BFA Handbook Requirements

Continuation in the BFA program is determined on a yearly basis and is contingent upon the following:

Acceptance into the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Program

Acceptance into the BFA program is based on a dance audition and an interview with the dance faculty.

Grade and Grade Point Average Requirements

A student must receive no lower than a “C” in all other required course work. If a student receives a “C-” or lower, the course must be repeated and a grade of at least a “C” achieved.

A student must maintain at least an overall grade point average of 2.0.

If for any “documented” reason a student is unable to complete all requirements for a given course in a semester, he or she is responsible for initiating the process with the instructor to request an “incomplete.” If the instructor has not been approached by the student as of the final class meeting, a grade will be awarded based upon the work completed. A student must complete at least two thirds of the work required for the course in order for an “incomplete” to be considered. If a student sustains an injury, or a situation arises that precludes the ability to complete the course work, or at least the two thirds necessary to obtain an “incomplete”, he or she must petition to drop the course. An “incomplete” is not granted when a student needs to repeat an entire course. Any student who receives an “incomplete” in any dance major courses must submit a justification to be approved by the faculty. The course must be made up by the end of the following semester, with the appropriate grade achieved (see above).

Juries

Every spring semester, each BFA student will participate in a jury. Juries will be comprised of a technique class (in the area of the student’s degree option) and will be evaluated by the dance faculty. The dance faculty will make recommendations regarding the student’s progress in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, and will determine technique placement for the following semester. All BFA students must pass their jury. If a student fails a jury, he or she will be placed on probation. Failure in a second jury will result in being dropped from the from the BFA program. Should that occur the student may continue in the BA program.

During the senior year, the Senior Portfolio Concert will take the place of the student’s jury.  

Technique Level

Technique levels for each student will be determined by the faculty. In the fall semester, current technique instructors will assess students and make decisions regarding placement for the following semester. In the spring semester technique levels will be determined by both the current technique instructors and the faculty at the student’s jury. BFA students must meet with the dance advisor before each registration period begins to discuss technique levels and class schedules for the following semester.

Attendance

Technique classes are essential to the dancer’s training, and consistent class attendance is vital to the student’s success in the BFA program. All students are expected to maintain excellent attendance in all their dance major courses. Students who are ill or injured must communicate with their instructors and must be responsible for any make-up work required.

Injuries

Students who are injured are still expected to attend all classes. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the faculty of any injury which may inhibit or preclude participation in a movement class. It is also expected that students consult with the instructor for any contingency requirement (taking notes, engaging in class discussion etc.). Injured students should do everything possible to schedule doctors’ appointments outside of class time. If a serious or prolonged injury has precluded a student from completing the work required to pass, the student will be advised to petition to drop the course.

Participation in activities outside the Dance Program

The BFA program is an intense course of study. Students will devote a great deal of time and energy into technique and theory classes, rehearsals and performance. In order to succeed in the BFA program, it is strongly recommended by the faculty that BFA students limit their activities and obligations outside of the Dance Program. It is expected that BFA students will not perform outside the University, when the requirements conflict with the Dance Program obligations. In order to focus on training on education, it is also recommended BFA students keep their own teaching responsibilities to a minimum.

Expectations

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional dance degree. Students in the program are expected to behave responsibly. Professionalism is of the upmost importance. The following must be adhered to:

Responsibility:

  • Living up to your commitments as a student, dancer, choreographer.
  • Attending all classes and rehearsals. Being prompt and prepared.
  • Giving your full concentration.
  • Honoring all performance contracts.

Respect:

  • Showing respect for all faculty, staff and peers.
  • Taking your art seriously.
  • Taking the process of technique, rehearsal, performance seriously.
  • Choreographers showing respect for dancers, and vice versa.
  • Not giving unsolicited advice to professors, choreographers, or peers.
  • Adhering to dress codes.
  • Adhering to all schedules.

Discipline:

  • Challenging yourself to broaden your horizons in performance and/or choreography. Do not let your strength become a limitation. You have chosen this program to grow. Open yourself up to new possibilities.
  • Maintaining and improving your technique with regular classes.
  • Sustaining your concentration in technical rehearsals.

Integrity:

  • Being honest with yourself and others.
  • Being honest with your work.
  • Fulfilling each commitment to the best of your ability.

University policy on Academic Dishonesty:

“Academic integrity is essential to the mission on San Jose state University. AS such, students are expected to perform their own work. Violations to the Academic Policy undermine the educational process and will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates a lack of respect for oneself, fellow students and the course instructor and can ruin the university’s reputation and the value of the degrees it offers. We all share the obligation to maintain an environment which practices academic integrity. Violators of the Academic Integrity Policy will be subject to failing the course and being reported to the Office of Student Conduct & Ethical Development for disciplinary action which could result in suspension or expulsion from San Jose State University. At SJSU, cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.”

Failure to meet any of the above requirements and expectations may lead to probationary action. Upon review, the dance faculty will determine appropriate action. The dance faculty reserves the right to drop students from the BFA program after a probationary period of at least one semester, at any juncture with due cause.

Area of Option

By the end of the first semester, freshman year, each BFA student will choose a primary area of option, either modern or jazz. He or she must complete 12 units of level II, III or IV in this area, with at least 4 units of level IV. In addition, 11 units of technique are required, including ballet.

Other Course Requirements

BFA students must also complete Modern II or Jazz II, Dance Improvisation and Music Appreciation in preparation for the major. Other requirements include: four semesters of advanced level technique in the area of option, 9 units in performance (all students must participate in University Dance Theatre for two semesters), Choreography I and II, with a choice of III or IV, Senior Seminar, Dance Production, Rhythmic Fundamentals, and two semesters of Dance History and Dance Kinesiology. These courses are supported by 7 units of dance electives. Students must complete 1 unit of 52 B, Dance Crewing, ½ unit each. A total of 120 units are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. 

Senior Portfolio Concert - The BFA program will culminate with a final senior project, the “Senior Portfolio Concert”. In the area of choreography each candidate must have completed Choreography III to be eligible has the option to present an original work for a minimum of three dancers. In the area of performance each candidate is required to perform a solo. It recommended that the work be choreographed by a professional as this experience is geared toward the continued broadening of the range of the student. If this should be choreographed by a student, they must have completed Choreography III. If the work is to be reconstructed from the literature of dance it must be approved by the faculty. Should the candidate elect to be evaluated only in performance, in addition to the solo requirement they will also participate in a faculty choreographed work for as many as three other candidates. The combination of the two pieces may not exceed fifteen minutes

Crewing- All BFA students must complete three crewing assignments during their first two years in the program. One crewing assignment will be included in the Dance Production course. At the beginning of each term, the sign-up sheet for crewing can be found in the Dancers’ Lounge. Students may sign-up for a crew, take a permission code, and register for Danc 51 B.