Graduate Students

The department’s graduate offerings in dance include the MA Plan A, the MA Plan B, and the MFA. The GRE is not required for admission to any of the master’s in dance program; for foreign students the minimum TOEFL score is 600. The MA Plan A requires a written thesis. In Plan B, the candidate takes additional course work and develops a capstone project or paper. The MFA requires a performance and choreography thesis with an accompanying written document and DVD. Dance candidates for all graduate degrees must demonstrate an adequate undergraduate background in dance or a related field, present a sample of written work such as a major paper,and submit three letters of recommendation sent directly to the dance department. MFA candidates in dance must also submit a DVD sample of their choreography and performance.

The application deadline for the fall semester is February 1 (January 15 for foreign applicants). The spring semester application deadline is September 1 (August 1 for foreign applicants). Upon the successful completion of 12 graduate credit hours within the department, the elimination of any undergraduate deficiencies, and (for MFA students) the presentation of an acceptable example of creative work (the qualifying dance) the student may be admitted to candidacy.

Graduate Degrees

MA in Dance Plan A (Emphasis in Performance Studies)

The MA in Dance Plan A emphasizes research in culture and performance studies in dance. The MA Plan A requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, 653, 654, 655, or 661 and 700 (6 credit hours); 3 credit hours in 400-level Asian or Pacific performance courses; related area electives (6 credit hours); dance electives (3 credit hours); and general electives (3 credit hours). All electives must relate to thesis research. Candidates must pass a reading or speaking proficiency exam in a foreign language relevant to their area of thesis research or must satisfactorily complete four semesters of a language relevant to their area of thesis research.  Following the MA in Dance (Performance Studies) plan students may apply for the Ph.D. in Theatre (Performance Studies).

MA in Dance Plan B (Emphasis in Education)

MA in Dance Plan B emphasizes dance education and requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, 691, 693, and 659 or 699; 9 credit hours from 321, 331, 421, 431; 3 credit hours in 300- to 400-level Asian or Pacific dance courses; and 9 credit hours of electives (3 credits at the 600 level).

MFA in Dance

The MFA in Dance emphasizes performance and choreography. The MFA Plan A requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, including DNCE 421 or 431 (18 credit hours); DNCE 651, 652, 660, 661, 671, and 672 (4 credit hours); DNCE 679 (2 credit hours), 691, and 700 (6 credit hours); 2 credit hours in two different Asian or Pacific dance forms; 3 credit hours in 600-level dance electives; 6 credit hours in non-dance electives; and 1 credit hour in a general elective. MFA candidates must participate in two dance productions a year and register to attend a technique course each semester. Qualifying choreography on student concert is required prior to proposing the thesis.

MFA Plan A and MA Plan B require written comprehensive examinations and an oral defense of the examination. MA Plan A and MFA Plan A require an oral defense of the thesis.

Prospective Students

How To Apply

Graduate Dance Programs at UHM include both Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees. Students who already have completed an undergraduate degree, or who are not admitted to a regular classified graduate program, or who wish to take some courses in dance without specifically working towards a degree, may apply for admission as an unclassified graduate student. Credits earned as an unclassified graduate student may later be applied towards a classified degree program. Please consult the General Online Catalog for the current limitations to the number of such credits that may be applied, as well as for complete application and degree information.

Application Deadlines

For Fall semester admission: Jan. 15
For Spring semester admission: August 15

Step 1

These items must first be sent to the Graduate Division Office:

Please note the Dance program does not require a GRE scores.

If you are an international applicant, you must also send:

  • Official TOEFL Scores
  • Financial Information Form

Please check the Graduate Division website for more information, deadlines, and updates.

Step 2

Applicants for all graduate programs in Dance must send the following items to the Graduate Dance Chair, Gregg Lizenbery.

  1. Graduate Admissions Application Form (copy)
  2. Transcripts (copy)
  3. TOEFL score report; required for applicants from foreign countries (copy)
  4. Graduate Express Form
  5. Statement of Objectives
  6. Three current letters of recommendation sent directly from the author to the department
  7. A typed (double-spaced) example of written work, such as a major paper of 15-20 pages (all applicants)
  8. An audition DVD showing solo and group choreography and performance skills (only for MFA applicants)
  9. Waiver of Access to Confidential Letters and Statements
  10. Tuition Support Scholarship Application (if applicable)
  11. Graduate Employment Application
  12. Graduate Employment Evaluation

The Graduate Division and/or the Director of Dance will notify applicants of the admission decision.

Current Students

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