Admissions FAQ

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What is the difference between the BS and BFA degree?

The BS degree provides wide theoretical and practical study of dance and is a good option for students wishing to pursue a major in another discipline. The BFA degree is for students with strong interest and aptitude in dance and/or professional dance theater. 

How many students do we accept into the degree program?

Acceptance into the program is not limited to a certain number of students. We evaluate prospective students’ ability to demonstrate  and achieve the technique requirements given at the audition. We screen to determine whether students are a good match for our program and whether they will be successful in either the BS or BFA program. All first-year students are admitted as BS candidates when the UW–Madison admissions office renders its final decision.

Can I graduate in four years?

Our degree programs are designed to, and can, be completed in four years, provided that students follow the advising grid. Adding an additional major to the BS or BFA degree, taking coursework out of sequence, or dropping courses may impact timeline to graduation.

Will I get to perform?

Students are required to perform in repertory for both the BS and BFA degrees. The vast majority of our students have opportunities to perform well beyond the required amount.

What are the strengths of your department?

Dance students at UW–Madison have access to all the resources of a large, public university while being a part of an inclusive, tight-knit dance community. Students learn from and work directly with a diverse faculty and engage in an interdisciplinary curriculum that: 1) is designed to give students a strong foundation in technique, performance, and composition; and 2) emphasizes creative investigation, scholarship, innovation, and rigorous dance training.  Students are challenged to think deeply, push boundaries, and make art that creates change. There are several opportunities to audition for and work with faculty and guest artists-in-residence throughout the academic year. Many of our students travel nationally and internationally over the summer to engage with the global dance community and can do so with financial support from our department. The University of Wisconsin–Madison Dance Department was the first in the nation to offer a dance degree, and our department has alumni in positions of leadership in the dance discipline all over the world. When students study dance at UW–Madison, they become a part of that legacy — of dance in higher education — and join a dynamic dance community that celebrates innovative and diverse styles and aesthetics. Our students graduate with wide professional networks and go on to have extraordinary careers.

What are the strengths of the university?

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has consistently been ranked one of America’s best colleges and best college values among public universities. The university is a prolific research institution and our students, staff, and faculty partake in a world-class education to solve real-world problems and create a better future for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world. The university offers thousands of classes across a spectrum of liberal arts and science disciplines. UW–Madison students receive a well-rounded, world-class education that prepares them not only for a career, but one that makes a difference.

The campus is in the heart of Madison, WI, the state capitol, a city that has been listed as one of America’s best places to live. The 936-acre campus spreads out along Lake Mendota, encompassing wooded hills, friendly shores, and lively city streets. Madison offers the perfect combination of natural beauty, stimulating cultural offerings, outdoor recreation, distinctive restaurants, unique shops, and a vibrant nightlife. Learn more about the city of Madison.