Graduate Program
Graduate Program: M.F.A. in Dance

Looking for the next step in your dance career? Consider pursuing an M.F.A. in Dance at the University of California, Irvine to secure your future in the dance world. You can expand your creativity while finding fresh choreographic inspiration and exploring other aspects of dance from a variety of perspectives. You will be working with fifteen full-time faculty in dance, dancing in six airy studios, and presenting your choreography in theaters or in alternative spaces, such as the Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL)

UCI offers funding to dynamic M.F.A. candidates with a significant dance background and a curiosity to learn more. Most M.F.A. in Dance students are awarded support, along with opportunities to work with one of the most talented undergraduate pools of dancers anywhere. Financial aid for our two-year program comes in the form of fee fellowships, non-resident tuition fellowships, and employment as teaching associates and graduate student researchers. 

Graduates of the program have entered diverse job markets, securing college and university faculty positions or jobs at private studios and conservatories; starting their own dance companies; pursuing Ph.D. degrees in dance or health/wellness certificates; and increasing their opportunities for choreography with newly strengthened creative skills.

In their two years of study, students take a variety of classroom and studio courses, with attention to connecting the mind and the body, expanding dance literacy and the toolbox of skills, and fostering creativity in new choreographic work. The thesis project takes up much of the second year. Most students create a choreographic work and write a thesis paper, while others pursue thesis projects in dance education, dance history, or dance science.

We seek a diverse, enthusiastic pool of applicants with a substantial background in dance and a passion to learn. We have welcomed professional dancers, teachers, choreographers, Fulbright scholars, as well as recent graduates to our M.F.A. program. Applications for admission to the M.F.A. are due in December, with the audition in February. 

Have questions? Contact Associate Professor Tong Wang (Graduate Advisor) via email for curriculum and other program related questions. For assistance with the application process contact the Department of Dance at

Pictured: Graduate students showcase their original choreography, New Slate 2001

2022 M.F.A. Application News

Consider pursuing an M.F.A. degree in the Dance Department at UCI to secure your future in the dance world. You can expand your creativity and your potential for job security while finding fresh choreographic inspiration, presenting your work onstage, and exploring other aspects of dance from various perspectives. Read news about applying for a Fall 2022 M.F.A. in Dance.


Applicants for admission to the M.F.A. in Dance must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate studies and hold a B.A. or B.F.A. in Dance or the equivalent. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required. Admission to the Dance M.F.A. is for Fall quarter only.

Graduate Program Details

Want to know more about our graduate program? Here are answers to some questions commonly asked by prospective graduate students. Please refer to the current UCI Catalogue for complete program details and admission requirements.

The xMPL

The Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL) in the Contemporary Arts Center is a flexible theatrical performance space with advanced capabilities in technology and a sprung dance floor.  Designed to allow any number of audience-performer configurations (including installation), the xMPL provides dance faculty and graduate students the ability to present innovative combinations of choreography and video, the Internet, lighting, or other technologies.

Financial Aid

Substantial financial aid is available in the form of fee fellowships and non-resident tuition fellowships, and also in the form of employment as teaching assistants and graduate student researchers.  Most M.F.A. in Dance students are awarded financial aid.

International Applicants

Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. The department prefers that the applicant take the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT), if it is available where you live.

Learning Outcomes

Learn more about what prospective students should know about the value completing the M.F.A. in Dance program.