Degree Requirements

MA Degree Requirements

Established in 1976, the MA in Dance is a five-term program. Students have access to courses in other disciplines such as Music, Anthropology, Visual Arts, English, and History. In addition, there is a combined three-year program that leads to both the MA and MBA degree. Our combined emphasis on theoretical and practical approaches to dance is a strength of our program and graduates may be found working in a variety of fields including community, production, therapy, teaching, administrative and archival positions.

*NB: MA students must declare by the end of the Winter term of their first year (end of term 2 of 5) how they will be completing the degree; via Thesis, Major Research Paper (MRP), or Coursework. If the student is choosing either the Thesis or MRP option, their proposal and accompanying forms must also be submitted by this same deadline. If a Thesis or MRP proposal is not submitted to the Department and GPD by the end of the Winter term of the first year (end of term 2 of 5) then it will be assumed that the student is completing the MA via Coursework.

MA Degree by Thesis

Candidates for the MA degree by thesis must thoroughly review the FGS Master's Thesis policies, and fulfill the following requirements:

  • Five half–courses, or equivalent (15 credits total), chosen from those offered by the Graduate Program in Dance. Of these, students are required to take DANC 5200 3.0 Research Methods and DANC 5300 3.0 Methods and Materials for Movement Observation. Two additional half courses are selected from the current program offerings, and a further half course is selected from the program offerings or from a cognate area.
  • All students are required to attend non–credit colloquiums scheduled each year in which guests and students present material of common interest
  • Students must prepare a thesis proposal in consultation with their supervisor and GPD. The proposal should contain a brief statement in non-technical language on the purpose of the thesis research, its relationship to existing work in the area, and the contribution which the researcher hopes to make to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The proposal should include a working title and the name of the supervisor and supervisory committee members. The recommended maximum length of a proposal is 3,500 words. Examples of proposals and completed Theses are available for review in the program offices.
  • The thesis proposal, accompanied by the Supervisor & Supervisory Committee Approval form, the TD1: Thesis/Dissertation Research Proposal form with all required signatures, and any necessary accompanying Research Ethics forms, must be submitted to the department by the end of the Winter term of the first year (end of term 2 of 5).
  • The thesis project should be between 75 and 100 pages in length and demonstrate the student's ability to do original research, which must be successfully defended at an oral examination. Master’s theses should demonstrate that the student is familiar with and has an acceptable understanding of the literature in the subject of the thesis, and that appropriate research methods and levels of critical analysis have been applied. The research embodied in the thesis should make some original contribution to knowledge in the field. It may take other forms than a written paper, such as a reconstruction or practical project, documented by notation or videotape and explained in a short written document, an annotated bibliography, or a portfolio of critical writing. Students spend terms 3, 4, and 5 conducting research and writing their thesis.
  • Once completed, they must submit the thesis either electronically as a PDF document, or as two unbound hardcopies to their supervisor and the department. Theses are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Once the supervisor and supervisory committee has approved the thesis, the Recommendation for Oral Examination form must be submitted to the program office 20 business days before the date of the Exam.
  • All degree requirements (completed thesis, successful oral examination) must be met by the final day of the Winter Term Examination period of the student's 5th and final term. Students must therefore be mindful of their academic progress to ensure that sufficient time is allotted for the completion of all the steps required for a successful thesis. The student will not be eligible to graduate until the Oral Examination Report and following Revisions Approved Memorandum have been sent to, and cleared by, FGS, and the Completion Memo has subsequently been forwarded to the program office by FGS.
  • Forms:

MA Degree by Major Research Paper (MRP)

Candidates for the MA degree by major research paper (MRP) must thoroughly review the FGS MRP policies, and fulfill the following requirements:

  • Six half–courses, or equivalent (18 credits total), chosen from those offered by the Graduate Program in Dance. Of these, students are required to take DANC 5200 3.0 Research Methods and DANC 5300 3.0 Methods and Materials for Movement Observation. Two additional half courses are selected from the current program offerings, and a further two half courses are selected from the program offerings or from a cognate area.
  • All students are required to attend non-credit colloquiums scheduled each year in which guests and students present material of common interest.
  • Students must submit the MRP Proposal Form to the department by the end of the Winter term of their first year (end of term 2 of 5) along with their MRP proposal, as well as any other pertinent documentation (eg. Ethics forms). MRPs should be based on meaningful and manageable questions. Examples of proposals and completed MRP's are available for review in the program offices.
  • Candidates will undertake research under the supervision of a Dance Graduate Program faculty member on an approved topic and write a substantive research paper. Papers should be between 30 and 60 pages in length, including documentation, and demonstrate the student's ability to undertake original research. The MRP may take other forms than a written paper, such as a reconstruction or practical project, documented by notation or videotape and explained in a short written document, an annotated bibliography, or a portfolio of critical writing. Students spend terms 3, 4, and 5 conducting research and writing their MRP.
  • The MRP will be evaluated by the supervisor and by a second reader appointed by the GPD. The results of the MRP (accepted with no revisions, accepted pending minor revisions, accepted pending major revisions) will be communicated to the student via the MRP Results Form.
  • Completed MRP's must be submitted either electronically as a PDF document, or as two unbound hardcopies, along with the MRP Results Form with all necessary signatures. MRP's are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • MRP's are due to the program office on the final day of the Winter Term Examination period of the student's 5th and final term.
  • Forms:

MA Degree by Coursework

Candidates for the MA degree by coursework must thoroughly review the FGS Coursework policies, and fulfill the following requirements:

  • Ten half courses, or equivalent, in total (30 credits total) as described below...
  • DANC 5200 3.0 Research Methods and DANC 5300 3.0 Methods and Materials for Movement Observation.
  • Four additional half courses from the current graduate program in Dance.
  • Two half courses or equivalent from an approved cognate field outside
    the Dance department.
  • Two half courses or equivalent of electives. (Can be courses within or outside of Dance.)
  • All students are required to attend non-credit colloquiums scheduled each year in which guests and students present material of common interest.

 

MFA Degree Requirements

This student-centered intensive five-term program requires that you, with other graduate students from a wide-range of disciplines and diverse skill-sets, form collaborative teams, successfully creating, producing and presenting your own work. The program will provide you with the theoretical and technical knowledge necessary to create multi-disciplinary performance art. You will find encouragement for the integration of digital media and leading-edge interactive technologies with live performance from both the faculty and your fellow students. The MFA in Dance is a full time program of study completed by Thesis only.

First Year Courses

First year graduate students will participate in courses that focus on choreography, collaborative creation, movement observation, and technology in support of live performance, as well as one elective course.

Required Courses

Students are required to successfully complete the following courses:

  • Dance 5221 3.0: The Interactive Stage Explorations in Electronically Mediated Performances
  • Dance 5260 3.0: Dance Video and Intermedial Performance
  • Dance 5270 3.0: Lighting Design for Dance I
  • Dance 5300 3.0: Methods and Materials for Movement Observation
  • Dance 5501 3.0: Initiating, Forming and Performing Choreography I
  • Dance 5602 0.0: Dance Production (non-credit)

Second Year Thesis

During the fall-term of their second year, students will be required to register and participate in:

  • Dance 6003 0.0: Contemporary Choreography Professional Qualifying Practica I (Fall) (non-credit)

Over the year, guided by your supervisor and a faculty project coordinator, you will live the experience of collaborative creation. Early in your final term, your team’s work will be presented to the public. Your research and creative process will be self-examined and contextualized through a thesis (extended research paper) to be submitted to your ‘Oral Exam Committee.’ After formal submission of the thesis, an oral examination focused equally on the thesis and related collaborative creation project, will be held.

  • Students must prepare a thesis proposal in consultation with their supervisor and GPD. The proposal should contain a brief statement in non-technical language on the purpose of the thesis research, its relationship to existing work in the area, and the contribution which the researcher hopes to make to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The proposal should include a working title and the name of the supervisor and supervisory committee members. The recommended maximum length of a proposal is 3,500 words. Examples of proposals and completed Theses are available for review in the program offices.
  • The thesis proposal, accompanied by the Supervisor & Supervisory Committee Approval form, the TD1: Thesis/Dissertation Research Proposal form with all required signatures, and any necessary accompanying Research Ethics forms, must be submitted to the department by the end of the Winter term of the first year (end of term 2 of 5). Students spend terms 3, 4, and 5 conducting research and working on their thesis.
  • Once completed, they must submit the thesis either electronically as a PDF document, or as two unbound hardcopies to their supervisor and the department. Theses are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Once the supervisor and supervisory committee has approved the thesis, the Recommendation for Oral Examination form must be submitted to the program office 20 business days before the date of the Exam.
  • All degree requirements (completed thesis, successful oral examination) must be met by the final day of the Winter Term Examination period of the student's 5th and final term. Students must therefore be mindful of their academic progress to ensure that sufficient time is allotted for the completion of all the steps required for a successful thesis. The student will not be eligible to graduate until the Oral Examination Report and following Revisions Approved Memorandum have been sent to, and cleared by, FGS, and the Completion Memo has subsequently been forwarded to the program office by FGS.
  • Forms:

Dance Practice

All Dance MFA students are required to participate in a physical practice designed to facilitate their understanding of the body and further their creative research. This is a compulsory, non-credit requirement in the spirit of professional dancers taking daily morning class. It is imperative that students develop physical practices that support their particular aesthetics. In consultation with their thesis supervisor, students will determine their own discipline and maintain, document and report on their practice throughout their studies. They may choose to take class in the Department’s undergraduate program, or study with a particular mentor or master teacher, or take class with other professional dancers within any of Toronto’s diverse dance traditions.  Normally students will devote one to two hours daily to their physical practice and meet once a month with their supervisor to discuss their progress.

MFA Colloquiums

MFA students are required to attend eight colloquia or workshops over the five terms of their study. Colloquia topics may include:

  • Ethics in Dance Research and Creation
  • Dance and Human Rights
  • Making Dance Films
  • Dance Science and the Expressive Body
  • Preventing Injury and Encouraging Risk
  • Teaching Dance to a Diverse Student Body
  • Financing Dance and Living Above the Poverty Line
  • Time Management and Stress: Strategies for Health
  • Dancing with Older Bodies
  • Designing Dance – lighting / costumes / makeup
  • Choreography for and with Children
  • Dance with Diverse Ability
  • Communities of Dance
  • Copyright Laws and Dance

Various studio workshops in such things as Alternative Bodywork, Social Dance, Butoh, Physical Theatre as well as classes with guests from Toronto’s many master teachers from various cultures.

 

PhD Degree Requirements

The PhD in Dance Studies requires five three–credit courses and DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar (18 credits total). Candidates must pass comprehensive examinations and complete a dissertation, followed by an oral defense. Depending on the extent of their backgrounds, they can complete degree requirements in four years (twelve terms) of PhD study.

Doctoral students are required to be in residence for at least two years. The program pattern is that students complete coursework within the first three terms in the program, and they complete comprehensive examinations during terms four and five in year two. Students also take the required DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar in term five (the second term of year two), by the end of which a dissertation proposal should be submitted and accepted. The program normally expects students to write and defend the dissertation by the end of year four.

Year 1

Term 1 (usually Fall, September through December)

  • Courses

Term 2 (usually Winter, January through April)

  • Courses

Term 3 (usually Summer, May through August)

  • Courses

Year 2

Term 1 (usually Fall, September through December)

Term 2 (usually Winter, January through April)

  • Comprehensives
  • DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research & Dissertation Seminar (depending on course schedule, otherwise Year 2, Term 3)

Term 3 (usually Summer, May through August)

  • Research
  • DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research & Dissertation Seminar (if not already completed during Year 2, Term 2)

Year 3

Term 1 (usually Fall, September through December)

  • Research

Term 2 (usually Winter, January through April)

  • Research

Term 3 (usually Summer, May through August)

  • Writing

Year 4

Term 1 (usually Fall, September through December)

  • Writing

Term 2 (usually Winter, January through April)

  • Writing

Term 3 (usually Summer, May through August)

  • Completion

 

PhD Rules, Regulations, Forms

Comprehensive Exams

The Comprehensive Exams require doctoral students to engage in both written and oral academic inquiry. The three exams (major, specific, minor) require students to demonstrate contextual knowledge as well as mastery of relevant methodologies and resources of the field in which they propose to write the dissertation as well as in the minor field.

The comprehensive exams normally are written in the fall term of second year (term 4). The comprehensive exam committee consists of three faculty members who guide the student through the three exams. The oral exam, normally completed at the beginning of term 5, consists of a set of questions selected by the comprehensive exam committee members based on the student’s exam submissions. All committee members read all three parts of the exam. The committee, through consensus, decides if the candidate has passed each part of the exam. If consensus is not possible, the Graduate Program Director and examination committee member(s) in the relevant area of expertise make the final decision. If the committee fails the candidate on one or more parts of the examination the student must rewrite the part(s) failed within six months. The examination may be retaken one time only. If the candidate does not pass the second time the candidate is required to withdraw from the program.

Supervisor & Supervisory Committee

A dissertation supervisory committee will consist of a minimum of three members from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at least two of whom must be members of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. The principal supervisor must be a Full Member of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. An Associate Member of the graduate program may serve as a co-supervisor on the condition that the other co-supervisor is a Full Member of the graduate program.

Doctoral students must have at least a supervisor approved the end of the fifth term of study (end of second term of PhD Year 2). Students will not be able to register for their seventh term of study unless a supervisor has been approved. The supervisory committee must be approved by the end of the eighth term of study (end of second term of PhD Year 3). Students will not be able to register in their tenth term of study unless a supervisory committee has been approved.

The Supervisor & Supervisory Committee Approval form is to be used for:

  • appointing a supervisor
  • recommending the establishment of a supervisory committee
  • adding members to an incomplete committee
  • making any changes to an existing committee

Final approval of a supervisor and supervisory committee membership rests with FGS.

Dissertation Proposal, Ethics, Thesis

Doctoral dissertations shall be on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee, and shall include submission and approval of a dissertation proposal, including appropriate ethics review and approval, in accordance with Faculty and program requirements and procedures. Dissertations must embody the results of original research and must be successfully defended at an oral examination.

The doctoral dissertation must embody original work conducted while in program, and must constitute a significant contribution to knowledge. It should contain evidence of critical understanding of the relevant literature. The material embodied in the dissertation should merit publication.

A thesis/dissertation proposal, at a minimum, should contain a brief statement in non-technical language on the purpose of the thesis/dissertation research, its relationship to existing work in the area, and the contribution which the researcher hopes to make to the advancement of knowledge in the field. In addition, the proposal includes a title, the name of the supervisor and the supervisory committee. The title should indicate as clearly as possible the area of research, but it is understood that this title may change. The recommended maximum length of a proposal is 3,500 words.

Following approval of the proposal by the supervisory committee, students must submit one or more copies of the proposal to the graduate program director. After confirming that the requirements have been satisfied, the program director is responsible for submitting the proposals to the Office of the Dean, Graduate Studies using the Form TD1: Thesis/Dissertation Research Submission.

As indicated on Form TD1: Thesis/Dissertation Research Submission, submission of the proposal to the Office of the Dean, Graduate Studies, includes submission of the relevant research ethics forms and documentation. For more information, please refer to the Research Ethics site.

Oral Exam

Prior to the establishment of a doctoral dissertation exam committee, the student’s supervisory committee must read the dissertation and agree that the version read is ready to proceed to oral examination. Following agreement by the supervisory committee that the dissertation is ready to proceed to oral examination, recommendation for membership of a doctoral dissertation exam committee (as well as the date and location of the oral exam) is formally initiated by the program via submission of a Recommendation for Oral Examination Form. Final approval of doctoral dissertation exam committee membership recommendations rests with FGS.

The graduate program will schedule the exam by recommending the date, time, and location of an oral exam via submission of a Recommendation for Oral Examination Form. Oral examinations for doctoral dissertations shall be held normally no less than 20 business days from the date on which copies of the completed dissertation approved by the supervisory committee are sent to each member of the examining committee, unless all parties agree to a shorter timeline. The student must be registered as active for the term in which the oral exam is scheduled to take place.

The results of the oral exam, as determined by the exam committee in accordance with the evaluation guidelines, are reported to FGS via the Oral Examination Report Form. The form should be signed by the Chair of the exam committee and should include, where appropriate, details regarding any required revisions under Comments.

In accordance with the evaluation guidelines the Oral Examination Report Form requires that the committee reach one of the following four decisions: Accepted with No Revisions, Accepted Pending Specified Revisions, Referred Pending Major Revisions, Failed.

NB: Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the academic requirements of their graduate degree program for the year in which they started as laid out online in the Faculty of Graduate Studies handbooks.