Top 10 Dance Major PhD Programs in New York

Dance is not just a form of artistic expression, but also a field of study that offers a wealth of opportunities for those passionate about the art form. Pursuing a PhD in Dance allows dancers to delve deeper into their craft, expanding their knowledge, research skills, and artistic abilities. In an effort to explore the top dance major PhD programs in New York, we have created this post.

Pursuing a PhD in Dance holds significant value for those who are passionate about advancing their careers in this field. A doctoral program in dance offers dancers the chance to develop expertise in specific areas of dance, such as choreography, performance, or dance education. Through rigorous research, analysis, and creative exploration, dancers can contribute to the advancement of the field and make a lasting impact on the dance community.

A PhD in Dance opens up opportunities for teaching positions at prestigious universities, leadership roles in dance organizations, and even the chance to shape dance policy and advocacy. Hence the inevitable reason for this post, as it will highlight the exceptional institutions that provide outstanding academic and professional development opportunities through their PhD programs in Dance.

New York as a Cultural Hub For The Arts

New York City stands as a vibrant cultural hub for the arts, drawing artists, performers, and dancers from all over the world. The city’s rich history, diverse communities, and thriving artistic scene make it an ideal location for pursuing a dance career. New York offers a multitude of dance companies, theaters, and performance venues, providing ample opportunities for aspiring dancers to showcase their talents and connect with fellow artists.

As the city that never sleeps, New York City is home to esteemed dance institutions, renowned dance festivals, and influential dance critics, making it a place of constant artistic dialogue and growth. With the availability of resources for success, New York provides an unparalleled environment for those seeking to immerse themselves in the dance world.

Why New York for Dance PhD Programs?

New York is a premier destination for dance PhD programs due to several key factors. The rich and diverse cultural heritage of New York provides a vibrant and inspiring environment for dance studies and research. The combination of artistic prestige, networking opportunities, and cultural vibrancy makes New York an exceptional choice for pursuing a PhD in dance.

  1. Recognition of New York as a Global Center for Dance

New York City has long been recognized as a global center for dance, attracting talented artists, performers, and choreographers from all over the world. The city’s vibrant and diverse dance scene offers a rich tapestry of styles, genres, and cultural expressions.

With renowned institutions such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Martha Graham Dance Company, New York has established itself as a hub for innovation, creativity, and excellence in the field of dance. The city’s world-class venues, including Lincoln Center and the Joyce Theater, showcase groundbreaking performances and provide a platform for emerging talents to shine.

Whether it’s classical ballet, contemporary dance, or experimental movement, New York’s vibrant dance landscape continues to draw individuals who are passionate about pushing artistic boundaries and making their mark in the world of dance.

  1. Networking and Career Opportunities in the City

The city of New York offers unparalleled networking and career opportunities for dance PhD students. With its vibrant arts scenes and numerous renowned dance companies, students have the chance to connect with industry professionals and fellow dancers, creating valuable connections that can lead to future collaborations and career opportunities.

New York is known for its diverse and inclusive arts community, offering a platform for dancers of all backgrounds and styles to showcase their talent and find their niche. The networking and career opportunities available in New York make it an ideal location for dance PhD students looking to launch successful careers in the field.

Benefits of Pursuing a Dance Major PhD Program in New York

The benefits of pursuing a dance major PhD program in New York are numerous. Whether it’s classical ballet, modern dance, or experimental choreography, the city offers endless possibilities for growth, creativity, and artistic fulfillment. Here are some benefits of pursuing a dance major PhD program in New York.

  1. New York is home to some of the most renowned dance institutions and companies in the world, providing students with access to top-notch faculty and a vibrant dance community. This exposure allows students to learn from industry professionals, participate in masterclasses, and attend performances by world-class dancers.
  2. The city offers unparalleled networking opportunities. With an abundance of dance studios, theaters, and performance spaces, students can network and collaborate with like-minded individuals, creating valuable connections that can lead to future career opportunities.
  3. New York’s thriving arts scene provides students with a wealth of performance opportunities, allowing them to showcase their talents and gain professional experience. Dance majors can participate in numerous productions, ranging from intimate studio showcases to large-scale performances in prestigious venues. This exposure not only hones students’ technical skills but also instills in them a sense of stage presence and artistic integrity.
  4. The multicultural environment of New York City further enhances the learning experience for dance majors. The city’s diverse population brings together a multitude of cultural influences and artistic expressions. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in different styles of dance, traditional folk dances, contemporary fusion forms, and much more.

Pursuing a dance major PhD program in New York offers students access to world-class education, networking opportunities, enhanced performance experiences, and a culturally vibrant environment. With its exceptional faculty, thriving arts scene, and diverse community, New York provides an unparalleled platform for dance students to explore, create, and excel in their careers.

Top Dance Major PhD Programs in New York

Top Dance Major PhD Programs in New YorkNew York is home to some of the best dance major PhD programs in the country, offering students a diverse range of options to pursue their studies. These dance major PhD programs in New York provide students with the resources, faculty expertise, and career opportunities needed to excel in the field of dance.

Whether students are interested in pursuing academic research, choreography, or performance, these programs offer a solid foundation for success. Here are the top 10 dance major PhD programs in New York:

  1. New York University (NYU)

NYU Performance Studies is a unique and pioneering PhD program in performance studies. It is one of the few programs of its kind and was selected as the top program by the National Research Council in its evaluation of doctoral programs in theater and performance studies.

New York University (NYU) offers an exceptional Dance Major PhD program that stands out due to its renowned faculty, comprehensive curriculum, and top-notch facilities. With a strong emphasis on both artistic practice and research, NYU provides students with the necessary tools to excel in the field of dance academia. NYU’s Dance Major PhD program offers a rigorous and supportive academic experience in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant dance communities.

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  1. Columbia University

Columbia University offers a top-notch Dance Major PhD program, attracting students from around the world. Known for its renowned faculty and rigorous curriculum, Columbia University provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to dance research and scholarship.

The EdD in Dance Education doctoral program at Teachers College stands out as the sole doctoral program in the country that places its emphasis on pedagogical and educational research in dance. Students have the opportunity to work closely with esteemed professors and engage in cutting-edge research in areas such as dance history, choreography, and performance studies.

With its strong emphasis on both theory and practice, Columbia University’s Dance Major PhD program prepares graduates for successful careers in academia, research, and the professional dance world.

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  1. The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School, located in the prestigious Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is renowned for its highly selective and esteemed dance major PhD program. With a rich history dating back to 1905, Juilliard has established itself as a leader in performing arts education. The dance major PhD program at Juilliard offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that combines theory, technique, and creativity.

In addition to academic excellence, Juilliard provides state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including multiple dance studios, a black box theater, and a world-class library dedicated to dance. The school’s emphasis on individualized attention and mentorship ensures that students receive personalized guidance and support throughout their academic journey. For aspiring dance scholars, The Juilliard School is undoubtedly an exceptional choice.

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  1. Rutgers University – Mason Gross School of the Arts

Rutgers University – Mason Gross School of the Arts offers a top-notch Dance Major Program in New York. The program provides students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to dance research, preparing them for leadership roles in academia, choreography, and artistic direction. The faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts consists of renowned scholars and artists who offer rich expertise in various dance styles and theoretical perspectives.

With state-of-the-art facilities, including fully equipped studios, performance spaces, and a dance film lab, students have access to the necessary resources for research and artistic exploration. The program also fosters collaboration and engagement within the vibrant dance community of New York, allowing students to build valuable connections and expand their professional networks.

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  1. Hunter College

The dance program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to dance research and performance, preparing students to become scholars and educators in the field. With a faculty comprised of acclaimed dance artists, scholars, and choreographers, students have the opportunity to work closely with experienced mentors who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Hunter College’s state-of-the-art facilities, including spacious studios and performance spaces, provide a conducive environment for students to hone their skills and create innovative dance works. Hunter College’s location in the heart of Manhattan allows students to immerse themselves in the vibrant dance scene of New York City, providing numerous performance and networking opportunities.

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  1. CUNY Graduate Center

The CUNY Graduate Center offers a prestigious Dance PhD program that provides unparalleled opportunities for students seeking advanced research and practice in the field. The program is designed to foster creativity, critical thinking, and scholarly inquiry, encouraging students to push the boundaries of dance scholarship. Collaborative research projects and professional development opportunities further enrich the learning experience.

The Graduate Center’s location in the heart of New York City allows students to engage with the vibrant dance community, attend world-class performances, and establish valuable connections with industry professionals. As part of the CUNY system, the program offers affordable tuition and a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

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  1. University at Buffalo

The PhD in Theatre and Performance at UB is a comprehensive program that combines rigorous research and practical application. With a focus on scholarship and practice, this 72-credit program offers a well-rounded education in the field. This program offers a comprehensive approach to training students in theatre and performance studies. By combining disciplines such as history, theory, and production, students will gain the necessary skills to navigate evolving fields and produce top-notch scholarly work.

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  1. Barnard College

Barnard College, located in New York City, offers a prestigious Dance Major Program. With its commitment to academic excellence and artistic innovation, Barnard provides a comprehensive curriculum that prepares students for successful careers in dance research and education. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches, allowing students to explore various aspects of dance, including history, theory, and performance. Barnard College offers an exceptional Dance Major Program that combines rigorous academic study with practical experience, making it an excellent choice for aspiring dance scholars.

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  1. SUNY Brockport

SUNY Brockport offers a highly regarded dance program that provides students with an exceptional educational experience. The program is known for its strong emphasis on research and scholarship, allowing students to engage in critical analysis and theoretical exploration in the field of dance. SUNY Brockport boasts a distinguished faculty who are dedicated to the success of their students and offer extensive expertise across various dance disciplines.

The program benefits from state-of-the-art facilities, including spacious dance studios, a fully equipped theater and a dance archive, providing students with a nurturing environment for creative exploration and technical development. With its commitment to excellence and comprehensive curriculum, SUNY Brockport is undoubtedly one of the top choices for aspiring dance scholars and practitioners.

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  1. Cornell University

Cornell University offers a highly esteemed PhD program in Dance that provides The program’s curriculum encompasses a wide range of dance practices, theories, and methodologies, allowing students to develop their own areas of specialization. In addition, Cornell University’s extensive network and collaborations with other prestigious institutions provide students with unique networking and performance opportunities.

The university’s state-of-the-art facilities and resources further enhance students’ research and creative endeavors. As a top-ranked Ivy League institution located in the vibrant city of Ithaca, New York, Cornell University offers a rich and inspiring environment for aspiring dance scholars to pursue their PhD and thrive in a supportive and intellectually stimulating community.

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Criteria for Evaluating PhD Programs

When evaluating PhD programs in dance, there are several key criteria to consider. With these criteria, prospective students can make informed decisions when choosing the best dance major PhD program in New York.

  1. Accreditation and Program Reputation

Accreditation and program reputation are crucial factors to consider when evaluating PhD programs in dance. In New York, the top dance major PhD programs have gained accreditation from reputable organizations such as the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). This accreditation ensures that the programs meet specific standards of quality and excellence in dance education.

  1. Faculty Expertise and Research Opportunities

One significant criterion when evaluating dance major PhD programs in New York is the faculty expertise and research opportunities offered by each institution. The faculty members in these programs are renowned experts in their fields with extensive experience in dance education, performance, choreography, and research. Their expertise allows students to delve deeper into various areas of dance, from ballet to contemporary, from cultural dance forms to dance history.

  1. Facilities and resources

When it comes to evaluating PhD programs in Dance, the availability of top-notch facilities and resources is a crucial aspect. In New York, renowned institutions like New York University (NYU), Columbia University, and The Juilliard School provide state-of-the-art dance studios, performance spaces, and rehearsal rooms to support the artistic and academic development of their doctoral students. The availability of such facilities and resources in New York further solidifies its position as a prime location for pursuing a Dance Major PhD.


A Dance doctorate in New York offers a unique and enriching experience for aspiring dance scholars. The city’s reputation as a global center for dance, coupled with its vibrant arts and cultural scene, provides an ideal setting for students to immerse themselves in the field. The top dance major PhD programs in New York offer state-of-the-art facilities and abundant research opportunities, ensuring a stimulating academic environment. New York stands as an exceptional destination for aspiring dance scholars seeking to further their academic and professional careers in the field.


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