Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season


Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Contemporary dancers from across the globe now have an opportunity to continue their education and not miss a beat through the innovative M.F.A. in Dance offered by the Department of Theatre and Dance. The program combines residency and distance learning to enable mid-career dancers, performers and choreographers to maintain their careers while refining individual style, technique, and repertoire, and developing professional relationships with the larger international dance community.

Fieldwork, directed independent study, and rigorous seminar work are at the core of the 60-credit, 18-month program. Components include:

  • Initial eight-week residency
  • Two semesters of closely supervised distance education
  • Virtual and on-site studio experience
  • Intensive one-on-one student/faculty collaboration
  • Completion of a performance portfolio that may be electronically submitted
  • Students are assigned teacher mentors specific to their area of concentration within the dance field. Collectively, the faculty mentors offer more than 50 years of experience, bringing creative, research, and administrative expertise to the program. Students also partner with recognized artists and art professionals from the diplomatic community and such prestigious organizations as the Smithsonian Institution--unique cultural learning opportunities that come from a University located in the heart of the United States capital.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Summer - March 15 (February 1 for international students who require an F-1 visa)

Applicants received after the deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Standardized Test Scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 


Minimum scores for the M.F.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 68; 

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 - 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your creative focus, academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application.

Additional requirements:

Internet links of choreographic/performance work (45 minutes maximum), as well as a current resume.

International applicants only:

International applicants are encouraged to contact the admissions office early to discuss visa requirements. Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday