Application and Audition for the BFA Program



Acceptance into the BFA in Dance program requires an application to The Ohio State University Undergraduate Admissions (Columbus campus) AND the Department of Dance Audition. We encourage all auditionees to prepare and submit both applications, though the two decisions operate on independent timelines and processes that coordinate efforts. We do not pre-screen auditionees - we look forward to seeing all auditionees at our audition events! Please note: it may be that you do not receive an admissions decision until AFTER the audition, so we recommend you audition in-person or by video as soon as possible.

We are committed to accessibility and safety in these uncertain times


  • November 15, 2020: last day to submit university admission application for early action, regardless of audition decision


  • January 2, 2021: last day to submit dance audition application
  • January 11, 2021: last day to submit audition videos (instructions sent after audition application submitted)
  • January 25-29, 2021: both the required and the strongly recommended online audition activities scheduled throughout the week
  • February 1, 2021: last day to submit university admission application
  • Early February: audition decisions sent 

The goal of the audition process is to:

  1. "Audition us" - see if you can thrive at Ohio State in the Department of Dance by taking class, watching class, participating in a faculty interview, listening to BFA degree Q & A session, and going on a brief tour of our facilities.
  2. "Audition you" - are your abilities and potential a good match for our BFA program? The faculty look at your current skill and future potential with improvisation, contemporary centre, African Diaspora forms, and ballet centre.

You may complete the Dance Audition Application prior to completing the University Application; however, we strongly encourage you to complete your University Application and submit ALL materials, including test scores, no later than the priority deadline of November 15 in order to be considered for competitive university merit scholarships. 

Online auditions: You have the option of uploading video footage that you already have in the application. The online audition will consist of phrases taught and prompted by faculty via an online video. Then you will record yourself doing the movement phrases and creative prompt in your home with a personal device and upload your video to the audition portal. After you submit the audition application, you will receive further details and instructions via email. 

A faculty representative will also be auditioning applicants online at the virtual Dancewave Through College & Beyond October 16-18 and 23-25, 2020. Please be sure to stop by our virtual booth at Dancewave to introduce yourself prior to the audition and watch your email for an offer of acceptance to the major or a callback to our auditions in Columbus. This is our only offsite audition.   

Freshman applicants interested in the dance program must apply for admission by the published deadline of November 15 for early action, consideration for merit scholarships, and honors & scholars. Please note that all materials must be submitted by November 15 for full consideration of these competitive merit scholarships. If after the November 15 deadline, please apply prior to February 1 for FAFSA and university scholarships. The Common Application and Coalition Application will be available beginning on August 1; the FAFSA will be available beginning on October 1.  

Transfer applicants to dance are encouraged to apply for admission to the Ohio State Columbus campus prior to February 1, which is the FAFSA and university scholarship deadline, and must apply no later than March 1 to be considered for admission to the university in autumn.

Please note that admissions application and the dance audition are separate processes; in other words, you may hear about one decision before the other. While it is possible to hear from the dance audition first and then the university admissions office, it may also be that you will not hear an admissions office decision until after the audition. We recommend auditioning and applying early!

Note:  Within the audition application, you will be able to select your audition date. We do not pre-screen auditionees - we look forward to seeing all auditionees at our audition events! You will receive a confirmation email closer to the chosen date. All auditionees are notified of the audition decision within two weeks after the audition, with both audition dates being considered equally.

If you are unable to travel due to cost, an international applicant, have a scheduling conflict with the audition dates, or otherwise cannot attend the audition events, please contact the Academic Program Coordinator. Family members are encouraged to attend. Review accommodation and transportation info for your convenience and reference. You will receive instructions for the online video audition process after submitting the audition application. Our goal is to be accessible (you need a phone and the internet, no paid choreographer necessary) and we can also collaborate with the admissions office for need-based travel grants once you are both accepted to the dance major and admitted to the university. 

University Undergraduate Admissions

First, please check the University Undergraduate Admissions webpage to access procedures and deadlines. Freshman applicants need to complete the Common or Coalition Application for Ohio State University. Transfer applicants new to Ohio State must complete the University application in order to be considered for admission to the University. Current Ohio State students wishing to change majors to the BFA in Dance need not complete the University application.

The Ohio State application does not need to be submitted or completed by the time you audition but it IS your responsibility to follow the university undergraduate admissions policies and deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to begin the university review process as early as possible, especially if the applicant wants to be considered for merit scholarship opportunities.  Deadlines are November 15 for merit scholarships and February 1 for FAFSA and university scholarships.

The University also offers Honors and Scholars programs. Visit the Honors and Scholars website for details; Scholars opportunities are ONLY available to incoming freshman while Honors is available to all eligible students either upon admission or after you have been enrolled at Ohio State. 

We strongly recommend that transfer applicants do indicate interest in STEP on the application. The Second-Year Transformational Experience Programis an excellent mentoring and research opportunity that includes a potential research/study abroad funding opportunity.

We encourage all Ohio residents to also select the Newark campus as an alternative choice to the Columbus campus. In special cases, a student may be eligible to start academically at a regional campus and later transfer to the Columbus campus.

For all admitted applicants and accepted auditionees, the Department of Dance requests your decision about coming to Ohio State by May 1 in order to prepare for our incoming class.

Department of Dance Admissions

All applicants must complete the Department of Dance Audition Application. Register and follow the instructions from there. If you have any questions, please contact the Academic Program Coordinator.

Acceptance into the BFA Program is determined through careful consideration of your:

  • dance training, experience, and goals
  • required movement audition
  • essay for Ohio State Admissions
  • interview: a brief individual meeting with faculty member
  • activities and interests outside of dance

Auditions for the undergraduate dance major program (BFA) take place in October and February for the upcoming academic year. See the Academic Calendar for a complete list of University dates and deadlines.

Audition Procedures

The movement audition includes three adjudicated sections: improvisation, African dance, contemporary dance, and ballet. We do NOT require a prepared solo, headshot, or dance resume as part of the audition. Please wear comfortable clothing with clear and simple lines. It is best to wear a bright colored leotard or top. Bare feet and ballet shoes requested. No pointe shoes required.

Major considerations in the audition are:

  • basic skills/coordination
  • strength, flexibility, and alignment
  • kinesthetic/spatial awareness
  • mobility/weight transfer
  • movement flow
  • rhythm/musicality
  • artistry
  • stylistic versatility
  • presence/performance quality

Audition Results

The audition will be conducted and judged by a committee of dance faculty who, in turn, advise the department chairperson of the audition results. Our goal is to have approximately 30 incoming freshmen to the BFA Program for the Autumn Semester. Transfer students are admitted throughout the year as openings arise. Letters confirming the results will be mailed to all participants within two weeks of each audition.

For more info, contact the Academic Program Coordinator.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For information on university financial aid please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. Deadlines are November 1 for university merit scholarships and February 1 for FAFSA and university scholarships. You do not need to wait for the release of your financial aid "package" to come from Ohio State in March - be proactive and seeking additional and external scholarships early. Refer to our Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship page for helpful resources and tips.