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MFA in Dance Launches at Rutgers Winter 2017

MFA in Dance Launches at Rutgers Winter 2017

Published on September 23, 2016
Photo credit: Mason Gross School of the Arts

New MFA Dance Degree Offers Global, Interdisciplinary Experience In Research And Practice

Applications are open now for the Rutgers University MFA degree in dance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. An audition schedule is below. The program, whose first cohort will arrive in January 2017, is now accepting applications for its second cohort.

The experience is meant to be a rich mix of thinking and doing: linking theory and practice, through research, teaching, and creating movement-based interdisciplinary works in concert dance, screen dance, installation, or other formats.

“The MFA further establishes our Dance Department as a conservatory that focuses not only on high-caliber training in dance technique and choreography, but also as an institute dedicated to the development of highly trained dance researchers and educators,” says Kara Golden, director of admissions at the Mason Gross School. “Given our proximity to New York City, the MFA degree program is ideal for dance artists who have already established a professional career and are looking to enhance their artistry while developing skills and experience required to teach their craft.”

Image credit: Rutgers University

Graduate Director Jeff Friedman says the degree is designed for professional dance artists with five years of working experience (post-undergraduate school) who wish to teach and research at the collegiate level. Dance Department artistic director and chair Julia M. Ritter says students should be interested in honing their artistic and scholarly visions to emerge from the program with an approach to dance that is global and interdisciplinary.

An interest in being a thinking artist is primary.

“Dance faculty teach and conduct research, contributing to scholarly discourse,” Friedman says. “To do so, MFA students must commit to rigorous thinking and a transformative experience.”

Image credit: Rutgers University

The 60-credit, 26-month degree requires a year-and-a-half of coursework and eight months of thesis work, completed on- or off-campus. MFA trains students in history, philosophy, and aesthetics; teaching methods and theories; and interdisciplinary choreography and performance strategies, collaborating with faculty and guest artists from around the world.

Electives in other art forms, the humanities, and additional disciplines are drawn from Rutgers University’s vast offerings. In addition, a pair of seminars will focus on portfolio preparation, leadership and advocacy, launching graduating students into higher education.

The 2016–17 audition schedule is as follows:

  • October 30: Auditions in Philadelphia at Koresh Dance Studio. 4 p.m. registration, 4:30–6 p.m. audition
  • November 19: Auditions in New York City at Gibney Dance Choreographic Center. 10:30 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. –12:30 p.m. audition, including ballet barre, contemporary dance, and improvisation workshop
  • January and February: Additional auditions available on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus
  • January 2017: Miami and Los Angeles auditions, available by appointment

About Mason Gross School of the Arts
Founded in 1976, Mason Gross School of the Arts is the public arts conservatory of New Jersey. Part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the school is home to departments of Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts as well as the Brodsky Center, Mason Gross Extension Division, Arts Online, and the Rutgers Filmmaking Center.

For audition information, contact Graduate Programs Administrative Assistant Colleen Klein at or at 848-932-1345 for more information;

To enroll, applicants submit a formal application and fee online through Rutgers University Graduate Admissions ( by December 1, 2016, and the Mason Gross Supplemental application by January 1, 2017. Additional supporting material including a personal statement, writing and video samples, a resume, and an audition, are due by March 1, 2017.

For more information about the MFA in dance program, contact Mason Gross Admissions at 848-932-5269 or

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