Dancers in a studio at Montclair State

Dance (MFA) Low Residency

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Dance (MFA) Low Residency

Montclair State University’s new, innovative low-residency MFA in Dance is designed especially for mid-career dance artists, dance teachers and other dance professionals in transition. The program is ideal for those interested in thinking about the shape and future of dance as a discipline and as a field. The program aims to provide experienced dance professionals with the knowledge, resources and credentials you need to expand your career — whether to teach dance in higher education, expand your artistic worldview, or become an innovative leader, researcher or advocate of dance.

The program is focused on students who are interested in a practice-based curriculum designed to nurture the artist in the development of knowledge and skills in one or more aspects of performance or choreography, including technology, and application of somatic techniques to art-making.

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

Only candidates with at least five years of professional experience in dance and who have earned a bachelor’s degree will be considered.

Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Priority Deadline: December 10th for a Summer 2024 start.
  • Final Deadline: March 30th for a Summer 2024 start.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Dance (MFA) program:

  • Transcript: 1 (one) from each college attended.
  • Essays/Personal Statement: One personal statement of 1-2 pages which includes the following:
    • Description of your recent creative agenda and future project interest.
    • Your reason(s) for wanting to pursue an MFA in Dance.
    • Your career goals.
    • New areas of expertise you would like to pursue.
    • Five years of professional experience may also be reflected within the personal statement.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) recent letters of recommendation (within the last 12 months) from professionals in the field.
  • Standardized Test Scores: None Required.
  • Online Work Sample: Required.
    • In addition to your essay, please provide examples of your recent work in the form of a document that includes the following:
      • Excerpts from three recent dances representing work done within the past five years. Sample should be 10-15 minutes in length.
      • Links or URL for each work, including clarifying notes with title, choreographer (if other than yourself) and date of performance.
      • Links to professional reviews and press materials may also be submitted if available.
  • Resume: Required – should include evidence of at least five years experience in the dance field.
  • Interview/Portfolio Review: Following review of the Graduate Admissions application, applicants may be asked to participate in an interview and portfolio review, conducted by the Program Director and other members of the Dance Program faculty. Prospective students will either attend an on-site interview or may elect to be interviewed by video conferencing.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

Complete 60 semester hours. The MFA in Dance takes two years to complete. You will begin your studies on the beautiful Montclair State University campus in the summer, taking classes which span a four-week period. In the following fall and spring semesters you will pursue courses online, then return to campus the following summer, for a second four-week on-site experience. During the subsequent fall and spring semesters, you will take your remaining classes online in order to complete your degree. For more information, please visit the Dance (MFA) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Dance (MFA) Program Coordinator:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Coordinator: Elizabeth McPherson
Office: Life Hall
Telephone: 973‑655‑7831