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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Photos from left to right of a caucasian woman teaching, an african american woman teaching, and a male and female dancing on stage, with the words "Master of Arts in Dance Studies" on the right.

MA in Dance Studies

Launching in Summer 2024, the MA in Dance Studies is SC's only graduate degree in dance. The six-semester, hybrid program offers opportunities for professionals and those seeking advanced-level dance scholarship to enhance and extend their pedagogical and artistic practice.

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Dance Studies is a 36 semester-credit hour program designed for working professionals that consists of online coursework mixed with brief summer residencies, thus allowing participants to continue outside employment while advancing their education.  The program's accelerated coursework leads to degree completion in six semesters, including two summers of study. Students do not need to possess an undergraduate degree in dance, but they must demonstrate substantial educational and/or professional experience to avoid completing additional coursework outside of the requirements for the MA.  

The MA in Dance Studies provides a broad-based curriculum that prepares students for future graduate study and creative and academic leadership in the profession. Coursework enables students to enhance and extend their pedagogical and artistic practice while simultaneously developing comprehensive knowledge of the discipline. By prioritizing the intersections of theory and practice throughout the program of study, students develop an educational foundation that aligns with general and focused artistic, scholarly, and/or pedagogical goals relevant to a variety of specializations within the field.    


Advanced Education for A Variety of Dance Professionals

Whether you perform, choreograph or teach, the MA in Dance Studies allows you to continue working while pursuing an advanced degree.  Potential beneficiaries of this degree program include (but aren't limited to):

  • current K-12 dance educators seeking a graduate degree for potential career advancement;
  • individuals with an undergraduate dance degree who wish to pursue initial graduate study;
  • individuals with substantial professional dance experience who also possess a bachelor's degree (in any field).


What You'll Study

Working with seasoned faculty, students will learn both in the studio and in the virtual classroom.  Core coursework includes study in such areas as: 

  • Global Dance Forms
  • Dance History
  • Functional Anatomy and Awareness
  • Neuroscience for Dance
  • Dance Pedagogy
  • Curriculum Design
  • Choreographic Pedagogy
  • Arts Policy and Advocacy
  • Production Design for Dance

A thesis project focused on each student's personal area of interest is required for degree completion.

For more information, visit the MA in Dance Studies page in the Graduate Bulletin.

The USC Dance Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).




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