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Assistantships + Financial Aid


Graduate Assistantships

MFA applicants who want to be considered for an assistantship and fellowship must complete their application to the Graduate School by January 15. Exceptions are occasionally made for students applying for admission after that date or for currently enrolled students who may be awarded assistantships after the first-year review. Applications are accepted until the area quota is filled.

School of Art assistantships are ¼ time, normally requiring a 10-hour per week commitment. An assistantship is generally awarded for a full year (9 month academic year), but is evaluated every semester. Appointment to a second or third year assistantship is the norm, but not automatic and based upon success in academic and studio coursework.

Other graduate positions with tuition waivers are frequently available in the Office of Information Technology, Student Activities, Advising, Recreation, and other university services. Contact these services directly or ask the concentration area representative for more information.

GTA Benefits:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship (year one) annual stipend – $5,700 (2016-17 rate)
  • Graduate Teaching Associate (year two and three) annual stipend – $7,406 (2016-17 rate)
  • Full tuition waiver (other fees still apply)
  • Health insurance
  • See Financial Aid for the latest graduate tuition and fee information.

Other Scholarships and Funding

  1. The Buck Ewing and the Terry Burnette Scholarships are awarded to currently enrolled graduate students in the School of Art every year. Applications are submitted to the Graduate Program Director during the Spring semester. Evaluation is by the entire faculty.
  2. The School of Art has residency/internship awards, materials awards, travel abroad award, summer research assistant and other funding resources for currently enrolled graduate students. Visit the School of Art Scholarship + Awards for more information.
  3. Visit Graduate School Fellowships, Assistantships, and other Funding. Some of these awards are self apply. Most need to be supported by the School of Art Graduate Committee and Graduate Program Director. Contact the concentration area representative for more information. The deadline for students to submit fellowship applications to the SOA is February 1.
  4. Visit the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website at for information on scholarships, grants, loans, and Center of International Education for travel abroad.

General MFA Information



Graduate Handbook

Ellen Orner
Graduate Contact
Deb Shmerler
Director of Graduate Studies

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

(Revised: 10/16)


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