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About

Dance Degree Programs

UMass Dancers

Skip to descriptions: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
Skip to Sample schedules =>
Download the Dance Major BA and BFA Checklist (pdf) or Dance Handbook (pdf).

Situated within a nationally ranked public research university, UMass Dance embraces rigor and risk. We believe that a robust and relevant curriculum should empower and open new pathways for our students to succeed in the current dance climate. At UMass, we offer classical and contemporary forms of Ballet, Modern, and Jazz as well as theory courses based in history, education, somatics, and technology. Students benefit from a resident faculty actively engaged in art making and scholarship both nationally and internationally, as well as guest artists through residencies and workshops.

In both BFA and BA offerings, UMass dance students are thinking critically, engaged in the community and fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit. These sentiments are supported and enhanced in the Five College Dance Department, where students quadruple their course choices, performance opportunities, and abilities to network during matriculation and beyond (with no additional costs).

Our programs cultivate the individual creative voice while instilling knowledge of the global field. Should students decide to travel and experience dance beyond the states, UMass Dance has formed relationships with programs and institutions in Europe that complement a dance major’s course of study.


Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree offers a liberal arts education and allows students to combine studies in dance with other fields of interest. Students are required to take eight courses in technique, and fourteen courses in dance theory. A Senior Project is required. Courses may be selected from the technique idioms of ballet, modern dance, and jazz. Academic courses include dance history, composition, rhythmic analysis, scientific foundations of dance and dance production.


Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree requires intensive study in dance techniques and theory. Students are required to take sixteen courses in technique and fourteen courses in dance theory. A Senior Project is required. Courses may be selected from the technique idioms of ballet, modern dance, and jazz. Academic courses include dance history, composition, rhythmic analysis, scientific foundations of dance and dance production.


 

Dance studentsDAY(S) IN THE LIFE: Sample schedules

Hannah, Senior, BFA, Fall Semester 

Monday/Wednesday
12:20-1:35, Theater

4-6, Senior Seminar
7-9, Faculty Repertory rehearsal for University Dancers

Tuesday/Thursday
10-11:15, Advanced Modern at Mount Holyoke College
4-5:20, Intermediate Contemporary at Amherst College
6-9, Faculty Repertory rehearsal at Mount Holyoke College

Friday
9:25-12:05, Contact Improvisation at Smith College

2-4, Rehearsal for a student’s senior thesis at Mount Holyoke College

Saturday
9-12, Rehearsal for a student’s senior thesis at Mount Holyoke College

Sunday
12-3, Rehearsal for my own senior thesis

4-6, Rehearsal for a student’s senior thesis

 

Stephanie, Senior, BA Dance and BA Psychology (Dual degree), Fall Semester

Monday/Wednesday
11-1, Volunteering in psychology related work

2:30-3:45, Psychology of Trauma
4-6, Senior Seminar

Tuesday/Thursday
11:30-12:45, Cognitive Psychology

4-5:15, Modern III
5:30-8:30, Faculty Repertory rehearsal at Amherst College

Friday
9:15-10, TA Meeting for Professional Development in Psychology

10:10-11, TA for Professional Development in Psychology
11:10-12:10, Office Hours
4-6, Color Guard practice (Dance Staff)

Sunday
12-3, Rehearsal for a student’s senior thesis

4-6, Rehearsal for my own senior thesis 

 

Becca, Freshman, BA Dance, Double major in Spanish, Fall Semester 

Monday/Wednesday
9:05-9:55, Spanish 240

10:10-12:05, Dance in the 20th Century
1:25-2:15, Ballet 1
2:30-3:35, Improvisation
5:45-7, Hip Hop

Tuesday/Thursday
11:30-12:45, Jazz 1

1:00-2:15, Modern 1
4:00-4:50, Freshman Year Seminar (Tuesday only)

Friday
9:05-9:55, Spanish 240

12:20-1:10, Drop in pointe class
1:25-2:15, Ballet 2

 

Natasha, Freshman, BA Dance and BS Communication Disorders, Fall Semester 

Monday/Wednesday
10:10-12:05, Dance in the 20th Century

1:25-2:25, Ballet I
2:30-3:45, Improvisation
4-5:30, Rehearsal for student choreography show (Monday Only)
5:45-7, Hip Hop I

Tuesday/Thursday
11:30-12:45, Jazz I

1-2:15, Modern I
4-5:15, Psychology 100
5:30-7:30, Rehearsal for a student’s senior thesis (Thursday Only)

Friday
11:30-12:05, Freshman Seminar

1:25-2:25, Ballet