Graduate Division

Dance MFA

Section 1


  • The MFA and the Department of Dance: The MFA in Dance at UC Irvine is a two-year program offering a balance of studio practice, dance making, and scholarly inquiry taught by professional dancers, choreographers, media artists, dance scholars, and other dance professionals interested in the intersections of dance, choreography, video, music, dance science and dancer wellness, dance education, and/or dance history.
  • Graduate Thesis Project: Graduate students are encouraged to develop their individual strengths and artistic or scholarly interests, particularly in the thesis project, which takes up much of the second year.
  • See for more information about the MFA in Dance.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Faculty and Curriculum: fourteen full-time dance professors with diverse experiences and points of view working in an active, creative environment; a strong foundation in dance technique with multiple levels of ballet, modern/contemporary dance, and jazz dance, as well as world dance, Pilates, hiphop, pointe, partnering, and repertory; small-enrollment graduate dance courses in choreography, teaching, video and scholarly topics; the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, with departments of Art, Dance, Drama, and Music all in the same area on campus, encouraging collaboration among Arts faculty and students.
  • Choreography and Performance Opportunities: two proscenium dance concerts devoted to graduate student choreography every year; additional choreographic opportunities in video, site-specific work, and the thesis concert; numerous performance opportunities in faculty and graduate works.
  • Facilities: six dance studios, including one that converts to an informal performance space; the School’s two theaters and the Experimental Media Performance Lab, a flexible performance space with a sprung dance floor and advanced capabilities in video; Dancer Wellness Suite with Pilates equipment and a physical therapist who visits the department twice a week.
  • Graduate Financial Support: substantial financial aid; opportunity to apply for travel grants for creative or scholarly work.
  • The Irvine Area: The Irvine Barclay Theatre, with its contemporary dance series, presenting such companies as Akram Khan, Mark Morris, and Dance Theater of Harlem; Segerstrom Performing Arts Center, five miles away, with performances by American Ballet Theatre, Mariinsky Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and many more; the Pacific Ocean and the beach, five miles from campus; biking trails and conserved open space in Irvine and beyond.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

2 years

Capstone Type

Thesis or Comprehensive Project

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

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 MFA is for Fall quarter only.

Apply online at UCI Office of Graduate Studies. All documents, including transcripts and letters of reference, must be received by January 11th. If you have questions contact the Dance Department at or (949) 824-7283.

In addition to the online application, applicants for admission to the Dance graduate program must complete the following:

  • An audition in ballet and modern dance technique is required and is held in Winter quarter. At this audition, applicants also present a three minute work of their own choreography, which may be a solo performed by the applicant or a video of the applicant's choreography. Interviews with faculty are conducted following the audition, and applicants are given a short writing exercise. Applicants must complete and submit the online Audition Reservation Form.
  • The department prefers that applicants attend the on-campus audition. However, if this is not possible, the applicant may apply by video. If you are applying by video, you must follow the "Guidelines for Submitting an Audition by DVD", contained in the Dance Graduate Admission Packet.

Financial Support

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 MFA in Dance students are awarded financial aid.

The Dance Graduate Admission Packet includes a Teaching Assistant Application Form. Applicants are encouraged to apply for assistantships in areas such as dance technique, dance history and theory, Laban movement analysis, music, video, critical issues, kinesiology, and injury prevention. Students with experience in any of these areas are given special consideration.

Graduate students are eligible to apply for thesis research funds from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Norman Beede
department profile
Senior Musician
Music for Dance, Dance Accompaniment, Music Production

Mary Corey
department profile
Professor of Dance
Dance Notation and Reconstruction, Dance History

John Crawford
department profile
Professor of Dance & Media Arts
Director, UCI Dance Film Festival, Director, Digital Arts Minor

Diane Diefenderfer
department profile
Lecturer with Security of Employment, PMA, C.P.T.
Ballet, Pointe, Repertory, Pilates

Jennifer Fisher
department profile
Associate Professor of Dance
Dance History, Theory, Criticism, Ethnography

Lindsay Gilmour
department profile
Assistant Professor
Modern Dance, Choreography, Improvisation

Charlotte Griffin
department profile
Assistant Professor of Dance
Modern Dance

Chad Michael Hall
department profile
Associate Professor of Dance
Modern Dance, Improvisation

David Lim
department profile
Crew Hip Hop

Loretta Livingston
department profile
Professor of Dance
Choreography, Laban Movement Analysis, Co-Advisor for the BFA in Choreography

Lar Lubovitch
department profile
UCI Distinguished Professor

Molly Lynch
department profile
Professor and Department Chair of Dance
Ballet, Repertory, Arts Management

Lisa Naugle
department profile
Modern Dance, Choreography, Improvisation, Dance and Digital Technology, Motion Capture, Pedagogy

Kelli Sharp
department profile
Assistant Professor of Dance Science

Alan Terricciano
department profile
Professor of Dance
Musical Resources, Music for Dancers, Dance Accompaniment, Composition, Multimedia Arts

Tong Wang
department profile
Assistant Professor of Dance
Ballet, Men's Ballet, Partnering

Dr. S. Ama Wray
department profile
Associate Professor of Dance
Jazz Dance, Improvisation, Choreography

Academic Data

academic data

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Students & Alumni

Alumni Profile: Dante Puleio

Student Profile: Brandi Kelley

Dance MFA students are perpetually engaged in a multitude of areas of creative work. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the faculty in your specific program of interest in order to learn more about what they’re doing.