Dance (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Dance
Program Code: 3257

About This Major . . .

The BA in Dance offers a broad, liberal arts approach to the study of dance and movement. Dance majors are immersed in a holistic approach to dance studies with coursework in a variety of dance forms, somatic practices, conditioning, movement analysis, dance history, choreography, pedagogy, dance company, and experiential anatomy. Additionally, students have numerous opportunities to choreograph, perform, and teach throughout their degree.

The CMU Dance program is unique in that we offer a strong technical foundation, across a variety of dance styles. Through our diverse curriculum, students develop versatility and an appreciation for historical roots and current trends in the field. Within a supportive learning community, students engage not only in rigorous technical training, but are also invited to explore creative experimentation and collaborative possibilities.

Through our guest artist series, community engagement programs, and annual participation in the American College Dance Association Conference, our students have numerous opportunities to develop professional and networking skills. These experiences not only offer potential professional connections, but also expose students to other areas of dance scholarship, including current practices in dance medicine, dance psychology, etc. Our dance majors have the unique opportunity to explore additional degrees in other disciplines at CMU that align with their studies in dance and movement.

CMU Dance students are prepared for employment in various aspects of the dance field as performers, choreographers, teachers, and studio owners. Additionally, they are prepared to pursue graduate degrees, specialized certifications in performance, choreography, production, arts management, movement therapy, and numerous related areas of dance and movement research.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Communicate verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication)
  2. Communicate non-verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication)
  3. Create progressively more challenging projects through the use of intellectual and/or practical skills. (Applied Learning)
  4. Demonstrate teamwork and problem solving skills through collaboration and cooperation on creative projects. (Critical Thinking)
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and versatility of the discipline from conceptualization to application. (Applied Learning)
  6. Analyze ethical, social, and/or civic challenges and their intersection with the performing arts at the local, national, and global levels. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  7. Find, critically evaluate, and effectively apply relevant sources of information to discipline-specific projects. (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements 

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “C” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements 

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(15 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher.)

DANC 115Dance Appreciation-GTAH13
DANC 220Moving Anatomy and Wellness3
DANC 260Movement Analysis and Improvisation3
Two consecutive classes in the same foreign language 16
Total Semester Credit Hours15

Program Specific Degree Requirements 

(40 semester hours, must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area). See your academic advisor to ensure repeated courses apply to your program of study. 

Core Courses
Dance Core
DANC 310Dance Pedagogy3
DANC 315History and Philosophy of Dance3
DANC 355Choreography and Creative Practice3
DANC 494Senior Dance Capstone3
Ballet Technique Courses
Select two of the following:4
Ballet I
Ballet IIA
Ballet IIB
Ballet IIIA
Jazz Technique Courses
Select two of the following:4
Jazz I
Jazz IIA
Jazz IIB
Modern Technique Courses
Select two of the following:4
Contemporary Modern I
Contemporary Modern IIA
Contemporary Modern IIB
Contemporary Modern IIIA
Hip-Hop Technique Courses
Select two of the following:4
Hip-Hop I
Hip-Hop II
Hip-Hop III
Select four additional semester hours of upper-division technique coursework (excluding performance courses)4
Contemporary Modern IIIB
Ballet IIIB
Hip-Hop III
Contemporary Modern IVA
Contemporary Modern IVB
Jazz IVA
Jazz IVB
Ballet IVA
Ballet IVB
Select one of the following:1
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Choreography Practicum
Select one of the following:1
Choreography Practicum I
Choreography Practicum II
Select two hours of upper-division dance performance or choreography practicum2
Dance Performance
Choreography Practicum II
Dance Performance
Choreography Practicum III
Dance Company
Select one lower-division dance company course:2
Dance Company
Dance Company
Select one upper-division dance company course: 2
Dance Company
Dance Company
Total Semester Credit Hours40

General Electives 

All college-level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 upper-division hours. 28 hours, including 20 additional hours of upper-division may be needed. Recommend additional dance support courses in dance technique, dance performance, dance company, choreography practicum and/or theatre courses including: THEA 153, THEA 102, THEA 103, THEA 104, THEA 105. 

Select electives28
Total Semester Credit Hours28
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
Performance/Choreography Practicum Option - Lower-Division 1
Dance Technique Course 2
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
DANC 115 Dance Appreciation-GTAH1 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
KINA Activity 1
Dance Technique Course 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
DANC 220 Moving Anatomy and Wellness 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Performance/Choreography Practicum Option - Lower-Division 1
General Elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
DANC 260 Movement Analysis and Improvisation 3
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Company Option - Lower-Division 2
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Third Year
Fall Semester
DANC 315 History and Philosophy of Dance 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
Performance/Choreography Practicum Option - Upper-Division 1
Dance Technique Course 2
General Electives 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
DANC 355 Choreography and Creative Practice 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
DANC 310 Dance Pedagogy 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Performance/Choreography Practicum Option - Upper-Division 1
General Electives 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
DANC 494 Senior Dance Capstone 3
Dance Company Option - Upper-Division 2
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
General Electives 5
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.