About the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program



The Master of Fine Arts in Dance at The Ohio State University is a three-year program that requires a minimum of 60 semester units of graduate-level work. Recognized as a terminal degree, the MFA springs from our studio-centered areas of study: choreography, performance, movement analysis and notation, production and lighting design, and dance and technology. Though the emphasis is on creative work, our program is grounded in academic study and is designed to send graduates out into the field with both depth and breadth of knowledge.

The MFA in Dance is designed for learners who locate themselves within a spectrum of strengths - from developing dance professionals to those who exhibit exceptional promise without an extensive professional background. The ideal MFA candidate is one who understands and demonstrates what it means to be a working artist, who is a reflective practitioner and scholar, and who arrives in the program in a spirit of open-ended inquiry and a desire to expand his or her knowledge and artistry. The Department welcomes applicants whose credentials reflect a broad repertory of dance experience, self-motivation, and the ability to clearly formulate and communicate objectives and artistic intent.

Be sure to take a look at our students and their work.

Please see the profiles of our graduate faculty to see the variety creative and scholarly expertise that informs our graduate program.



The MFA consists of prerequisites, a core curriculum, related theoretical and studio courses, and a culminating project specific to each candidate’s area of research. Prerequisites include the equivalent of undergraduate dance history coursework and substantial experience in a somatic or body-mind practice. Students lacking these prerequisites must contact their advisors upon entering to determine which courses will satisfy the requirement.

Please see our 


for an example of a planning document that students use to track their course progress to graduation, alongside other university resources, professional staff, and faculty advisors. 

The Graduate School at Ohio State also supports a wide variety of Graduate Minors and Graduate Interdisciplinary Specializations that support MFA student research and provide valuable connections and networking opportunities. 

Program Requirements

  • Full-time enrollment in the three-year MFA program.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 over 60 graduate semester units consisting of core requirements and related courses.
  • Completion and presentation of a substantial MFA project demonstrating a synthesis of craft, artistic vision and conceptual rigor, as well as professional competence in the selected research area.
  • Documentation of the project with disc and written documentation, presenting one copy to the Department of Dance for the Music and Dance Library.
  • Successful completion of the three-part written comprehensive examination.
  • Successful oral examination including a discussion and defense of the synthesis of craft, artistic vision and conceptual rigor as demonstrated in the project.


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