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Degree What? BA vs. BFA in Dance

May 16, 2021

Every month Role Call Prep shares dance career tips and industry advice to help advance young artist’s skills. This month we talk about a BA vs. BFA degree.


Degree What? BA vs. BFA in Dance

by Sarah Horne 

Perhaps the most important consideration for dancers is to make sure your school has the type of dance program in which you want to participate. 


Not every school offers each kind of degree. Whatever you choose, remember that any degree is a career springboard, and it will take you many places!


The most common degree types you will see are BA vs. BFA.


Simply put a BA will allow you to explore other liberal arts subjects and the BFA will provide more performance opportunities and studio time. 

The B.A. 


A BA is a Bachelor of Arts (a similar degree, a BS, is a Bachelor Science). 


Generally, in a BA or BS program you will study a broad range of subjects and spend less hours in and around dance. 


You’re looking at 30-40% of your time dancing, giving you more time to study other subjects. This is really good if you want more flexibility in your career options or know you want to Major or Minor in other things. 


A BA program is usually not as competitive and has less audition requirements.

 

The B.F.A. 

 

A BFA is a Bachelor of Fine Arts. 


You will focus primarily on dance and spend more hours in the studio. 


With a BFA you are looking at 60-90% of your time in your dance curriculum, receiving less of a liberal arts education. This is perfect if you know you want a professional program. 


Auditions for BFA’s are almost always required. The program is more competitive to get into, depending on the school - and much of the curriculum is outlined for you already.

 

Other Considerations (and some math)

 

A BA or BFA is your degree type. In order to graduate, depending on the school, you will need about 120 credits, including all core requirements. You generally take about 15 credits a semester, which is 5 classes (at 3 credits each).


Generally speaking, for a BA you need 60 credit hours to major in something. 


For a BFA you need at least 70 credits to complete the major. 


To get a minor, the threshold is much lower. Traditionally, the rest of your credits are made up through core requirements in english, math, and sciences to complete your liberal arts education. 


So, the question is -- how much time, or many credits, are you willing to invest in dance?

 

Questions or Concerns? Always feel free to reach out to us!


Photo Credit: David Gavi

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