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BFA in Dance: Composition Concentration


  • Students who apply for the composition concentration should have a strong motivation for, and evidenced talent in, the art of choreography.
  • To qualify, students must have completed two semesters of Improvisation/Composition I and the first semester of Composition II, each with a minimum grade of B+.
  • During the second semester of Composition II, students must notify their composition teacher if they intend to apply for composition concentration.
  • Students who receive a grade of Incomplete or a grade lower than a B+ in Improvisation/Composition I or Composition II or who fail any other Conservatory of Dance course taken during their sophomore year are not eligible to apply for the composition concentration.

Application Process
Applications must be submitted by students to the administrative assistant in the Conservatory of Dance main office by the last Friday in January.

  • The application consists of:
    • a letter from the student explaining why he or she wishes to pursue the composition concentration
    • the student’s grade transcripts (attached to the letter)
  • The administrative assistant distributes the applications to the Composition Committee, which is composed of all members of the composition and improvisation faculty.
  • The committee evaluates the applications and sends its recommendations to the board of study.
  • Within two weeks of the application submission, the committee will inform students of its provisional decision.

Audition Process

  • At the end of February, the Composition Committee and the director of the Conservatory of Dance will view the preliminary showing by sophomores of a piece for three to five dancers (3 to 5 minutes), with music recommended by the composition teacher.
  • A student who has been provisionally accepted in the composition concentration will present a second audition piece in May. The nature of this work will be determined by the student and the composition teacher/Composition Committee and designed to challenge the student's talents. The music will be determined by the student and the composition teacher. The Composition Committee, two additional board-of-study representatives, and the director of the Conservatory of Dance will view these second audition pieces.
  • On the basis of this second showing, the provisional student will be accepted or denied for the composition concentration.

Composition Concentration Requirements
Students must meet all general degree requirements as well as conservatory requirements for graduation. Students accepted in the composition concentration remain with their original academic advisor and must:

  • complete one summer composition workshop, and audit one semester of another composition teacher’s course; or
    audit two semesters of another composition teacher’s courses; or
    complete an equivalent requirement as determined by the Composition Committee.
    All workshops must be approved by the Composition Committee and the director of the Conservatory of Dance.
  • maintain a minimum grade of B+ in all composition courses. (Students who do not maintain this minimum GPA will be dropped from the composition concentration.)
  • complete a one-semester course in art history, and/or 
    a one-semester course in aesthetics or another art history course, and/or 
    at least one semester of DPD 1070/Documenting Dance: A Video Production Guide for Choreographers, as advised by the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee.
  • complete one year of the 3000-level or 4000-level ballet or modern technique and 2 credits of repertory as a minimum requirement for graduation. As a senior, the Comp. Con. student might elect to take only one technique class a day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Junior Year
Each student prepares a showing for the Composition Committee, two additional board-of-study representatives, and the director of the Conservatory of Dance. This showing usually takes place during the third week in March and consists of:

  • a work determined by the student and the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee and designed to further challenge the student’s talents
  • a junior composition project that follows the Junior Composition Showing Guidelines.

Senior Year

  • The student’s mentor for the senior project must be a member of the composition faculty.
  • The student choreographs three works which will include the following:
  • a dance with the same requirements as those outlined for the Senior Choreographic Project
  • a visual art or multimedia collaboration.
  • a project designed by the student in consultation with the composition
  • Two of these works will be presented during a Senior Project Weekend, which is shared with other dance students in their senior year. The maximum combined total length of works shown will be 20 minutes.
  • The composition teacher and/or Composition Committee may assign additional choreographic challenges, tailored to further enrich and deepen the student’s developing artistry.

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For current majors:
Graduation Plans

In consultation with your faculty advisor, the eight-semester plans, maintained by the Office of the Registrar, can be used as a guide to assist you in your academic planning and progress toward graduation.

Dance BFA Overview

Academic Requirements:
Dance Performance
Dance Composition
Dance Production

Student Learning Outcomes

DPB 1000–4999
DPC 1000–4999
DPD 1000–4999
DPM 1000–4999