Fully Funded MFA Programs in Studio Art and Visual Art

Mar 30, 2021
Rutgers University fully funds their MFA in Studio Art students

Last updated March 10, 2022

As a part of our series on How to Fully Fund Your Master’s Degree, here is a list of universities that offer fully funded MFA in Studio Art and Visual Art. A master’s degree in Studio Art or Visual Art can lead to a variety of careers, including working as an independent artist, within an organization, on faculty in academia, and more.

Fully-funded M.F.A. programs can be difficult to find. Because most universities focus their funding on Ph.D. students, M.F.A. candidates can have a harder time securing scholarships and funding. However, there are a number of universities that do offer funded master’s programs. “Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary for the duration of the student’s master’s studies. Funding is typically offered in exchange for graduate teaching and research work that is complementary to your studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their master’s students, which is why I recommend researching the financial aid offerings of all the potential M.F.A. programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.

You can also find several external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, as well as dissertation research, field work, language study and summer work experience.

Would you like to receive the full list of more than 1000+ fully funded programs in 60 disciplines? Download the FREE Directory of Fully Funded Graduate Programs and Full Funding Awards!

Alfred University (Alfred, NY): Each accepted MFA candidate is given full-tuition funding and a financial stipend, either as a teaching assistant or as an intern, within the School of Art and Design program.

University of California (Berkeley, CA): 100% of enrolled MFA students receive financial support equivalent for both years of their MFA studies’ in-state tuition from Art Practice. All students also receive moderate materials grants for their studio practices. 

University of California (​Los Angeles, CA): In 2020-21, 100% of enrolled MFA students received merit-based support; the average, combined award totaled over $30,000 per student. Merit-based support is available in the form of fellowships, assistantships, and departmental awards; need-based assistance is available to those who qualify. 

University of California (Davis, CA): The Art Studio MFA is a two-year, generously funded, critically engaged graduate program. It offers substantial financial support through paid Teaching Assistant positions each quarter and through Art Studio Program Fellowships, made possible by generous private endowments.

University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT): UConn’s MFA in Art supports art making across a broad range of studio media with an internationally recognized faculty, generous financial support, and new graduate studios. Five highly qualified applicants are admitted each year and offered renewable merit-based graduate teaching or research assistantships. 

University of Georgia (Athens, GA): All full-time students of the three-year MFA program are fully funded. Applicants will be automatically considered for departmental assistantships. Funding is also available from various sources to offset the cost of materials and travel related to graduate research. 

Indiana University (Bloomington, IN): Student Academic Appointments (SAA) are a primary source of funding for many M.F.A. students, and they make graduate students an integral part of the university’s teaching and research missions. They offer approximately $15,750, paid over a 10-month period.

University of Maryland (College Park, MD): The majority of candidates in the M.F.A. programs are given the opportunity to gain teaching experience through departmental graduate assistantships which include tuition remission and a stipend and are awarded on a competitive basis. In addition, the department offers numerous fellowships and awards to incoming and continuing M.F.A. candidates.

University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA): The UMass Amherst MFA program award teaching assistantships completely defraying the cost of tuition to most of our graduate students. In addition, all graduate students receive shared studio space the first year, then single studios for the final two years of the program. 

Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan): All graduate students are fully funded through teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. Assistantships offer tuition waivers and health insurance. Whatever your form of support, the MFA program provides full-tuition waivers that cover ten credits per semester and sixty credits total over three years.

University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC): Due to the relatively small size of the M.F.A. program, the Department of Art is able to fund a substantial percentage of our graduate students. Departmental funding is available through Graduate Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships.

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL): This two-year graduate program is an intense critique-based experience that is fully funded for every student. The program’s size, averaging 10 students in residence, ensures a rigorous critical atmosphere. Financial support comes in the form of Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships with full tuition waivers, health care coverage, and yearly stipends up to $32,000. 

Ohio State University  (Columbus, OH): Graduate and professional students at Ohio State have a variety of funding options available to them, including associateships and other employment, fellowships, loans and scholarships.

University of Oregon (Eugene, OR): The Department of Art provides generous funding for MFA Candidates during their three years of study. All students in good standing are given free tuition through a combination of Graduate Employee Fellowship support and tuition remissions.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick, NJ): All accepted graduate students receive fellowships equivalent to the cost of tuition for the two years of the program. The department also offers a range of paid co-adjunct positions which students may apply for each semester.

University of South Florida (Tampa, FL): Every current graduate student in the School of Art & Art History receives a full tuition waiver plus either a scholarship OR a graduate assistantship. All applicants who are admitted to the graduate program are automatically considered for departmental assistantships and fellowships. Amounts vary from about $6,000 to $10,000 per year plus tuition waivers.

Southern Illinois University ​(Carbondale, IL): Financial assistance is available to qualified students in all fields of study in the form of Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships, Scholarships, Federal Work-Study Programs. 

Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX): SMU offers up to six full fellowships, covering full tuition and all related fees each year, supplemented by teaching assistantships. Additional funds are available for materials and travel related to students’ creative research.

Stanford University (Stanford, CA): Through a combination of fellowship funds and teaching assistantships, each Art Practice graduate student normally receives an aid package that includes tuition and stipend as well as small materials grants.

Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas): Graduate assistantships are offered each year to qualified candidates. They are given a full tuition waiver plus a stipend. Graduate assistants are assigned a studio space.

Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana): All MFA students are accepted with full scholarships comprised of a tuition waiver and an additional assistantship stipend. The tuition waiver covers the full cost of tuition for both years of the MFA program. The additional stipend is divided up into 20 bi-monthly payments each year.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN): Funding is available through graduate teaching assistantships with stipends and other graduate positions with tuition waivers are frequently available. Summer fellowship and some other scholarships are also available.

University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI): UW-Madison offers a fully funded, three-year master of fine art in the studio art program. All students entering the program are offered full tuition remission, generous monthly stipends, access to UW-Madison health benefits, and other annual funding opportunities including the option to teach undergraduate studio courses.

Would you like to receive the full list of more than 1000+ fully funded programs in 60 disciplines? Download the FREE Directory of Fully Funded Graduate Programs and Full Funding Awards!

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