Frequently Asked Questions

Is LEAP right for me?

Please take this quick survey to better assess if LEAP is the right fit for you.

When can I start?

New cohorts typically start each fall in the program's three cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York). 

Please contact us for more information if you are interested in applying/beginning sooner than the approaching fall term.

Where do classes meet?

LEAP classes are held in conference rooms in areas convenient to the dance communities of their respective cities.

See our current class locations here.

When are classes scheduled?

Most LEAP in-person classes are scheduled on Sunday or Monday evenings. The students' rehearsal, performance, touring and other work schedules are taken into account when course calendars are created.

How long will it take me to finish?

The LEAP Core Curriculum can be completed in an average of 3 to 4 years of part-time study, though accelerated pacing is possible.

Since LEAP is an individualized program, the time it takes each student to earn the degree will vary.

What is the average workload?

Every course varies in requirements.  However, LEAP only schedules one in-person residency course per term for each cohort so that the workload is feasible for full-time working adults.  Each course meets once a week for 10 weeks, each semester. 

It is also possible to take additional classes in any given term.

What kind of courses does LEAP offer?

In addition to its Core Curriculum, LEAP offers a variety of other courses in both online and independent study formats. These courses are meant to accommodate a variety of different academic interests and professional pursuits.  We cater to you!

Is financial aid available?

Yes, Saint Mary’s College students may apply for financial aid in addition to state and federal grant programs. 

Please visit the financial aid pages for additional information.

What kind of degree will I earn?

The LEAP Program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s College with a major in Dance.  Curriculum is individualized to support student interests in future professional pursuits and vocations.

What can I do with my degree?

Students utilize their bachelor degrees in a number of ways.  Many go on to pursue graduate and post-graduate degrees or transition into careers for which an undergraduate degree is required.

Others design their student projects and elective courses to assist in entrepreneurial or creative pursuits beyond the stage.

Ultimately, the Liberal Arts Education promotes critical thought and lifelong learning in ways that are beneficial to any profession.

Check out our Life After Leap page for some alumni highlights.

How much is tuition and how am I billed?

Visit our Tuition page for current tuition rates.

Students are billed through the Saint Mary’s College GaelXpress system. Students receiving financial aid will see their awards get posted directly to their student accounts.

How will my professional dance and life experiences apply to my studies?

Students entering the LEAP program are qualified to challenge by examination several of the required dance courses for the major at Saint Mary’s.  In other words, LEAP students "test out" of classes that would otherwise be required, based on their professional experience.

Additionally, LEAP offers options to earn college credit for prior learning in other areas.  This significantly reduces the amount of time and money needed to earn the Bachelor’s degree.

Does LEAP offer online or distance learning classes?

Yes, LEAP has a growing catalog of online and distance learning courses that are made available to students of the program.  Students discuss these courses with their Academic Advisor before enrolling to ensure that they are compatible with their course of study.

What if I don’t live in San Francisco, New York City, or Los Angeles?

The LEAP program currently only offers its residency courses in these four cities.  

Can LEAP help me pursue other academic interests besides dance?

Yes! The LEAP course of study is highly individualized and encourages students to explore a vast range of academic interests.  Academic Advisors work one-on-one with students to shape coursework to prepare students for graduate studies and/or meaningful new careers.

How do I apply?

Please visit our Admissions page to view the admissions requirements for LEAP, or APPLY NOW!


Photo Credits: Classroom photo by Mark Baird; Damian Smith by Erik Tomasson; Cara Cooper by Annie Colbeck