MFA candidates choose at least one secondary area of study designed to give variety and dimension to the student’s training. The university setting is particularly well-suited to broad educational goals, given the wide variety of subjects available for involvement.

On-Campus Emphases

Students may choose an emphasis that can be fulfilled by courses taken within the department and/or in other campus departments. We encourage students to search far and wide through CU’s offerings to discover courses and areas of study that are particularly suited to their individual interests and career goals. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Aerial Dance
  • Anthropology
  • Conflict & Peace Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dance Criticism
  • Differently Abled/Disability Studies
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Film/Video/Music
  • Hip-hop/Urban Dance
  • History
  • Kinesiology

  • Multi-media Forms
  • Non-concert Forms
  • Community Engagement 
  • Performance Art
  • Site-Specific Work
  • Space Applications & Technologies 
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Women & Gender Studies
  • Writing/poetry/literature
  • Somatics: Alexander Technique, Body Mind Centering, GYROTONICS/GYROKINESIS®, Pilates


Some of our students complete a graduate certificate offered by our department, or by another department, as their secondary emphasis. Some possible certificates of interest to MFA students are:

Off-Campus Emphases

The Somatic Emphasis and the Aerial Dance Emphasis are sponsored by the department but require students to take some of the private lessons and training that occur at local specialty centers. Because of this extra-curricular study, the number of CU Boulder credit hours required for the MFA is reduced from 60 to 50 credit hours. For additional information on these emphases, please visit the Aerial Dance Emphasis and Somatic Emphasis pages.