Applying to the MFA in Dance

Join A Close-Knit Cohort of Dancers

Mikayla Davis

Respecting the Diversity, Social Justice, and Values of the Bay Area Dance Community

Saint Mary's MFA in Dance is a low-residency program that offers a multidisciplinary terminal degree in Creative Practice that can lead to tenure-track teaching jobs or roles in the professional dance world.

Students in our program can work from anywhere—Fall and Spring semester courses are online while two in-person intensives are held on SMC's campus during June and January. June intensives last for the entire month while January's intensives are held half in-person and half online. We also offer on-campus housing for those who are not located in the Bay Area.

Our new cohorts formally begin every year in June and students are encouraged to apply before the Priority deadline in order to be eligible for our Distinction in Creative Practice scholarship—apply now and see more details below!

Application Deadlines
  • June Term/Summer 2024 Priority Deadline: Friday, March 22nd, 2024
  • June Term/Summer 2024 General Deadline: Friday, April 19th, 2024

In some circumstances, students can also start the program in other terms. Please contact our Director of Admissions for more information about application deadlines for starting in Fall, Spring, or Jan Term.

Application Checklist

A complete application to the SMC MFA in Dance program contains the following elements:

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded for initial application review but all applicants must submit official transcripts for all higher education institutions if accepted into the program. Official digital transcripts can be sent to
  • Personal Statement: Your Personal Statement should be at least two (2) double-spaced pages. Use this opportunity to describe your background and goals as a dancer and artist including any interests in choreography, design, and tech. This document should also delve into your ability and commitment to undertake graduate education at this time.
  • Resume/CV
  • Letters of Recommendation: We encourage two letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with you, your creative work, and your ability to undertake graduate school at this time.
  • Application Fee: A $50 application fee is required alongside your online application. If needed, please contact our Director of Admissions for information regarding fee waivers.
  • Writing Sample: Students must submit a 3 to 5 page paper discussing a well-known theater or dance performance (live or video) while analyzing the cultural and historical context of the work. Use 12-point font, double spaced.
  • Choreography Sample: Please submit a sample of choreography ranging from 1 to 10 minutes. Include a full dance or section of a work—excerpts are also accepted. Preferred forms include YouTube or Vimeo but we can accept physical media if needed.

Please note that the MFA in Dance Program does not require applicants to submit Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores.

Application materials can be uploaded in your Saint Mary's online application but they may also be submitted either digitally to or via standard mail to the address below. Please be sure to clearly indicate your full name on all materials so that they can be linked to your online application. All materials submitted should be mailed to:

MFA in Dance
Saint Mary’s College
ATTN: Application Materials
PMB 3001
Moraga, CA 94575


Five graduate Dance students pointing upwards in front of a black curtain.

Distinction in Creative Practice Scholarship

Students starting in Summer who apply before the Priority deadline and submit an additional scholarship essay will be considered for our Distinction in Creative Practice Award—a scholarship that covers the amount of 1 unit per term up to a total of 9 terms in the program. See more information on our Financial Aid and Scholarships page.

School and Department Information

Rosana Barragán
Program Director, Graduate Programs in Dance

Collin Skeen
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment