Degree Completion Program for Dancers

Degree Completion Program for Dancers

Earn College Credit For Your Professional Performance Experience!

The LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) Program is a Bachelor's in Performing Arts online degree completion program uniquely designed for current and former professional dancers. LEAP provides remote and affordable higher education of exceptional quality with a part-time, low-impact class schedule.

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Who are LEAP Students?

LEAP students are current and former professional dancers from across the country with performance credits including major ballet and modern companies, Broadway and national tours, film and television, and various cultural forms.


At a Glance (How LEAP Works)

Upon acceptance into the LEAP online degree completion program, students are eligible to receive 24 units of performing arts credit. No additional work is required to receive these credits.


12 units come in the form of dance technique credit. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Ballet and/or Pointe
  • Modern and/or Contemporary
  • Jazz and/or Musical Theatre
  • Hip Hop
  • Bharatanatyam, Danza Azteca, and/or other Cultural Styles 
  • Movement for Actors

This is fulfilled through the resume you submit in your application!


12 units come in the form of dance production credit.

This is fulfilled through the work examples you submit in your application!

There are 4 performing arts lecture courses required to earn a degree through the LEAP Program.

However - LEAP students may fulfill these courses through a "Challenge by Examination".

(We will teach you how!) 

Learn more about these courses through our LEAP Course Descriptions page.

LEAP students are eligible to earn credit through Prior Learning Assessment.

We will teach you how to demonstrate your knowledge in a variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Pilates, Yoga, and/or other professional certificates
  • Caring for Injuries
  • Choreography
  • Teaching Dance
  • Parenting
  • Marriage and/or Divorce
  • Business Management and/or Operations
  • Identity-based knowledge including Ethnic Groups, LGBTQ+, and Women’s Issues


There is no additional tuition cost to earn these credits!

The LEAP Core Curriculum is a series of 10 courses all LEAP students must take to complete the program.

Classes meet on Zoom, typically just once a week for 3 to 4 hours.

The Core Curriculum is designed to provide students a breadth of knowledge and experience in order to fulfill the requirements of the liberal arts degree.


Learn more about these courses through our LEAP Course Descriptions page.

LEAP students may complete their degree with elective credit from Saint Mary's College and/or transfer credit from any accredited college or university. 

Elective/Transfer Courses may be used to:

  • Fulfill pre-requisites for graduate school
  • Learn new skills for a career transition
  • Explore various academic topics of interest
  • Have fun!


Already have college experience? Transfer your credit to Saint Mary's upon acceptance into the LEAP bachelor degree completion program!

LEAP Students live, dance, and work all over the country, accessing our classes through Zoom and studying wherever is most convenient to them!
Yuan Yuan Tan studying

Yuan Yuan Tan,

Former Principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet

Jordan Hammond Studying

Jordan Hammond,

Former dancer turned business owner


LEAP works for anyone who needs college classes to accommodate busy and unpredictable schedules including:

  • current professional dancers
  • "9 to 5" professionals 
  • full-time parents

Classes meet on Zoom just one day a week, typically Sundays or Monday evenings. You can make your way through the program on the timeline that is best for you, committing to just one semester at a time.

LEAP offers an internationally recognized Bachelor's Degree earned in a fraction of the time of the traditional undergraduate experience.

Our graduates have gone on to excel in various careers and industries, including:

  • Arts Management and Education
  • Health and Medicine
  • Media, Journalism, and Communications
  • Business and Tech
  • Law

… and have attended some of the country's top graduate schools, including:

  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Yale School of Management
  • Columbia University
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Southern California (USC)

LEAP provides a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum covering topics within the humanities, as well as social, natural and formal sciences. In general, the term liberal arts refers to degree programs providing a broader spectrum of knowledge and skills.


“Employees hailing from a liberal arts background have honed valuable skills that might be left underdeveloped in other majors.Businesses value these graduates' critical thinking skills, communication abilities, and creativity. The breadth of focus gives the students knowledge that can help them thrive in a wide variety of fields.”

– What Can You Do With That “Useless” Liberal Arts Degree? A Lot More Than You Think, FORBES


"A liberal arts degree is the most pragmatic degree one can pursue in a world with increasing uncertainty and volatility. It is designed to equip you with the adaptability that will be critical to navigating many decades of professional life in rapidly evolving landscapes. It is more worth it than ever."

- Emily Griffen, director of the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning at Amherst College in Massachusetts, USNews

Program Duration

The LEAP Core Curriculum is typically completed within 3 years, though some students have finished sooner.  LEAP provides one of the fastest online degree completion programs for professional dancers.

Our academic advisors will work with you on an individual basis to build a schedule and timeline that works best for your goals and needs.

Learning Environment

The LEAP Core Curriculum is delivered on Zoom by Saint Mary's faculty. Students work with other current or retired dancers across all disciplines from all over the country. Small class sizes allow for individualized attention and ample networking opportunities.

An Invaluable Investment

The LEAP Core Curriculum classes have been specifically chosen to model the liberal arts education of the traditional undergraduate program at Saint Mary's.  Designed and selected with the dancer's academic needs and interests in mind, these courses challenge, inspire, and equip professional dancers for lifelong learning and success.