Fellowships, Assistantships, Awards

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Department of Art Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes

Full List of Annual Scholarship, Awards, and Prizes, open to current Art Graduate Students:

MFA Scholarships and Financial Details

Teaching Assistantship Scholarship Awards

The information below is meant to clarify and simplify the assistance the Department of Art is able to offer our MFA students. This does not include comprehensive aid programs such as the Graduate Educational Opportunity Program (GEOP) or Financial Aid.

The Department of Art offers a select number of Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions to MFA applicants who demonstrate exceptional academic and artistic merit. Qualified applicants are offered these positions and awarded a full Tuition Scholarship during the admissions cycle. Teaching Assistantships and Tuition Scholarships are renewable for the second year of MFA study based on academic and creative progress in the program.

TAs receive a stipend paid biweekly through the full academic year equal to approximately $14,700 to $15,000 per academic year as well as the full tuition scholarship. Tuition Scholarships cover both in-state and out-of-state tuition but do not include university fees (estimated at $2,800 per year in 2024) or studio lab fees.

TA Scholarship Award Amounts

TA stipend of $14,700 plus tuition scholarships (last updated Spring 2024) in the amounts of:

  • New York State residents: $5,655/semester
  • Out-of-State students = $12,130/semester
  • International students = $12,130/semester

TA/GA Responsibilities

Teaching Assistants positions for the MFA program are generally an assignment of being the "instructor of record", where the TA is assigned a course to teach in freshman foundations or an introductory course in printmaking, drawing, design, art and technology, photography, sculpture or painting per semester. We work to pair the skills of TAs to the courses being offered and make teaching assignments accordingly. At times a GA position assignment may be for assisting faculty in large lectures with recitations and grading, or working on programming for an area of the Department, but generally the TA "instructor of record" assignment is made.

Teaching Assistants are provided with syllabi and course guidelines and individually assigned faculty mentors to assist with day-to-day guidance and help along the way. Several one-day workshops are organized each fall to help prepare new TA's for their classes: one is run by the College of Arts and Sciences and a second workshop is run by the MFA program Director of Graduate Studies.

TA's awarded full assistantships are required to contribute a combined 20 hours of service per week split between teaching and departmental service. TAs are assigned to teach and complete service hours in areas that align with their skillset and practice.

International Students with Teaching Assistantships
Upon arrival at UB prior to classes, all non-native English speaking international students are required to take and pass a SPEAK test. Failure to pass the SPEAK test will disqualify TAs from teaching. See the International Student Admissions website for more information.

Applying for a TA Scholarship Award
All domestic and international on-time and complete applications to the M.F.A. program are automatically reviewed and considered for TA Scholarships as well as College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Awards.

No additional application materials are required.

Other Scholarships and Sources of Funding for MFA and MA in Visual Studies

College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Fellowships
College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Fellowship provides $4,000 in addition to the departmentally awarded Teaching Assistantship stipend. Candidates must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or above to be eligible. The department nominates qualified applicants for Dean’s Fellowships – no additional application materials are needed beyond the MFA application requirements. The College directly contacts all recipients of this Fellowship with a separate offer letter. 

No additional application materials are required.

Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program
The Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program is sponsored by New York State and offers support for historically underrepresented students in graduate programs across the university. Students in the Schomburg Fellows have outstanding academic credentials which contribute to an impressive graduation and retention rate of close to eighty percent. Schomburg Fellows participate in conferences and seminars and present papers in their respective disciplines. Since its inception in 1987, over 500 academically talented students have received support through this Fellowship program. It is helpful for applicants to indicate their interest in being considered for a Schomburg Fellowship.

Graduate Educational Opportunity Program (GEOP)
The Graduate Educational Opportunity Program (GEOP) provides tuition scholarships to graduates of Educational Opportunity Program (EOP); Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP); and CUNY Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) programs within New York State who wish to pursue further education at the graduate level.

See the College of Arts and Sciences website for more information.

The Department of Art offers multiple scholarship, award, and prize opportunities every year. There are opportunities offered for all degree types, either in an application open to all ART students or restricted to students enrolled in a specific course or concentration. Funding is for art-related travel and study, art supplies, tuition help, and general support.


We are not currently accepting applications for this degree type. To add your name to our mailing list for future information, please contact us.