. We are committed to academic excellence, diversity, freedom of expression, activism, social transformation and civic responsibility. Our BFA program’s priority is to cultivate artist-citizens committed to leadership, community, equity and social justice. 

Our program encourages integration of the curricular areas, supports an interdisciplinary approach, promotes the education of the whole person, values cultural and curricular diversity, and responds to the individual needs of students, faculty, the dance field, and our broader culture. Students leave the program with the skills, perspective and imagination to be visionaries, advocates, and leaders in the field of dance and in their communities.

The mission of the BFA is to be an exciting and diversified dance program. Defined by a varied and dynamic blend of physical practice, creative practice and embodied theory, The BFA trains students to: 

  • Both deepen and broaden physical training; 
  • Develop choreographic skills, explore experimental technologies (IM, Video, Dance Theatre), in service to becoming sophisticated and nuanced artists in general;
  • Cultivate an understanding between performance and culturally inclusive and critically rigorous pedagogy; 
  • Deepen and expand one’s understanding of the art and practice of performance (via formal and informal performances, in-progress showings, scholarly lectures etc.);
  • Become an arts activist, arts educator and advocate;
  • And to develop scholarly expertise and sophistication in culture and the arts in general.  

 

Video of a day in the life of an Ohio State Dance student. Shows clips of students in dance classes, academic classes, socializing in the green room and enjoying the sunshine outside Sullivant Hall. Audio voiceover of freshman dance major Paige St. John describing the facilities, opportunities and benefits of the program.

Video of brief interviews with alumni of the BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University describing their experience of the program and how it prepared them for their careers.

An audition is required for the BFA; see Apply to BFA program for dates and information. Be sure to take a look at our Majors and their work.

No audition is required for the Dance Minor. Please email for an advising appointment to declare the Minor; see Minor program for more information.

All students are welcome to take our elective classes; see Elective courses for more information.

Please see our BFA Dance Checklist that students use to track their course progress to graduation, alongside other university resources, advising staff, and faculty mentors. 

GENERAL EDUCATION (GE) FOUNDATION COURSES (32-39 credit hours)
Minimum GE grade for graduation is D or better

  • GE Launch Seminar - GenEd 1201 (during 1st 3 semesters) - 1 Credit
  • Foundations: Writing and Info Literacy - 3 Credits 
  • Foundations: Math & Quantitative Reason/Data Analysis - 3-5 Credits
  • Foundations: Literary, Visual and Performing Arts - 3 Credits
  • Foundations: Historical & Cultural Studies - 3 Credits
  • Foundations: Natural Science - 4-5 Credits
  • Foundations: Social & Behavioral Sciences - 3 Credits
  • Foundations: Race, Ethnic and Gender Diversity - 3 Credits
  • Theme: Citizenship for a Diverse & Just World - 4-6 Credits
  • Theme of Choice (choose one):  - 4-6 Credits
    • Lived Environments 
    • Health and Well Being 
    • Sustainability 
    • Migration, Mobility, and Immobility 
    • Number, Nature, Mind 
    • Traditions, Cultures, and Transformation 
  • GE Reflection Seminar - GenEd 4001 - 1 Credit

 

UNIVERSITY ELECTIVES (4-11 credit hours) 
World languages, minor, double major/dual degree, graduate/professional program prerequisites

 

MOVEMENT PRACTICE (MP) COURSES (30 credit hours)

Contemporary (16 credit hours all 4 years) 

  • 3101/2 (majors only) - Autumn 1st Year - 2 Credits
  • 3101/2 (majors only) - Spring 1st Year - 2 Credits
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Autumn 2nd Year - 2 Credits
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Spring 2nd Year - 2 Credits
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Autumn 3rd Year - 2 Credits 
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Spring 3rd Year - 2 Credits 
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Autumn 4th Year - 2 Credits 
  • 4101/2 or 5101/2 (majors only) - Spring 4th Year - 2 Credits 

Africanist (6 credit hours) 

  • 3003 (majors only) - Autumn 1st Year - 1 Credit 
  • 3003 (majors only) - Spring 1st Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4003, 5003, or 5004 (majors only) - Autumn 2nd Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4003, 5003, or 5004 (majors only) - Spring 2nd Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4003, 5003, or 5004 (majors only) - 1 Credit 
  • 4003, 5003, or 5004 (majors only) - 1 Credit 

Ballet (6 credit hours)

  • 3111/2 (majors only) - Autumn 1st Year - 1 Credit
  • 3111/2 (majors only) - Spring 1st Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4111/2 or 5111/2 (majors only) - Autumn 2nd Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4111/2 or 5111/2 (majors only) - Spring 2nd Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4111/2 or 5111/2 (majors only) - 1 Credit 
  • 4111/2 or 5111/2 (majors only) - 1 Credit 

Somatic (2 credit hours any year, recommend in 1st/2nd years)

  • 5173 Pilates
  • 5175 Yoga
  • 5176 Bartenieff Fundamentals
  • 5177 Alexander
  • 5178 Floorwork

 

FOUNDATION COURSES (32 credit hours)

  • 2601 Production - 2 Credits 
    • 1 credit for lecture - Autumn 1st Year
    • 1 credit for crew - Autumn 1st Year OR Spring 1st or 2nd Year 
  • 2701 Music Skills for Dance - Spring 1st Year - 2 Credits 
  • 2702 Creative Technologies for Dance - Autumn 1st Year - 2 Credits  
  • 2801 Introductory Seminar I (or XXX 1100 for major change/ transfers) - Autumn 1st Year - 1 Credit
  • 2802 Introductory Seminar II - Autumn 2nd Year - 1 Credit  
  • 3201 Composition I - Spring 1st Year - 3 Credits 
  • 3202 Composition II - Autumn 2nd Year - 3 Credits  
  • 3301 Analysis - Autumn 2nd or 3rd Year - 3 Credits  
  • 3412 History/Theory/Literature II - Autumn 2nd or 3rd Year - 3 Credits  
  • 3501 Education - Autumn 2nd or 3rd Year - 3 Credits 
  • 3490 / 4490 HTL Special Topics* - Autumn or Spring 2nd-4th Years - 3 Credits
    • OR 3411 HTL I*
    • OR 3401 Pop Culture*
    • OR 3402 Global Contexts* 
  • 3801 Kinesiology - Spring 1st or 2nd Year - 3 Credits
  • 4700 Repertory* - Spring 1st Year or Autumn 2nd Year - 2 Credits 
  • 5602 Lighting Design (SP)* - Autumn or Spring 2nd-4th Years - 1 Credit 
    • OR 5614 Sound (AU)*
    • OR 5615 Costume (AU/SP)*
    • OR 5611 Isadora (SP)*

*additional enrollments part of Focus Electives

 

FOCUS COURSES (22 credit hours)

  • 4801 Senior Seminar I - Autumn 3rd Year - 1 Credit
  • 4802 Senior Seminar II - Autumn 4th Year - 1 Credit 
  • 4998/H Senior Project - Autumn & Spring 4th Year - 2-4 Credits
    • OR 4999/H Distinction Project 
  • Focus Electives (select from list) Spring 2nd-4th Years -18 Credits 

 

FOCUS ELECTIVES LIST (select at least 18 credit hours)

Composition 

  • 4200 Choreographic Workshop 
  • 4202 Music in Dance Composition 
  • 4203 Group Forms 
  • 4290 Composition: Special Topics 
  • 5121 Improvisation 
  • 5191 Eurhythmics 
  • 5211 Dance Film I 
  • 5212 Dance Film II 
  • 5213 Intermedia Performance 
  • 5505S Citizen Artist

History/Theory/Literature (HTL) (beyond Foundation)

  • 2500 Anti-Racism in Performing Arts (if not GE) 
  • 3401 Dance in Popular Culture (if not GE) 
  • 3402 Dance in Global Contexts (if not GE) 
  • 3490/4490 HTL: Special Topics (beyond Foundation) 
  • 5500 Anti-Racism in the Performing Arts

Education 

  • 4500 Directed Teaching 
  • 4501 Dance for Children 
  • 4502 Methods and Materials 
  • 4590 Education: Special Topics 
  • 5191 Eurhythmics

Production/Technology (beyond Foundation) 
also see theatre.osu.edu and accad.osu.edu

  • 5601 Production: Practicum 
  • 5603 Costume: Practicum 
  • 5611 Technology: Practicum 
  • 5612 Digital Video Editing: Practicum 
  • 5614 Sound Design for Dance 
  • 5615 Costume Design for Dance

Repertory and Performance Repertory 
beyond the Foundation requirement and/or Somatics and Elective Movement Practice beyond the Movement Practice requirements

  • 4700 Repertory (beyond Foundation) 
  • 4701 Performance - 2nd or 3rd Year
  • 4790 Repertory: Special Topics - 3rd or 4th Year 
  • 5200 Concert Workshop (student works) 
  • 2103 Contemporary III 
  • 2113 Ballet III 
  • 2143 Jazz III 
  • 2152 Hip Hop II 
  • 2162 Tap II 
  • 2181 Social Dance 
  • 2190/ 5190 Movement Practice: Special Topics 
  • 5115/6 Ballet Practice 
  • 5105/6 Contemporary Practice 
  • 5173 Pilates Reformer 
  • 5175 Yoga 
  • 5176 Bartenieff Fundamentals 
  • 5177 Alexander Technique 
  • 5178 Floorwork

Additional Options

  • 3999H Research Creativity in Dance 
  • 4189 Field Experience (2 credit limit) 
  • 4193/4193H Independent Study (2 credit limit) 
  • 4804 Interdisciplinary Workshop 
  • 4990 Research: Special Topics 
  • 4194/5194 Group Studies 
  • 5798 Study Abroad

External Course(s) (upon Dance USC approval by petition)

 

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS - 127 
Transfer students need to complete at least 42 credit hours at OSU for BFA and at least 60 for Honors/Distinction. 

Minimum Overall GPA - 2.0 

Minimum GPA in Major - 3.0 

Minimum Dance grade for graduation - C-

 

 

Video of interview with Ohio State University alum Mimi Lamantia who describes her experience of integrating dance and medicine at Ohio State.

Video of places in Columbus to introduce prospective students to the benefits of living in this city while gong to school at The Ohio State University.

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