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Graduate Support

2017 MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition

Graduate Funding + Opportunities

We attract outstanding graduate students in art, art history, and design by building competitive financial packages for our top applicants.

Different types of recruitment packages – combinations of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships – are offered to qualified students in the first year of study.

No additional application is required for this funding. All applicants to our MFA, MDes, MA, and PhD programs are automatically considered, including international applicants.

Recruitment Packages

A sample recruitment package for an incoming MA student might include:

  • one, two or three quarters of tuition waiver and stipend for the first year of study

For an incoming MFA or MDes student the package could include:

  • a one quarter TA position (tuition waiver plus stipend) and two quarters of fellowship (tuition scholarship plus stipend) for the first year of study

Additional funding for the second year of study or beyond is awarded on the basis of funding availability and other factors, including student evaluations and faculty approval.

Graduate support and fellowships are funded in part from the following endowments: Jane & David Davis Endowed Fellowship in Art, Boyer & Elizabeth Bole Gonzales Fund, Jacob & Gwendolyn Lawrence Endowed Art Fund, Louis & Katherine Marsh Art Fund, Bruce C. McCready Endowed Memorial, Lloyd W. Nordstrom Art Scholarship, Kenneth L. Striker Scholarship, Olive F. Lockitch Endowed Fund, Ruth E. Penington Endowed Art Scholarship, and the UW Graduate School.

TA / RA Positions

The School offers quarterly teaching and research assistantships — independent of recruitment packages — to current students on the basis of funding availability and other factors, including student evaluations and faculty approval.

Additional information about these positions and other forms of student employment may be found on the School's Employment page.

Awards + Grants

Teaching + Graduating with Excellence Awards

These annual awards acknowledge students whose academic achievements, creative and teaching excellence, and outstanding performance in the School and at the University of Washington put them at the top of their class.

Eligible graduate students are nominated by their faculty in Spring quarter. Recipients are honored at the School’s Graduation Celebration in June.

Graduate Research + Recognition Awards

Our graduate students are involved in exciting program research and often receive recognition by off-campus organizations for achievement in their field of study. The following awards support the expenses involved for the student to either further research or to participate in recognition events:

Divisional Awards
  • Art History – Pell Research + Recognition Awards - students may apply each quarter
  • Design – Design Travel Awards - students may apply each quarter
  • Art – Gonzales Research + Recognition Awards for Painting + Drawing, 3D4M, or Photomedia - recipients are determined by program faculty in Spring quarter
Travel Awards from Graduate School / GPSS

The UW Graduate School and the GPSS Travel Grants Program also offer funding to assist students with travel to academic conferences, events, and performances. Read more here.

Pilchuck Summer Scholarship

The renowned Pilchuck Glass School partners with the School each year to offer a combined scholarship that covers the cost of a summer course at Pilchuck.

Currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate art, art history or design majors in the School are eligible to apply.

Applications are due Sunday Nov 26th 11:59pm, 2023.

Apply online:

Summer courses at Pilchuck cost between $2500-3000 each. This scholarship covers the cost of the class chosen by the winning applicant (but no more than the cost of the class).  Visit Pilchuck's 2024 COURSE CATALOG to view available courses and dates:

college of arts & sciences awards

The College of Arts and Sciences offers competitive scholarships and fellowships to graduate students. The College requests student nominations from faculty in the Arts and Humanities each January for awards that are given out the following academic year. These awards include the prestigious Alvord Fellowship, which offers a stipend of $16,000, a benefits package, a tuition waiver, and an additional $9000 from the Frank L. and Catherine D. Doleshy Endowed Fund, for a total award amount of $25,000.

Other UW Financial Resources