Ballet MFA Admissions & Auditions

Admission Requirements and Procedures

We welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including dance professionals interested in transitioning into careers beyond the stage. The MFA curriculum is a two-year program, and an undergraduate degree* is required for admission. Designed as a two-year MFA program, a significant portion of the candidate’s second year is devoted to thesis work. Because of this, admission preference is given to applicants who demonstrate a solid research focus through their application materials.


The application process consists of two parts:

(1) Applicants must complete the online application process. Once these materials have been reviewed, the applicant may be contacted for an interview. Applicants must submit required materials through the university’s Apply Yourself portal.

(2) The interview may be scheduled during a campus visit or via Zoom and must be arranged directly with the Director of Graduate Studies. Potential candidates may be invited to campus for an in-person interview.

Before beginning the application process, be sure to have the following prepared:

  • Audition Video:  Applicants must submit video link(s) of themselves teaching a ballet class. ​This video should include the applicant teaching several combinations (not necessarily danced full out) and giving some feedback (individual or general) to students.  They may also submit video link(s) of their choreography if that is their intended course of study.
  • Curriculum vitae: The applicant’s curriculum vitae should be extensive and include all education, training, professional performance experience, teaching experience, choreography, honors, awards, etc. Applicants are encouraged to include links to personal websites or to samples of their research (i.e., videos of choreography, published articles, etc.)
  • Essay/Statement of Purpose: This essay should introduce the applicant to the faculty and express the applicant’s expectations of the graduate program. We encourage students to outline research interests and a potential area of research focus for thesis work. The essay may also include information about the applicant’s past experience and how their experiences inform their current interest in graduate studies. Submit as a Word document or PDF; the essay should be 1000-2000 words, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, in Times New Roman 12-point font.
  • Unofficial Transcripts: The online application portal will prompt applicants to list all academic institutions attended and attach accompanying transcripts.
  • References/Recommenders: The online application portal will prompt applicants to list the names and email addresses for two references/recommenders. Applicants should include information for references who can speak to the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate program. The references will be contacted via automatic email and asked to submit a standardized form for the recommendation process.
  • Optional Material: If you have a Teaching Statement that describes your methods, philosophy or approach to teaching, we encourage you to include this in your application materials.

Once applicants have compiled the above materials, they may link to the online application portal here:

Ballet MFA Application Link
ApplyYourself Application Link

Deadline for Application: January 5, 2023
For additional information regarding university policy regarding admission into graduate programs:
*Note: If accepted, Ballet MFA students would need to be on campus by June 15, 2023.


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.


International Applicants

International students must be accepted into the University in order to be accepted into the School of Dance MFA programs. This includes meeting or exceeding the University TOEFL requirements. International students may audition online by uploading video that demonstrates speaking about your professional interests in dance as well as why the University of Utah is your chosen school. Please see either the Ballet MFA or Modern Dance MFA page for other required video content. Please embed online links into your CV.

Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. Applications are not considered complete without the most recent test scores.  

International Admissions Guidelines 
TOEFL requirements


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

*For those individuals interested in the MFA program who might not currently hold an undergraduate degree, the School of Dance offers retiring professionals the opportunity to complete a BFA in Ballet in an expedited three-year program. During the final year of the expedited BFA program, students may apply for the MFA program. For additional information about this possibility, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.