Graduate Assistantships

Image description: 3 masks being displayed in the MFA show

Graduate assistantships are available through the programs offering graduate degrees. These positions give students financial aid as well as the opportunity to acquire valuable experience. Graduate students with assistantships (i.e., teaching, research, administrative, and technical) work a maximum of 20 hours per week when classes are in session. Assistantships require a registration for 12 hours of graduate credit each semester. All Graduate Assistants also receive a Tuition Scholarship Grant for the period of the award which includes full payment of the student's instructional, non-resident & general fee. Renewals of assistantship awards are possible. Funding as a graduate student is available for a maximum of two academic years at the master's level, with the exception of Art History.

Graduate Assistantships in the School of Art

Many accepted incoming full-time MFA candidates in the School of Art are awarded assistantships. Assistantships are also available for full-time MA students in Art History in their first year of study. Assignments are made by the Graduate Coordinator and the Director of the School.

An assistantship normally consists of a full tuition waiver, along with a stipend. In exchange, students in their first year perform weekly service to the School in academic support areas such as assisting in the Bryan Gallery, supervising the woodshop or media cage, assisting in studio areas, or working in the School's Art Resource Center.

Upon successful completion of the first year of study, MFA students are awarded a teaching assistantship for their second year. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, second-year students teach a course, usually 2D or 3D Foundations, or the introductory course for undergraduates in the graduate student's area of specialization. Teaching Assistants are responsible for all aspects of these courses, including devising their own syllabus and the issuing of grades. Concurrent with their first teaching assignment, students enroll in a Pedagogy course which prepares them to successfully meet the challenges posed by college-level teaching.

Graduate Assistantship Assignments

During Orientation/GradStep Week (one week prior to the beginning of classes), all first-year students on assistantship meet with the Graduate Coordinator to receive and discuss their assistantship assignment. The Coordinator will make every effort to match student abilities and experience with School requirements. After receiving their assignment, students meet with their immediate work supervisor to plan a weekly schedule balancing students' academic schedules (including ample independent studio time) with the carrying out of necessary functions.

Graduate Assistantship Policies

To retain an appointment, graduate assistants must be appropriately enrolled, must make satisfactory progress toward a degree, and must perform duties satisfactorily according to the terms of the appointment. A student's funding is terminated if he or she is suspended for ethical or legal misconduct as specified in the Student Code. The instructional, nonresident, general, and automobile registration fees are paid by the University during the period of the appointment for graduate assistants. Instructional, nonresident, and automobile fee payments may also be extended as a professional courtesy for the following summer. Registered graduate students not receiving an assistantship during the summer must pay the general fee. Applications for assistantships in the School of Art are part of your application to the School of Art. The portfolio and letters of recommendation should be submitted to the School of Art by February 17th (Slideroom.) At the same time, application materials for admission to the Graduate College should be filed.

School of Art Graduate Admissions
Apply to the Graduate College

Information on Graduate Assistanships


A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for funding of graduate assistantships. Official transcripts from the degree-granting institution is required to document completion of all requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

Graduate College Financial Aid
Student Financial Aid Office