The first step towards acceptance into the MFA in Dance program is submitting a complete application to the CU Boulder Graduate School. Departmental review, interviews, and auditions will follow.

Application Process

Online application: The first step is to submit the online Application for Graduate Admissions, including the appropriate fee. The application fee may be waived for participants in the following programs: McNair Scholar, Project 1000, active Peace Corps or AmeriCorps volunteer. If you have unusual circumstances that warrant a fee waiver, please contact us at

Audition process: Applicants will be notified of invitation for on-campus audition soon after applications have closed. On-campus auditions will take place February 5th and 6th, 2024 on CU Boulder campus. 

Checklist for All Applicants

This checklist is arranged in order of the sections of the online application and details the materials we wish you to submit for each.

  • Submit one transcript from each institution of higher education attended
  • You may upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s); you will be asked to provide official transcripts if an admission offer is made.
  • Transcripts are uploaded in the Academic History section of the online application. You must first Add an Institution before you can Submit a Transcript.
  • Transcripts are required from all institutions, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Exception: study abroad work for 1 semester can be waived without a foreign transcript
  • For all international academic work you must provide the original, native language version of both the transcript and, separately, the degree document, as well as a certified English translation of those documents. Exception: unofficial transcripts from the host university can be accepted for study abroad programs of one year
  • Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university
  • Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application

GRE test scores are neither required nor reviewed for the MFA in Dance application.

See below for information on TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores for international applicants.

Submit three letters of reference.

References should be requested from individuals qualified to assess your potential for success in graduate school. Additionally, if you seek a teaching assistantship in our program, please ensure that your letters of recommendation include observation-based reviews of your teaching qualifications and experiences.

  • We prefer that your recommenders upload their letters directly to your application.
  • You will be asked to supply the names and email addresses of your recommenders. 
  • When you click the "send to recommender" button, your recommenders will immediately receive an email with a link for them to upload their letter and complete the Graduate Recommendation Form.
  • Before you enter recommender names and email addresses, please notify your recommenders that they will receive an email from the University of Colorado,
  • Our system will accept incoming letters of recommendation either before or after submission of the application.
  • If your recommenders experience difficulty submitting online they may email their letter to the Admissions Office at
  • Please let your recommenders know that their letters must be received by the December 1 deadline.

  • Personal Statement: we are committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive graduate program that is ideologically unbounded and celebratory of all dance and bodies. In this personal statement (1-3 pages) we invite you to share how your personal and professional experiences have helped shape your academic journey, personal development, intellectual progress, and vision for your future. Please include comments on what intellectual and creative contributions you would offer this department and into the broader field of dance. These contributions may come in the form of research topic, research population, performance interests, clinical work (if applicable), professional service, personal perspective, and more. Please note you are not required to disclose any aspect of your identity or personal experiences in this statement for consideration of admission.
  • Writing Sample: submit 2-3 pages of a typed sample of your critical, creative, or academic writing (in English). This can be an essay written expressly for the purpose of this application or a copy of a paper (or a portion thereof) written in the last two years. Content need not be dance-related, but should include a bibliography or citations if appropriate.
  • Optional Diversity Statement: The Dance MFA program at the University of Colorado Boulder is committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    Please write an essay describing how your educational, professional, creative, or personal (e.g., cultural or socio-economic) experiences have prepared you to contribute to our department’s diversity, equity and inclusion work during your graduate career at CU. These contributions may come in the form of research interests, creative work, community engagement, professional work, personal perspectives, and more.
    Completing this statement is optional, and you do not need to disclose any aspect of your identity or personal experiences in this statement.

  1. Please submit a 5-minute movement freestyle session that you record. We invite you to feature the variety of movement traditions you feel qualified to teach or perform. Please do not be concerned with this submission fitting within the format of our published curricular offerings. Your creativity and connection to any genre of dance will be welcomed for admission consideration. This can be an informal recording captured on a personal device without professional editing. Please submit in the format of an mp4.

  2. Please submit a 5-minute excerpt of your own choreography. Solo and ensemble works are welcomed. 

  3. Please upload a photo for facial recognition with your application. This will be used for identity verification purposes only. We pledge to not let use of your personal photo reinforce social bias or discrimination in consideration of your application.

  4. We are open to considering materials that are older than one year since many dance organizations were not able to gather in person during the lockdown portions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. All submissions may be recordings captured on a personal device without professional editing. Please submit in the format of an mp4. If your access to technology impacts your ability to send the suggested videos we cordially invite you to contact us for alternative measures of consideration.

  6. Digital Teaching Portfolio: you desire a teaching assistantship, please also submit a Digital Teaching Sample. Instructions are located on the Graduate Assistantships & Teaching Application page.

This category includes several required surveys and questionnaires. Please read and complete all sections carefully.
  • Dance MFA Assessment Survey. We request your completion of an assessment survey that summarizes relevant learning and background
  • Secondary Area of Emphasis: At CU Boulder MFA students can chose from a great variety of subjects to create a secondary area of emphasis in the dance degree. A firm decision is customarily made at the end of the second semester. Below we have listed three popular tracks of study for those who are confident they wish to begin these subjects immediately upon entry. If you are interested in Aerial Dance, Somatics, or Hip-hop as a secondary emphasis please indicate this. If you are unsure at this time, that is not a problem, simply select "undecided". You can change your mind until completing your second semester in the program. If you have questions about these emphases, please visit the MFA Admissions webpage.
  • Teaching Assistantship: If you desire a teaching assistantship, which is our main form of financial support for students, please see our Graduate Assistantships & Teaching Application page
    • On campus auditions will include an in-person teaching audition.
    • If you are interested in teaching Hip-hop, you are also asked to submit the Hip-hop/Street/Urban Dance Instruction Materials questionnaire located on the Graduate Assistantships & Teaching Application page.

Submit a current resume or Curriculum Vitae. Be sure that your resume lists all past experience, including professional or developmental activities not related to dance, so that that we can ascertain if you have skills that would qualify you for a research, production or administrative graduate assistantship. The resume/CV will be uploaded as part of the Employment History section of the online application.

International Applicants must submit the above, plus PROOF OF ENGLISH PROFICIENCY.

English proficiency can be documented in several ways. Requirements for English proficiency can be found on the English Proficiency Requirements webpage.  This page includes minimum test scores, countries excepted from submitting test scores, and alternate methods of meeting the proficiency requirements.

If you plan to submit test scores, please review the information below:

  1. Valid TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores
    • Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based)
    • Minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based)
    • Mimimum IELTS score of 6.5
    • Minimum Duolingo score of 100
  2. Official test scores must be reported by the testing service directly to the university. Please request that the appropriate testing service report scores directly to the University of Colorado Boulder.  The institution code for the TOEFL exams is 4841. The department code is not needed.
  3. Please note, the university must receive your scores by the December 1 deadline. If you cannot take the test in time, please apply next year.

International applicants should please visit the International Students page of the Graduate Admissions website for more information.

Audition Decisions/Timeline

    • Monday January 15, 2024 - Application deadline
    • Monday, February 5th - Tuesday, February 6th, 2024 - On campus and teaching auditions 
    • February - March, 2024 - Extend offers of admission or waitlist

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