Apr 21, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Dance, MFA

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Donna Faye Burchfield, Program Director
(215) 717-6580

Jillian Peña, Program Asscoiate
(215) 717-6110

School of Dance Office
Terra Building 3rd Floor
School of Dance Website
(215) 717-6110



This flexible program will offer students continued growth as dancers with the opportunity to situate their practice within an unfolding contemporary landscape of overlapping artistic, cultural, social and economic contexts. The curriculum is built on the idea of “the commons,” or community-sourced knowledge, within which new practices and pedagogies are always “in the making” and constantly emerging.  The program relies heavily on a collaborative interdisciplinary network of international artists and mentors, as well as local and international partners.  

The Philadelphia Residency Program is designed for highly motivated young artists with a strong interest in expanding their knowledge and experience and is designed in two tracks.  The 4 term track which begins in the summer and is an uninterrupted intensive experience across 4 terms (Summer, Fall, Spring and Summer) or 6 term track which begins in the fall term and allows the student a consistent, yet flexible schedule.  (Fall, Spring, Summer & Fall, Spring, Summer).

Program Objectives

The School of Dance educates dance artists through a in-depth study of dance as part of the academic life and academic life as a part of dance at the University.  Students become proficient in studio practice, and are consistently asked to express themselves through their practice, as well as verbally and in writing.  Emphasis on languaging dance within the contemporary world is emphasized through course work that includes history, theory and criticism alongside courses that focus heavily on making & doing.  We prepare them to become leaders in the field they will enter, and encourage them to take part in helping to shape that field.

  •  Students will share an expanded understanding of dance as part of culture and history.
  • Students will gain direct exposure to and actively engage in a wider arts culture and community, whether at the local, regional, national, or international level.
  • Students will have a deepened awareness of the role of dance in society within both local and global contexts.
  • Students will develop constructive critical feedback methods alongside their peers, and demonstrate the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Students will archive, document, collect and share their research, practice, and creative projects in a multitude of ways.
  • Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of somatically informed physical techniques, body practices, and exercise modalities that shape contemporary dance training and dance-making.
  • Students will develop innovative and experimental ways to language dance both verbally and in writing.

Program Requirements (60 credits)

General Electives (3 Credits)

  • Complete 3 credits. This requirement is satisfied by 500, 600, or 700 level courses and may be completed through independent study.

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