General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 7
  • Students: 14 (7 per matriculating class)
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: December 14
Application Info


Sarah Wilbur
Director of Graduate Studies
MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis
Duke University
Duke Dance Program
2020 Campus Drive
Rubenstein Arts Center Suite 209F
Box 90686
Durham, NC 27705

Phone: (919) 684-5121 (DGSA)

Phone: (919) 660-3369 (DGS)



Program Description

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis is a 2-year, full-time terminal degree dedicated to practice-led approaches across an array of cultures and contexts. In keeping with Duke’s campus-wide commitment to interdisciplinary research, MFA students are required to complete substantial graduate-level course work outside of the field of dance. While taking full advantage of Duke’s legacy dance research and rehearsal site—The Ark—and newer, state-of-the-art Rubenstein Arts Center, many graduate dance students design research actions in collaboration with Duke’s non-dance academic units, centers, and community partners. Some MFAs  pursue graduate certificates outside of dance during their time in the program. During the first summer term, MFA students expand their research approach and build community connections in Durham through participation in the American Dance Festival.

Seated within a highly-ranked research institution comprised of 10 schools and colleges (arts and sciences, law, medicine, nursing, engineering, business, public policy, environment, the divinity school, and the graduate school), the Dance MFA/EIP is a highly tailored terminal degree program that welcomes students at all stages of the post-baccalaureate career continuum. The program attracts professional artists, career changers, and recent undergraduates eager to test and expand dance’s interdisciplinary reach as a form of expression and knowledge production. 


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: December 14
Late applications will be considered under special circumstances. Applicants are advised to contact Prof. Sarah Wilbur ( before starting an application.

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: Not required
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)
All applicants must provide a Research Proposal (2-4 pages) which covers the guiding motivation and purposes of their proposed research. Proposals should also express how an applicant’s past experience, background, and interests support the pursuit of an interdisciplinary path of study at Duke. Applicants are encouraged to avoid universal statements, by, instead, situating their approach within particular movement traditions and performance contexts.  Duke Dance Faculty are well aware that provisional MFA proposals will change (often substantially) during the actual course of study. At the same time, prospective students are encouraged to pursue written clarity at the time of application to enable us to connect admitted students to Duke’s abundant resources during this intensive and invigorating, two-year program.

Writing Sample
Academic and/or creative writing samples help to further contextualize an applicant’s work. Additional writing samples (no more than 15 pages) are encouraged but not required.

Additional Components
Creative Work Samples:
Submit up to five internet links that contextualize an applicant’s artistic and creative endeavors to date. A short (1-3 sentence) description should accompany each URL in the space provided. Relevant samples can link admissions personnel to videos, photographs/images, interviews, blogs, websites, articles, or reviews of applicant’s work. 

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance