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Returning Professional Program

Are you a professional dancer in transition? Now is the time to advance your career and apply your professional experience toward a baccalaureate degree at Mercyhurst University.

There are many exciting and rewarding employment opportunities for those individuals who are educationally prepared. The Mercyhurst University Returning Professional Program features experienced faculty, a national reputation for excellence and the dedication, commitment, and hard work of the students.

If you are a ballet dancer with three years of professional experience, Mercyhurst offers you the opportunity to turn your life experience into transferrable credits towards a baccalaureate degree in dance, or one of 40 other majors.

In this win/win program, the university benefits from your experience, while you move more easily through your career transition. The Returning Professional Program emphasizes the importance of planning for the long-term future by offering a B.A. degree with a concentration in pedagogy or a B.F.A degree.


Life Experience/Transfer Credits

Based on a professional experience portfolio presented at the onset of admission, returning professionals who apply for our program have the option of petitioning the Dance Department to accept up to 24 elective transfer of life experience credits toward a non-dance major, or up to 37 transfer or life experience credits within the dance major. Credits could be a combination of the following:

16 credits           Ballet Technique

 6  credits            Pointe/Men’s Technique

 4 credits            Modern, Tap, Jazz, Music Theatre

 3 credits            Dance History

3-9 credits         Choreography I-III

 3  credits          Pedagogy

 3  credits          Kinesiology

 6 credits            Company Ensemble

If pursing a B.A. degree in dance, you would be required to enter and complete the program in applied theory (pedagogy).


Admissions Requirements

  • A minimum of three years professional experience
  • The ability to reside in Erie, Pa.
  • A completed application form
  • Three recent letters of recommendation from directors, instructors, choreographers and/or colleagues to show evidence of leadership potential
  • A personal biography narrative, outlining your career path, aspirations and professional interests
  • Your résumé
  • Video documentation of performances, choreography and/or teaching
  • Support documentation: photos, programs, reviews, interviews, etc.
  • An on-campus interview with the faculty

Transfer credits from other accredited colleges and universities are considered for acceptance. A limited number of scholarships, stipends, financial aid and work-study opportunities are available.

Please click back to our B.A. Dance Major tab or our B.F.A Dance Major tab to view a more complete compilation of the Mercyhurst Dance Major syllabi and other material.