Bachelor of Arts in Dance

The Bachelor of Arts in Dance is designed to provide training in dance with an opportunity to emphasize dance performance/choreography or dance studies.

The major is organized around a 30 unit core and 15 electives in one of two areas of focus. Area of focus elective courses in dance, music, and related fields should be chosen according to career goals in consultation with an advisor.

There is no audition requirement to declare a major in Dance. However, new majors and minors must participate in the placement audition on the advising day at the beginning of each semester. It is mandatory that students consult with their advisor on a semester basis and maintain a grade point average of 2.0.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Dance the student will be able to:

  1. Students will demonstrate competence at working conceptually and thinking critically about dance technique, performance, and choreography to include aesthetic properties of style and ideas shaped by artistic and cultural contexts.
  2. Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge in theatrical, social, and vernacular dance technique, choreography, and production—including intermediate to advanced competence in one or more areas of technique, performance, or choreography.
  3. Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of dance theory and the application of research methodologies for undertaking original research on and writing about dance topics.
  4. Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of the body and kinesiology as applicable to work in dance.
  5. Students will demonstrate competence in teaching—including one or more areas of intermediate level dance technique, creative process, or other dance topics.

Dance (B.A.) — 45 units

Core Requirements (21 units)

Basic Studies
DANC 170Integrated Dance Technique I3
DANC 232Dance Composition: Choreography I3
DANC 300GWDance Organizational Strategies and Field Topics - GWAR3
DANC 304Issues in Dance Medicine I3
DANC 311Alignment/Pilates Mat1
MUS 120Basic Music I 13
TH A 2132
Aesthetics and History
Select one of the following3
Dance Aesthetics: Cultural/Historical Perspectives 2
Historical Survey of Dance in the Western World 2

Dance Technique (12 units)

Select from the following. At least nine units must be 200 or above with no more than four units from one course, except with advisors approval.

DANC 163Ballet I1
DANC 173Modern Dance I1
DANC 176Jazz Dance I1
DANC 207Dance in Cultural Context1
DANC 263Ballet II2
DANC 275Modern Dance II2
DANC 276Jazz Dance II2
DANC 311Alignment/Pilates Mat1
DANC 312Alignment Study/Pilates Mat II-III1
DANC 363Ballet III2
DANC 374Modern Dance III2
DANC 376Jazz Dance III2
DANC 400Workshop in Contemporary Dance1
DANC 474Modern Dance IV2
DANC 699Independent Study1-3

Emphasis Electives (12 units)

These courses are optimally organized for Performance/Choreography or teaching. Courses selected may be from either emphasis area and aligned with career goals. Six units of technique courses numbered 300 or above may be repeated in this section for credit. Other DANC, TH A, and MUS prefix courses may be used with advisor's approval. Three units may be selected from other areas of the university with consent of major advisor.

Dance Performance and Choreography
DANC 312Alignment Study/Pilates Mat II-III1
DANC 340Dance Pedagogy3
DANC 399University Dance Theatre (consecutive fall-spring semesters, 4 units total)2
DANC 416Advanced Contemporary Dance Repertory and Skills1
DANC 434Dance Composition: Choreography II3
DANC 461Advanced Choreography and Production3
DANC 463Performance in Dance Production1
DANC/ANTH 657Ethnography of Dance3
DANC 699Independent Study1-3
World Cultures
Select a minimum of four units in MUS
DANC 207Dance in Cultural Context1
DANC 236Folklore of Dance: African-Haitian2
DANC/ANTH 657Ethnography of Dance3
MUS 386World Music Ensembles1
MUS 388Jazz Combos1
MUS 505Music of the World's Peoples3
MUS 531Musics of North and Southeast Asia3
MUS 542GWMusic in Culture and Context - GWAR3

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least twelve units of complementary studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement. Additional ways to complete complementary studies for students in the Dance major can, with the approval of a Dance Program advisor, satisfy Complementary Studies in the major with 12 units in a single foreign language of their choosing, 12 units from courses taken in a study abroad program, 12 units of courses taken as partial completion of a second major, minor or certificate, or 12 units of courses in related disciplines.

Related disciplines typically include theater, music, cinema, broadcast and electronic communications, creative writing, journalism, kinesiology, physical education, health education, holistic health, biology, elementary education, English, history, anthropology, business, and journalism. The dance program allows up to 12 units of dance-related disciplines to count toward the dance major.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):

  1. Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
  2. Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
  3. Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.

For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.

Course Choice One-Semester Course Two-Semester Sequence or Support Course
ENG 114 Roadmap A Roadmap C
ENG 104/ENG 105 Roadmap B Roadmap D

*Composition for Multilingual Students: If taking ENG 209 as your first English course, choose the ENG 114 row. If taking ENG 204 for your first English course, choose the ENG 104/ENG 105 row.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All Students Must Meet the Transfer Eligibility Requirements Outlined Below for Admission.

For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units.
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • Complete 30-semester units (45-quarter units) of General Education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (same as CSU GE Area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90-quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a C- or better grade in each basic skills course.