College of Fine Arts and Communication

Department of Dance

History and Profile

The University

Towson traces its origins to the first State teacher training institutions authorized by the General Assembly of Maryland in 1865 when it established a State public school system. Formally opened in Baltimore on January 15, 1866, the State Normal School was the only institution at that time devoted exclusively to the preparation of teachers for the public schools of Maryland. The Normal School occupied four different locations in Baltimore City before moving to its Towson location in 1915.

In 1935, a four-year teacher education program leading to a bachelor’s degree was introduced, and the School’s name was changed to the State Teachers College at Towson. An arts and sciences program, begun in 1946 as a two-year transfer program, was extended to a four-year, degree-granting program in 1960. A graduate program for elementary school teachers leading to a Master of Education degree was inaugurated in 1958. As part of the expansion of higher education in Maryland, the General Assembly authorized the expansion of the arts and science offerings and a change of name to Towson State College in 1963. Two years later, the graduate program began a period of expansion, which saw the institution of master’s degree programs in several disciplines. In 1976, the General Assembly authorized a change of name to Towson State University.

Today, Towson University is recognized for its excellent programs in communication, arts and sciences, business, fine arts and allied health sciences as well as teacher education. The University has graduated more than 70,000 students since 1866 and receives applications for all 50 states and more than 65 countries. It currently enrolls up to 20,000 students each year.

The Department of Dance

The Department of Dance came into existence in 1974 when dance first separated from its original Physical Education setting. Since then, the department has expanded to include ten full-time faculty/staff and seventeen part-time faculty instructors and accompanists. Currently we have one associate professor as the associate dean of COFAC; one associate professor as assistant to the provost; eighty-ninety dance majors working to matriculate with a B.F.A. in either Dance Performance or Dance Performance with K-12 Teach Certification; and are one of the six Departments of the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

In 1994, an entirely new curriculum was implemented based on student-outcomes and designed to update course formats and content mandated by our accrediting institution, the National Association of Schools of Dance (N.A.S.D.) In addition, Towson is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (N.C.A.T.E.), the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

Towson is the only institution of higher education in Maryland to offer the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance, and its B.F.A. in Dance Performance with K-12 Teacher Certification includes certification to teach in the Maryland Public School systems and in reciprocal states.


Department of Dance
Center for the Arts, Room 1002
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-2760
Fax: 410-704-3752




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