Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is one of the creative arts therapies. It is a form of psychotherapy that uses movement, both creative and functional, as well as words, to help people — those who are generally healthy as well as those dealing with emotional, mental, or physical problems — to regain a sense of wholeness by experiencing the fundamental unity of body, mind, and spirit. The dance therapy certificate introduces students to the fascinating nonverbal aspects of human communication and its applications to a wide range of other fields such as social work, teaching, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and communication disorders. 

Students will also be introduced to the use of movement in the fields of violence prevention, behavior management, and social skills development from a movement or body/mind perspective. Students who complete this certificate are prepared to attend graduate school in the field of dance/movement therapy, a requirement for the professional practice in this field, or to use embodied practices in related fields. In addition, students develop a repertoire of strategies to help cope with the stress and anxiety inherent in college life and develop insights into their own body/mind connections.

This certificate is also available to individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree; see the Nondegree/Visiting Student Guide.

How to Get in

Declaration Process

Prospective certificate students should meet with the Dance/Movement Therapy Certificate advisor to discuss their intentions to pursue the certificate. Enroll in the first- or second-semester dance/movement therapy course:

  • DANCE 231 Introduction to Dance/Movement Therapy or
  • DANCE 232 Introduction to Dynamics of Dance Therapy.

Application is usually made directly after the completion of Introduction to Dynamics of Dance Therapy. Students intending to pursue the Dance/Movement Therapy Certificate should visit the School of Education's Certificate Programs page to complete the declaration form.


The Introductory Studies in Dance/Movement Therapy certificate requires a minimum of 19 credits.

Supportive Disciplinary Coursework

Choose a course (3-credit minimum) from the following departments: Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

Body Studies

Select 2 courses from the following:

DANCE 131 Somatic Theory and Practices2
DANCE 156 Movement as Material Through Improvisation2
DANCE 157 Introduction to Movement Analysis2

Required Dance Department Coursework

All students are required to complete the following:

DANCE 231 Introduction to Dance/Movement Therapy3
DANCE 232 Introduction to Dynamics of Dance Therapy3
DANCE 331 Dynamics of Dance Therapy3
DANCE 431 Dance Therapy Practicum3

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate may be completed within the context of an undergraduate degree or as a Special student after an undergraduate degree has been awarded from any institution. The certificate may be completed in its entirety while enrolled as a Special student. Candidates are encouraged to contact the certificate coordinator to discuss course enrollment and the sequencing of certificate requirements. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. (Body Studies) Gain skill in expressing through movement and understanding its connection to emotion.
  2. Develop literacy about the field of Dance/Movement Therapy.
  3. Practice and practical work in movement analysis as a tool for Dance/Movement Therapy.


Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to the Department of Dance can be found on the department's website.