Master of Arts in Dance with Teacher Certification

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The Master of Arts in Dance leading to Initial PreK-12 Dance Teacher Certification is a degree designed specifically for the pre-service dance educator seeking initial teacher certification for grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Completion of this degree leads to eligibility for New York State certification as a teacher of dance, pre-K-12, with reciprocity in numerous states. During the second year of study, the students complete student multiple teaching placements in Rochester, NY and other area schools under the guidance of experienced faculty.

Upon completion of their degrees, Brockport graduate students with NYS certification go on to become public and private school teachers; teaching artists; arts administrators; or they pursue a variety of other careers focusing on the role of dance in teaching and learning for children and youth.

The Department of Dance offers three different graduate programs through which students can earn the MA in dance leading to New York State PreK-12 dance teacher certification, an MA in dance, or an MFA in dance. Students in the department’s highly selective graduate programs excel in the studio and on stage, and as critical thinkers, writers and teachers.

The department has some of the best dance facilities in the country, including its own fully equipped 300-seat proscenium dance theater, a 270-seat large-space studio theater, five studios, a body-conditioning lab, health pool, and computerized music and design studios. Faculty and professional staff are nationally and internationally recognized in their areas of expertise and are leaders in professional organizations such as CORD, NASD and NDEO. The College at Brockport is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Admission to the Program

Prospective students apply to the program through the Graduate School. The following requirements are necessary for consideration:

  1. An undergraduate degree with a major in dance, with a "B" or better average in dance courses, OR an undergraduate degree in another major and evidence of serious study and/or significant professional experience in dance. Once accepted to graduate program by audition, basic course work may be strongly recommended for students without undergraduate degrees in dance.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, at least two from persons acquainted with the candidate's dance background;
  3. Completion of the application form, including submission of official transcripts of undergraduate study, graduate study and application for audition;
  4. Participation in an audition-interview process, which is scheduled once each year in March or April. This audition consists of:
    1. being observed in modern technique class (intermediate-level skill is required);
    2. solving an improvisation problem;
    3. presenting a three-minute solo of original choreography;
    4. participating in a formal interview, including candidate's articulation of areas of interest in dance; and
    5. completing a writing assessment assignment. Original research, essays or articles may also be presented, but are not required.

NOTE:A maximum of 12 transfer credits may be earned at other colleges and universities with the approval of the department. Six transfer credits may be earned, upon approval, at units outside the State University of New York system. Twelve credits may be transferred, with approval, from within the SUNY system, or from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Dance professionals may be eligible for up to 12 credits by examination and/or portfolio. 

Program Requirements

Students must meet the requirements established by the College for graduate study.

Master of Arts in Dance with Initial PreK-12 Dance Teacher Certification is an option that can lead to New York State Dance Teacher Certification.

Required minimum grades:  Grades of “C” or better are required for all courses.  Any student whose GPA falls below 3.0 is subject to review for retention in the program.

Students cannot receive graduate credit for a course already completed at the undergraduate level (“swing courses”). 

The 45-credit program includes:


The State of New York Department of Education offers initial teacher certification in dance (PreK-12). This program is designed and approved to meet the academic requirements for NYS certification. There are additional requirements for initial teacher certification. As of the publication of the catalog, the additional requirements include:

  • HLS 210 First Aid and Community CPR for Athletics and HLS 301 Health Behaviors and Wellness as student teaching prerequisites
  • 3 credits of college-level study of a language other than English or its equivalent (American Sign Language is applicable toward meeting this requirement)
  • A passing score on the LAST exam as a prerequisite for student teaching and the
  • ATS-W (elementary or secondary) exam before receiving certification.  An additional exam is required to teach in Buffalo, NY
  • PRO 370-Drug and Health Education for Teachers
  • Dance Content Specialty Examination
  • 100 hours of field observation that target grades Pre K-12
  • Finger printing by an approved provider

Some students may already have met the additional requirements as an undergraduate or through teacher certification in another area. All students have the option to satisfy any unmet requirements during their course of study at Brockport.

Note:  Permanent NYS certification requires three years of full-time, PreK-12 teaching.

Because the State of New York Department of Education controls the criteria for eligibility, this College and Department cannot be held responsible for changes made during your matriculation and/or after your graduation. Students are advised to consult with Brockport's Certification Office and maintain awareness of changes that may happen to their certification requirements.