Master of Fine Arts in Dance

The Master of Fine Arts is a 60-credit terminal degree in dance that integrates a Christian worldview with pedagogical, theoretical, and artistic inquiry in dance studies. The MFA in Dance degree equips graduates for careers as leaders in higher education, choreography, performance, ministry, and scholarship. Belhaven University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

At Belhaven, the Dance Department offers a collaborative environment in which students can experiment with innovative approaches to dance-making, teaching, and learning. Masters degree in Dance students develop professional skills through curricular offerings in technique, performance, choreography, pedagogy, research methodology, kinesiology, and critical inquiry, among others. Adjunct teaching opportunities within the Dance Department are available for qualified MFA candidates to hone their pedagogical practice during their second and third years of study. Graduate Dance program students establish a network of community-minded faculty and guest artists who encourage them to develop a unique artistic voice. Competitive scholarships are available.


  • Worldview: Graduate students develop a nuanced approach to dance studies from a Christian perspective and can critically assess their work and the work of others from such a perspective.
  • Pedagogy: Graduate students develop effective approaches to dance teaching which acknowledge pedagogical and kinesiological best practices.
  • Theory: Graduate students cultivate a theoretical stance to dance studies that illustrates its ability to reflect and impact culture and can articulate the ways in which these influences interact with their own body of work.
  • Artistry: Graduate students develop sophisticated dance composition and performance skills which reflect a synthesis of artistry, craft, and individuality.

Curriculum Summary

Course # Course Name Credits
Studio or Related Areas (39 units required)
DAN 502 Graduate Dance Production 3
DAN 525/526 Ballet Technique 2
DAN 533/534 Modern Technique 2
DAN 543/544 Graduate Performance I 1
DAN 560 Dance Technology 3
DAN 570 Graduate Choreography I 3
DAN 571 Graduate Choreography II 3
DAN 585 Somatics Practices for Dance I 1
DAN 625/626 Ballet Technique 2
DAN 643/644 Graduate Performance II 1
DAN 660 Performance Media Techniques 2
DAN 670 Graduate Choreography III 3
DAN 671/672 Graduate Improvisation 1
DAN 685 Somatics Practices for Dance II 1
DAN 725/726 Ballet Technique 2
DAN 733/734 Modern Technique 2
DAN 700/701/702 Graduate Thesis Project 7-9
Other Studies in Dance (15 units required)
DAN 501 Kinesiology (Lecture) 3
DAN 503 Kinesiology (Lab) 1
DAN 511 Graduate Seminar 1
DAN 575 Graduate Pedagogy (Lecture) 3
DAN 576 Graduate Pedagogy (Lab) 1
DAN 580 Philosophy of Dance 3
DAN 662 Research and Writing for Dance 3
Electives (6 units required)
DAN 500 Arts Administration 3
DAN 545 Dance and Christian Ministry 3
DAN 550/650 Graduate Apprenticeship 2
DAN 565 Rhythmic Theory for Dancers 2
DAN 590/690 Graduate Independent Study 2
DAN 591/691 Graduate Special Topics 2
DAN 680 Critical Issues in Dance 3


Audition Information

Audition in-person for the graduate faculty including a ballet and modern technique class, a solo work under 5 minutes and an interview with faculty. Auditions will take place on February 15, 2019 in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. For more information or to schedule a private audition on another date, please email or call 601-965-1400.

Applicants must place in a Level III in either ballet or modern technique and demonstrate scholarly and creative capacity necessary to complete the MFA course work. Within the parameters of university admission and admission into the dance department, graduate candidates will be evaluated on an individual basis and admission policies are flexible such that promising candidates who show significant ability and potential in creative/performance components will be given serious consideration.

Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Photos

Admission Information

The application process for acceptance into Belhaven University and the MFA in Dance are two separate items. All prospective students must audition for the MFA in Dance program and submit items for acceptance prior to auditions. Please use the checklist below to assist you in the admission process. Each item is required to apply, be accepted, and register at the university. If you have any questions about admission, contact 601-968-5940 or

Priority application deadline - January 31, 2019
Accepting applications through May 31, 2019

Required: A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in dance or a dance-related area. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform graduate level work as exhibited by an undergraduate GPA of 2.8 overall and 3.0 in dance-related studies.

Applicants must be accepted to the university and submit these additional application materials for application into the program:

  • A 500 word letter of intent articulating your interest in graduate dance studies, including an example of how you incorporate your Christian faith in a dance context.
  • Professional resume, minimum 2 years of field-related experience preferred.
  • Two complete recommendation forms (one academic and one dance-related).
  • A writing sample (no more than 15 pages) which demonstrates analytical and verbal ability, preferably related to the field of dance.
  • Links to current (within the last 5 years) choreography and/or performance samples (YouTube, Vimeo preferred).

All admission questions and materials can be submitted to:

Belhaven University, Office of Admission
1500 Peachtree St. Box 153
Jackson, MS 39202
Toll free:1-800-960-5940
Fax: 601-968-8946

Tuition Information

Download the Tuition Cost Worksheet for the MFA in Dance.

Accepted/Current Student Information

Download the Graduate Student Dance Handbook.

For questions concerning the MFA in Dance Program:

Belhaven University, Dance Department
1500 Peachtree St., Box 314
Jackson, MS 39202
Attn: MFA Program