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Students perform dance routines on stage.


A performance-based study of dance.

Dance Your Way to Your BFA

In studying dance at USM you will experience dance as a technician, artist, performer, teacher and dance maker. We offer many performance opportunities for our majors, and all incoming students are guaranteed a performance opportunity in their first semester. You will be exposed to dance as an art form with a history of its own.


  • The small size of our program allows for individual attention.
  • We regularly host guest artist residencies, exposing students to diverse dance styles
  • Southern Miss is the home of Hub Dance Collective, a regional professional modern dance company.
  • We offer a British Studies in Dance course that allows students to study dance abroad for a month in the summer.
  • We focus exclusively on training undergraduates.
  • We are nationally accredited.
  • The arts are supported at Southern Miss, so you will be joining a vibrant college committed to supporting all the arts both within the university and in the larger community.
  • While we liken ourselves to an extended family, we have extremely high expectations as the BFA is the initial professional degree in the field.


Our degree plan is sequential, meaning that each semester builds upon the last.

We require 7-8 semesters in ballet and modern dance techniques, with a prescribed number of semesters at the advanced level.

Students also learn diverse dance techniques, improvisation, composition, and choreography.

Performance classes are augmented with an introduction to dance studies, dance history, teaching dance, music for dance, dance anatomy, dance and technology, and other electives.

Both our degree plans require an internship, giving our students real world experience in dance. These are varied in form and are meant to augment our curriculum in a way that meets the needs and serves the professional interest of individual students. Student develop their internship in collaboration with their faculty adviser.

Upper-level coursework in dance choreography and a written thesis are the culminating projects for Performance and Choreography majors. Dance Licensure majors student teach in their final semester.

Degree Options

There are two Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees available with this major.

More about this Major


Graduates become performers, choreographers, educators (public and private sectors), advocates, and arts administrators. Some graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees and other go into related fields of exercise science and body therapies.

Alumni have earned Master of Fine Arts degrees at the University of Utah, the State University of New York at Brockport, Tisch School for the Arts at New York University, Florida State University, the Laban Centre in London and Mills College.
The USM dance department opened my eyes to a whole new world of dance. It's truly hard to say how much I learned about dance and how much I learned about myself as a mover and as an artist.

Courses You Might Take

DAN 220: Freshman Repertory

All incoming students are members of the Freshman Company, which provides them a rehearsal process with a faculty member and a live performance at the end of the semester.

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Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.