The Top 10 Non-BFA Dance Programs

Getting a BA in Dance is, of course, different than getting a BFA, but if you think about it, the world of dance is so much more than just the technicalities of movement. As such, a BA gives you an opportunity to explore the many aspects of the industry and art. Pursuing a BA in Dance gives you a number of career options and an incredibly solid foundational knowledge that will help you throughout your life and career. Regardless of how you want to be involved in the world of dance, a BA is right for you if you’re interested in studying more than the technicalities of dance performance. Getting a BFA is a wonderful option, but the curriculum of a BFA is notoriously narrow and specific. Students who get their BA in Dance go on to be dancers and choreographers, go into dance education, administration, and even therapy.

  1. Northwestern
    To complete the dance major at Northwestern’s School of Communication, students must take the core curriculum, including dance technique courses, performance courses like “Advanced Choreographic Study,” and dance studies courses such as “Dance Criticism” and “American Rhythm Dancing and the African American Performance Aesthetic.” Additionally, though, students must take 18 courses outside of the department to supplement a diverse and well-rounded education. 2 courses must be in math, sciences, or technology; 3 must be in social behavior; and 3 must be in the fine arts or humanities.

  2. Connecticut College
    Connecticut College is a top liberal arts college that emphasizes diversity of thought and creative intellectual thinking. Their Dance degree is no exception--with an emphasis on performance and choreography, the curriculum required to complete your BA in Dance includes 8 core courses covering everything from “History of Dance” to “Anatomy of Movement” and “Compositional Improvisation.” Students also choose elective courses that cover topics like “Dance and Technology” and “Dance Writing.” All Dance majors must participate in 2 performances as well as complete Crew Production participation requirements to graduate.

  3. Marymount Manhattan
    The Department of Dance at Marymount Manhattan is highly selective and enriching for students interested in studying the many dimensions of dance. Students choose from one of the following concentrations: Body, Science & Motion; Dance & Media; Dance Studies; and Teaching Dance Arts. Students investigate the complexities and history of the world of dance by studying theoretical debates and issues that define the topic. The BS&M concentration is perhaps the most unique, giving students interested in science the opportunity to combine their two interests. Graduates of the BS&M concentration go on to work in somatic (identity) research, allied health, or research.

  4. UC Boulder
    University of Colorado Boulder’s BA in Dance program within the College of Arts and Sciences requires students to take courses that cover technique and dance theory, in addition to the performance and senior project/internship requirements. 120 hours of dance-related studies must be complete in addition to the arts and sciences core requirements. The performance requirement of this degree includes taking the course Dance and Community Engagement, which spans a student's entire sophomore year. Students then perform for elementary and secondary schools throughout Colorado, as well as are encouraged to audition for choreograph roles in the annual departmental musical and student dance concert.

  5. University of Maryland
    Students pursuing their BA in Dance at UMD’s School of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies complete their core coursework during their first two years, and then segue into project-based learning and honing their skills in their core specialization during their third and fourth years.

  6. Point Park
    Point Park University’s performance programs and degrees are renowned throughout the nation. Their BA program in Dance can be completed in either 3 or 4 years long and consists of 120 credits. Students choose a concentration in ballet, jazz, or modern. Students must also complete the university’s core curriculum, choosing from an array of math, science, and humanities courses. Point Park also offers a BA in Dance Pedagogy, which teaches students a range of skills to equip them to become dance teachers.

  7. Skidmore College
    One of the more unique dance programs, Skidmore’s Dance and Dance Theater majors result in a Bachelor of Science degree. All of Skidmore’s technically-based concentrations and majors are BS degrees, and dance is no exception. The program is comprised of general dance requirements, performance/choreography requirements, and a writing requirement. Skidmore encourages its students to turn their studies into projects--past student projects include dance and music collaborations inspired by art exhibitions, songs, books, and more.

  8. University of South Carolina
    The University of South Carolina’s Dance Program, housed within the College of Arts & Sciences, offers two BA degree focuses: students choose from a BA in Dance (emphasis on Dance and Choreography) and a BA in Dance Education (emphasis on K-12 certification). Both programs require applicants to audition in order to gain admission to the program. The Dance Education program requires additional dance theory and content placement exams to enter the program, and both programs require that all students complete core academic requirements of the university of as well.

  9. George Washington University
    The Colombian College of Arts & Sciences at GWU offers a BA program in Dance that emphasizes the understanding of movement. Students immerse themselves in academic classes that teach them about technically trained bodies and their development, movement, and the creation of dances from a technical standpoint. GWU also encourages students who are pursuing a BA in Dance to double major in a different major within the college to promote diversity of knowledge.

  10. University of Alabama
    The BA degree program at UA focuses on ballet, modern, jazz, dance performance and choreography in their curriculum, as well as require students to complete interdisciplinary studies in the humanities. Additionally, students at UA have 3 opportunities to perform throughout each academic year, which is more than a number of other programs. Students take not only technical dance courses, but classes in dance history, choreography, and light and sound classes.

Dance is an incredibly beautiful and complex field of the performing arts. There is a big opportunity for success in this field, and we’d love to talk to you more about it if you think this might be of interest to you (or even if you have a question about it!). Email or call us with your questions--we’d be happy to talk more about it with you.