MFA Tuition & Funding

CFA with fireworks.

Fireworks at the start of the semeester celebration at the CFA

The Art Department offers generous financial support to graduate students, in addition to teaching and research assistantships, stipends, and travel funds.

Teaching Assistantship Scholarship Awards

The Department of Art funds MFA students through Teaching Assistantship Scholarship Awards. These awards are designed to attract and support graduate students who have exceptional academic and artistic merit. The majority of TAs are given to incoming students and are renewable for the second year of MFA study.

TAs receive a stipend (paid biweekly) equal to about $14,000 per academic year and also receive a full tuition scholarship (see below). Tuition Scholarships do not include university fees (estimated at $2,477 per year in 2016) or departmental lab fees ($250 per semester).

TA Scholarship Award Amounts

The totals below include the approximate TA stipend of $14,000 plus tuition scholarships (these numbers are for Fall 2016)

  • New York State residents: $24,500
  • Out-of-State students = $35,000
  • International students = $35,000

TA Responsibilities

Teaching Assistants are the instructor of record and are assigned to teach courses in freshman foundations and introductory courses in printmaking, drawing, design, emerging media, photography, sculpture or painting. We try our best to match the skills of TAs to the courses being offered and make teaching assignments accordingly.

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 TAs 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.

Extra Service

By New York State contract, TAs are required to contribute 5-10 hours per week to departmental service in addition to teaching. Hours are determined by TA position awarded. Most commonly TAs are assigned to monitor in labs where they are already working.

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 (CAS) Dean’s Fellowships is a $4,000 “add-on” to the departmentally awarded TA Scholarship stipend. Candidates must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or above. The department initiates and nominates qualified applicants for Dean’s Fellowships – no additional application materials beyond the MFA requirements are needed. The College directly contacts all Fellowship recipients 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 program 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.