Skip to main content

The Underground. Photo: Jim Carmody (2019)The Underground (2020) Photo: Jim Carmody.


Application Information for the M.F.A. Program in Dance

The MFA in Dance program will be on hiatus effective January 2019. More information to come soon.


The Theatre and Dance Department must receive all department and university application materials. Attendance at the department interview is required. After acceptance at the Department level, there is a final review of all application materials by the dean of the graduate school.

Letters of Reference

Number Required: 3

Letters of recommendation should be obtained from qualified representatives of the academic or professional communities in dance and/or theatre. For the online letter of recommendation process, you must provide the email address of each recommender.

You will upload all of your materials here.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration

Prospective students should have an undergraduate degree with a dance, theatre or related arts major or emphasis, OR equivalent professional experience. Demonstrated choreographic experience is required. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 and curriculum vitae that details experience in the performing arts and related fields is required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline

A baccalaureate degree is required, although it need not be in dance. Mail official transcripts or official copies of academic records from all post-secondary institutions attended to the department. Candidates with considerable professional experience, but who do not have a Bachelors degree, will be considered upon review of the CV.

Statement of Goals and Work Sample

A Statement of Goals/Purpose, 2 pages in length, is required as part of the application package. Please give a brief analysis of your aesthetic vision, and choreographic goals as related to the pursuit of the M.F.A. in Contemporary Dance Making and Performance. Upload short samples of your choreographic work (about three minutes each) from three different projects. The total length of the excerpts combined not exceed 10 minutes. After the excerpts record one complete unedited work. Include a work sample document with all credits, date of creation, performance venue and brief description of the works. Applicants who have had no choreographic experience will not be considered for this program. Your statement, resume and work samples will be reviewed by the M.F.A. faculty to determine whether admission to the program is appropriate. We look for focus, artistic vision, an interest in interdisciplinary collaboration, and a mature sense of purpose for the successful completion of this degree. A select number of applicants will then be invited for an interview and choreographic workshop audition.

These materials should be uploaded here


The GRE is NOT required.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based, 233 computer-based, or 90 internet-based. Any students admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass an English skills course.

Interviews & Auditions

A select number of applicants will be invited to an interview process. The interview will consist of a collective movement practice led by faculty, an opportunity to guide current graduate students through a choreographic/creative process, a presentation of a recent choreographic project (either live or recorded), and conversations with members of the faculty.

Appointments are available in February and March for applicants to see the school and to show their full portfolio in person at an interview at UC San Diego. Other locations may be offered as situations allow, but cannot be guaranteed. Please contact the UC San Diego Department of Theatre & Dance for more up-to-date information.

International Students

International students can be accepted without attending the interview audition, if their video and other supporting documents give adequate evidence of excellence.

If you have questions or would like more information about our Graduate programs, call the Graduate Coordinator at 858-534-1046 or email at