Texas Tech University

School of Theatre and Dance launches new Master of Arts degree program in Dance Studies

January 11, 2019

The new Master of Arts in Dance Studies is only one of three programs of its kind in the entire country.

The School of Theatre and Dance is accepting graduate students into the dance program for the first time in its history after the National Association of Schools of Dance recently approved a new Master of Arts in Dance Studies. This new program will expand the presence of academic dance at Texas Tech, support graduate students and their important perspectives, and increase the dance program's breadth and depth in dance as a discipline of study, mode of artistic practice, and provocateur of social and cultural exploration.

The new Master of Arts in Dance Studies is only one of three programs of its kind in the entire country. The degree's hybrid online and face-to-face content supports students who want to advance their educations while employed or to pursue doctoral studies in the future.

Ali DuffyIn preparation of their first cohort of graduate students, Dr. Ali Duffy and her colleagues collaborated on new course content and revised existing course content to reflect shifting programmatic needs and ever-changing perspectives/trends in the dance area. Since most of this degree will be facilitated in a distance format, Dr. Duffy worked closely with the Office of Worldwide eLearning to develop six new graduate dance courses online.

"The distance component of the degree allows dance practitioners who are already employed full-time - say, in schools or companies - to take on the challenge of advanced graduate study while retaining current employment, which we think will serve students well in their continued educations," says Dr. Duffy. "While all of us in the Texas Tech dance program value the physicality of our art and presence in our degree programs, we have worked to ensure our distance courses retain much of the dynamic critical exchange with faculty that students would receive in face-to-face courses."

The Texas Tech dance faculty are working together to create an engaging, rigorous experience for their graduate students.

"The School of Theatre and Dance values interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and community engagement," explains Duffy, "and these values will be emphasized for our students."

This new degree program will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate experiences, transformative research experiences, and individualized mentorship by an experienced and diverse faculty with a variety of research and teaching specialties. Graduates will leave Texas Tech feeling fulfilled, supported, and prepared for exciting careers in the field.

Dr. Duffy and the dance faculty pursued the new program because they noticed a need in this region for graduate education in dance.

"No Texas school offers a Master of Arts in Dance Studies," says Duffy. "The Texas Tech dance program has boomed in the past decade in student enrollment and reputation. As a result, we have increased the number of full-time dance faculty, been initiated into a beautiful new dance building, and are looking forward to even more opportunities for development with our School's building expansion next year. All of this positive growth has allowed our dance program to better serve the needs of our students, program, and university.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Master of Arts in Dance Studies degree program, can email the dance program at dance.info@ttu.edu. Prospective students can learn more about the application process on the School of Theatre and Dance website (dance.ttu.edu) or by visiting the Texas Tech's Graduate School website (www.gradschool.ttu.edu).

Dance MA