Ballet MFA

Ballet is a lifelong pursuit

Our MFA in Ballet is a path to deepen your knowledge of pedagogy, choreography, and history. We offer a flexible structure that gives each student a strong foundation in Ballet Studies and options to pursue their specializations.

Students in the program can choose between a written or choreographic thesis and topics of study have spanned from creating a contemporary ballet and screendance to a paper that analyzes representations in La Bayadère to lesson plans in choreography for elementary school students. 

Our faculty members take an expansive and inclusive approach to teaching and view ballet as an art form as well as a source of cultural, social, and historical meaning. We seek applicants who have established themselves as performers, teachers, administrators, researchers, and/or choreographers and who are now looking to delve more deeply into the histories and theories of ballet. We give preference to applicants who can identify the focus of their studies during our intensive, 2-year program.

Our graduates describe the MFA in Ballet as the perfect preparation for careers as choreographers, university professors, and studio directors. 


Curricular Philosophy 

The Master of Fine Arts in Ballet curriculum is designed so that students may tailor their studies according to individual interests. Theory courses are foundational, and students take additional coursework in the areas of Pedagogy, Choreography, and Scholarly Inquiry before selecting an area of focus. Graduate projects and elective coursework support the selected area of focus, and the self-designed thesis project serves as a culmination of each student’s research.

Academic Catalog 


Graduate Tuition Benefit

All School of Dance graduate students are fully funded and receive a full-time (12 credits) Tuition Waiver for each semester, with accompanying stipend divided across each semester and paid according to the University payroll schedule. More information about the Graduate Tuition Benefit can be found here.


Please direct any inquiries about graduate studies to Eric Handman, Director of Graduate Studies 


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The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action institution committed to diversity, inclusion, and compliance with all non-discrimination and disability laws. For information about the University’s nondiscrimination and accommodation policies, including contact information for the Title IX Coordinator, please see:  To request this publication in an alternate format, please call 801-581-8365.