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Program of Study

The Master of Arts degree requires the completion of 36 semester credit hours. The Program is comprised of four components: 1) the dance core, 2) electives, 3) thesis or professional paper/project and, 4) final oral presentation/examination. In consultation with the advisor and the Advisory Committee, the student focuses the course of study to address her or his individual interests and professional goals. In consultation with the advisor and the Advisory Committee, the student may substitute courses from other disciplines for those listed within the Dance Core as long as the substitutions clearly address her or his individual interests and professional goals as well as meet the needs of graduate study in the discipline of dance.

The Dance Core:      20 Credits

            Studio Work: 9 Credits
Graduate Level Technique (Level III or IV, or approved substitution)        4 Credits
(One in each of 4 semesters)
            Selected from:

                           DNCE 5281 Advanced Ballet Technique I 
                           DNCE 5291 Advanced Ballet Technique II 
                           DNCE 5301 Techniques in Contemporary Dance I
                           DNCE 5311 Techniques in Contemporary Dance II

Movement Analysis 
            DNCE 5162 Laban Movement Analysis: Effort/Shape                  2 Credits

One Guest Artist SUMMERDANCE Workshop
            DNCE 5233 (Recommended after first year)                                3 Credits

             Theory: 11 Credits
DNCE 5023 Research Methods in Dance (fall of second year)
DNCE 5222 Academic Writing (fall of first year)
DNCE 5223 Historical and Cultural Study of Dance Performance and Choreography
DNCE 5243 Pedagogical Foundations in Dance

Professional Paper/Project or Thesis
DNCE 5973 Professional Paper/Project                                                      3 Credits
DNCE 5983 and 5993 Thesis I and II                                                         6 Credits

 Electives in Consultation with Advisor
13 Credits with Professional Paper/Project
10 Credits with Thesis I and II

 Electives may be selected from graduate dance courses and may include a combination of both studio and theory courses. Electives may also be selected from any program in the University or The University of North Texas (see p. 16 of Graduate Catalogue for Federation of UNT details) that offers graduate courses.

The Department of Dance, as well as other programs in the University, offers the individual study option for students who are interested in pursuing a problem of individual or professional interest that does not fall within the context of organized courses. The student may initiate individual study problems with any member of the University graduate faculty.

Elective Choreography Option
M.A. students wishing to choreograph for the DanceMaker's series may enroll in a DNCE 5913 Individual Study course that will be facilitated by the instructor for DNCE 4182 Concert Choreography. Unless otherwise indicated, the master's student will attend all classes and follow all guidelines and requirements outlined in the syllabus for DNCE 4182. If the student would like to create other project parameters she or he must propose these in writing to the DNCE 4182 instructor by the end of the first week of the semester. If the instructor approves the proposal, he or she will sign the document and it will be used as a guideline for the student's course of study during the semester.

Professional Paper or Professional Project (3 Credits)

The Professional Paper, intended to facilitate the refinement of written communication skills, gives the student an opportunity to pursue in depth a significant theoretical, philosophical, pedagogical, cultural, historical, or creative issue in dance. The professional paper is a formal, written research paper of approximately 20 pages excluding bibliography and title page. The paper should represent original thinking and demonstrate the ability to define a problem or issue, seek appropriate information, develop a cohesive, literate discussion and draw logical conclusions. This paper may be written as an outgrowth of a research paper from a course or it may be an examination of a new area of inquiry. Specific guidelines for conducting professional paper research, writing the paper, and filing the final draft are contained in the section 0Guidelines for Preparing the Professional Paper and Project Report.

 The Professional Project provides the student with an opportunity to engage in an individual project of professional relevance. The project should be of sufficient depth and breadth to demonstrate professional growth and achievement. Typically, the professional project is a practicum related to the student‘s professional career goals. The Professional Project proposal is developed in consultation with a Research Director and approved by a two-member Research Committee, the M.A. advisor (chair) and one other dance faculty member. The Research Director and the other member of the Research Committee provide guidance during the development and implementation stages of the project and serve to evaluate the project at its completion.

At the completion of the project and before the Final Oral Examination, the student is required to submit a written report documenting the project. The form of the report will be determined by the nature of the project. It may take the form of a critique, chronology, journal, DVD, Website, report of results, curriculum, or a narrative of the effects and impact/significance of the project. The format for this written submission will be decided in consultation with the advisor. Specific guidelines for conducting professional project research and filing the final project are contained in the graduate handbook under "Guidelines for Preparing the Professional Paper and Project Report."

Thesis (6 Credits)

The thesis is a formal, fully researched paper demonstrating the student's ability to conduct systematic inquiry in a research area of special interest. The thesis is the culmination of master's level scholarly work and should be of sufficient quality to be considered a contribution to the dance literature.

The purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate the student's ability to think creatively and originally about a topic or issue by framing an appropriate problem, research questions and method of inquiry. The study is supported by an extensive review of literature and the gathering of sufficient data to develop a logical and coherent argument that results in making appropriate conclusions. The development of a formal prospectus and the thesis follows the specific guidelines established by the Graduate School and is carried out under the guidance of a three-member Research Committee comprised of the Research Director and two additional members.

Final Oral Presentation/Examination

In accordance with Graduate School policy the Master of Arts student is required to take a comprehensive final examination focusing on his or her course work and culminating project (thesis, professional paper, professional project.) The Research Committee serves as the Final Examination Committee. See the section entitled Final Oral Presentation/Examination for Graduate Degrees in Dance.

 Advisors/Directors and Master of Arts Committees Academic, Research, Final Examination

On entering the Master of Arts program the student is assigned an academic advisor. This faculty member will assist the student in formulating a program of study and will serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee.

The student will select one other committee member to provide guidance, support, and critical review as he or she progresses through the various phases of the program. (If the M.A. student chooses to do a thesis rather than a professional paper/project, he or she will select two other committees in addition to the student‘s advisor.) These committees consist of the following:

 Advisory Committee: Academic Advisor and one faculty member Committee members selected by the end of student‘s first year of graduate study.

Research Committee: Research Director and one faculty member or if doing a thesis, two faculty members Committee member selected when student first signs up for Professional Paper/Project

 A student may elect to have both the Advisory and the Research Committee consist of the same members. The chair of the Research Committee is the faculty member directing the Professional Paper/Project course when the student is actually submitting the final paper or project. Students are encouraged to select faculty members from other departments or performing arts programs when appropriate to the research. The advisor and research director must be from the Department of Dance and members of the Graduate Faculty. The student should discuss the composition of the committee with her or his advisor/director before inviting faculty to serve.

 Role of the Advisor/Director and Committee Members

The student should work closely with the advisor/director to develop the formal Program of Study and the prospectus for the thesis or professional paper. These written documents should not be circulated to members serving on the various committees until the student and the advisor/director agree that they are in final draft form. Although these documents are not distributed until they have been refined, the student is expected to discuss his or her ideas with the faculty members serving on his or her committees while the proposals are being formulated.

While the major responsibility of directing the project or research rests with the director, the committee members will serve as consultants to provide guidance, support and critical review throughout the development and realization of the project and the writing of the thesis or professional paper. The student is responsible for seeking guidance at appropriate points during the process.

 First Year Review and Approval of the Program of Study

During the spring semester of the first year, M.A. students will have a formal review of their studio and theory work with the M.A. advisor. During this meeting, students should be prepared to discuss their accomplishments during the first year and their goals for the remainder of the program (second year of study and professional paper/project or thesis).

In preparation for this meeting the student will prepare, in consultation with her or his academic advisor, the official Program of Study to be submitted to the Graduate School. The Program of Study is completed during the second semester of full-time study and must be submitted to the Dance Graduate Faculty one week prior to the First Year Review Meeting (end of the 14th week of classes in the Spring -- the week before the last week of classes). The Program of Study will be reviewed and discussed at the First Year Review Meeting. When approved, this document becomes the official degree plan and any changes must be submitted in writing to the Graduate School. The student becomes a candidate for the Master of Arts degree when the Program of Study is approved and filed in the Graduate School.

Approval of the Professional Paper/Project or Thesis Prospectus

The prospectus for the thesis or professional paper may be approved without a formal meeting of the committee by requesting faculty to sign the appropriate signature page. A meeting of the full committee to review and discuss the prospectus must occur if the student or any faculty member serving on the committee requests such a meeting. In any case, the prospectus must be approved before the student begins working on the thesis, professional paper, or project.

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page last updated 8/7/2015 10:15 AM