Fellowships & Assistantships

Incoming UNT Graduate Student Scholarships

New M.F.A. and Ph.D. students may be eligible to receive $1,000 Academic Achievement Scholarships for their first year of study. This award qualifies a student for in-state tuition rates and is renewable for a second year if the student makes satisfactory progress in his/her program during the first year. Contact the Graduate school for further details. 

The College of Visual Arts and Design offers 13 tuition-waiver fellowships for students enrolled in terminal degree programs (Ph.D. and M.F.A.). These fellowships are supplemented by teaching assistantships or teaching fellowships. Consult the art education/art history, design, or studio art department office for more information about these or other awards. 

Fellowships & Assistantships

The College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) has approximately 100 teaching fellowships and assistantships available each long semester to graduate students who are pursuing a degree in 1 of our programs and who are interested in teaching or work experience.

Application Procedures

Currently enrolled graduate students or students who are newly accepted into the graduate program with no deficiencies or leveling are eligible to apply. To apply for a fellowship, please complete the application and return it to the CVAD Dean's Office (Art Building, Room 107) or email it to Gayle Cox. Those currently holding a fellowship must reapply each semester. Completion of an application does not guarantee an appointment.

The deadline for all students (new and continuing) to apply for a fellowship is February 1st for a fall or summer appointment and October 1st for a spring appointment. No applications will be accepted after the deadlines. CVAD reserves the right to extend the deadline should there be significant need.

Types of Appointments

Teaching Assistantships - There are 2 types of teaching assistants. One type assists faculty with large lecture classes. For every 100 students enrolled in a class, the instructor is allowed one assistant. Most large classes are in the art history program, so typically, these positions go to art history graduate students.

The other type of teaching assistants teaches basic design or drawing lab courses. These are usually students pursuing an M.F.A. in a studio area. Only students who have taken Art 5700, Seminar in University Art Teaching, are eligible for appointment to 1 of these types of positions. ART 5700 counts for 3 credit hours towards the student's graduate degree, and it is taken either prior to the first semester of the assistantship. It is also only taught in fall semesters. During the spring, teaching assistants who teach design or drawing attend weekly non-credit meetings that last an hour. These assistants teach the labs for the basic classes (5 hours per week) and attend, along with their students, weekly 1-hour lectures given by a faculty member.

Teaching Fellowships - Graduate students who have gained experience as TAs may be awarded a teaching fellowship, in which they either teach a foundation level class or a more advanced course independently. Fellows teaching some classes are required to attend the weekly non-credit meetings along with the teaching assistants in the spring, and they may be expected to attend portions of the seminar for their area (see above information on teaching assistantships). Teaching fellowships are granted based upon the needs of CVAD.

Area Assistantships - Area assistants do not assist in large classes or teach. Instead, they work in a specific area assisting students and faculty. Area assistantships are awarded in almost all major areas as well as in the shop, art gallery, and slide library. Specific duties of area assistants vary accordingly.

Levels of Appointments

Incoming UNT Graduate Student Scholarship: $1,000 per year and qualification for in-state tuition

Quarter-time: This level of appointment consists of working approximately 12 hours a week, usually working for 1 faculty member, assisting one area, or teaching one class. The stipend for this appointment is approximately $2800 a semester, paid in monthly increments.

Half-time: This level of appointment consists of working 24 hours a week (20 for international students due to visa restrictions) and it usually consists of working for 2 faculty members, assisting two areas, or teaching 2 classes. The stipend for this appointment is approximately $5500 a semester, paid in monthly increments, and is slightly higher for doctoral students. Students with half-time appointments also receive a reduced rate on state health benefits and waivers of out-of-state tuition.

All qualified incoming graduate students receive an Incoming UNT Graduate Student Scholarship making them eligible for in-state tuition. 23 Graduate Assistantship Tuition Scholarships (GATS) Awards are accorded annually in the College of Visual Arts and Design. Approximately 100 teaching fellowships and assistantships are available each semester to graduate students who are pursuing a degree in 1 of our programs and who are interested in teaching or work experience. Fellowships and assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Semester Credit Hour Requirement

To hold any teaching fellowship or assistantship appointment during the fall or spring semester, a student must be enrolled in 9 credit hours of coursework during the semester of the appointment.

Upon written recommendation of the Dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design and approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, the minimum credit hour requirement may be reduced to 3 credit hours for the long term for students who have filed an approved degree plan, have completed all course work, and are either ready to take the qualifying exam and/or are registered for thesis, problem-in-lieu-of thesis, or dissertation.

TA/TF/AA Selection Criteria

The TA/TF/AA Assigning Committee fairly and equitably awards fellowships based upon a wide range of criteria. The following is a summary of the different factors that are considered when awarding students fellowships:

  • Grade point average - For current graduate students, their current UNT GPA is considered. For new incoming graduate students, their undergraduate final GPA is considered.
  • Faculty recommendations and rankings - Faculty have the right to choose the students that they wish to have assist them with their classes or areas. They may also choose to rank all the applicants in their areas based upon prior experience with the students.
  • Student opinion polls - These are considered for those continuing applicants who have previously taught a course or lab section.
  • Applicant's major - Preference for all appointments is given to students whose major is congruent to the appointments that are requested. For example, it is preferable that art history majors be assigned to assist in large art history courses.
  • Prior semesters of support - The number of semesters a student is eligible to hold an assistantship or fellowship depends on the degree that the student is pursuing. Ph.D. and MFA students, who are seeking a 60+ credit hour degree, may apply for a total of 6 semesters of support. M.A. students who are seeking degrees less than 60 credit hours may apply for up to 4 semesters of support. Additional semesters of support may be granted based only upon the needs of CVAD.
  • Demonstrated financial need - Priority for half-time positions is given to those few students who have a demonstrated financial need for the out-of-state tuition waiver.
  • Undergraduate deficiencies/leveling work - No student will be awarded an assistantship or fellowship if there are deficiencies in his/her undergraduate background that he/she has been asked to make up before pursuing graduate coursework. A student may apply for an assistantship or fellowship after such deficiencies have been completed.
  • ART 5700 - No student will be granted an appointment as a TF or a TA for a lab section if the student has not yet taken ART 5700, Seminar in University Art Teaching.
  • English language proficiency - International students whose first language is NOT English must have taken the English language proficiency test that is provided by the UNT Intensive English Language Institute before an assistantship or fellowship will be awarded to them.
  • CVAD need - All assistantships and fellowships are awarded based upon the needs of the College of Visual Arts and Design. The number of available assistantships and fellowships each semester depends upon the course offerings and enrollment.