Scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships

A variety of graduate scholarships and fellowships are available in both the art history and studio arts divisions. With the exception of two art history scholarships, no application is required–any student in a graduate program who meets the specific criteria will be considered for awards.

Art history

Margaret A. & Robert L. Alexander Scholarship

Scholarship for doctoral candidates in art history whose research is in the area of Western Civilization including the Ancient Near East.

Pen Parks Andrishok Scholarship (typically $1,000–$3,000)

Awarded to female graduate or undergraduate art history students in the School of Art and Art History. Preference is given to non-traditional female students.

Art History Scholarship (typically $100–$350)

This scholarship is awarded to deserving art history students.

Virgil M. Beall Fellowship

This fellowship is given to graduate students.

Charles D. Cuttler Art History European Travel Scholarship

This award is to support travel for dissertation research by ABD doctoral candidates in European art history before 1900.

Elizabeth Gilmore Holt Scholarship

These scholarships are to be awarded to women who have previously completed an MA degree in art history, with preference to a graduate from the University of Iowa, to help with the cost of their pursuit of a PhD degree in art history at the university.

Lester D. Longman Award in Art

Given to a graduate student(s) who shows the kind of scholarly discipline and intellectual insight associated with Lester D. Longman. This includes clarity and elegance of writing style, a predominate concern for aesthetic issues, a capacity for keen analysis of individual works of art, and a sense for art in relationship to the history of ideas.

Ann Lee Morgan American Art History Scholarship

Awarded to graduate students in art history to advance the study and appreciation of American art history, broadly construed to include architecture, decorative arts, and interdisciplinary endeavors. "American" is defined as being from or of the United States only.

Margarete Ellyson Rice Travel Scholarship (typically $1,000–$4,000)

Funds are used to help undergraduate or graduate art history students travel to Europe to study the Italian Renaissance where it occurred.

Apply today

William S. Saunders Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship for graduate students specializing in ancient art history and/or aspects of gay art and artists. “Ancient" is defined as the art history and archaeology of the classical Mediterranean cultures (Greek, Etruscan, Roman) or those of ancient Egypt or the Near East before A.D. 325.

Howard & Ruth Schumacher Scholarship ($1,500)

Minimum criteria are undergraduate standing, major in the School of Art and Art History, and minimum cumulative Iowa GPA of 2.75; awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional artistic or scholarly talent.

A number of 1/4 and 1/2 time art history teaching assistantships are available in the fall and spring semesters each year for teaching discussion sections attached to survey courses that satisfy undergraduate General Education Program requirements ("GE" courses).

A quarter-time teaching assistantship requires an average of ten hours of work time each week over the course of the academic year; a half-time teaching assistantship requires an average of twenty hours of work each week over the course of the academic year.

Teaching assistantships carry a stipend and a full tuition scholarship at the Graduate College graduate assistant rate. Teaching assistants are responsible for 50% of their fees. New contracts are negotiated every other year by Campaign to Organize Graduate Students (COGS). Learn more about graduate assistant employment standards.

Half-time funding packages of any combination of TAships, RAships, and/or fellowships are offered with the understanding that recipients will engage in no external employment during the semester. In the case of needed exception, a student should notify the Head of Art History in writing, and a waiver will be considered. This policy is based on the necessity of conforming to Graduate College expectations about progress to degree.

TA or RA appointment for one term is no guarantee of re-appointment for a subsequent term. Every year each applicant is considered in the context of the entire pool of applicants for that year. A student holding an assistantship must be a candidate for an advanced degree, must be making acceptable progress toward that degree, and must be registered for the following minimum and maximum course loads for fall or spring semesters:

Course loads for fall or spring semesters:
Time Minimum Maximum
½ time 4 semester hours 12 semester hours
¼ time 6 semester hours 15 semester hours

ABD (all but dissertation) students registered on continuous enrollment are exempt from the minimum course load.

The assignment and assessment of TAs are reviewed each spring semester before appointments are recommended to the director by the art history faculty.

The director, with the advice of the art history faculty, ensures that teaching assistantships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellent qualifications and that the appointments are made according to procedures which would guarantee equal opportunities to all who are qualified. TAs whose native language is not English must be certified by taking and passing the English Proficiency Examination administered by the university and by a personal interview with the art history faculty. Non-English speakers should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for information about certification and testing.

TA appointments for the fall semester are announced by April 15 while TA appointments for the spring semester are announced by Nov. 1 for the spring semester. However, a number of appointments that depend upon enrollment, budgetary, and other contingencies may not be announced until they are financially guaranteed. All definite positions are announced by letter as soon as decisions have been made. Art history graduate students enrolled in a degree program must maintain at least a 3.50 grade-point average (GPA) and have demonstrated excellence in their course of study. Students must be registered during the semester(s) of appointment. First consideration is given to students who are working on the PhD degree. Next consideration is given to exceptional MA students. A graduate student who has an incomplete grade in any of his or her courses is not considered favorably for teaching assistant appointments.

All teaching assistantship recipients are notified by email. All appointments are normally for the academic year that begins three business days before the first day of classes and terminates on the last day of final exam week, or until final grades are submitted.

  1. Each TA must attend every lecture given by the course supervisor and arrive promptly, regardless of their familiarity with the subject treated.
  2. Each TA must attend the weekly meeting designed to prepare material for discussion sections and be responsible for whatever tasks have been assigned by the course supervisor.
  3. If, for unforeseen and serious reasons, a TA must miss a discussion section, the TA must inform the course supervisor as soon as possible so that other arrangements may be made. Under no circumstances may a discussion section be canceled or a teacher substituted without the knowledge and approval of the course supervisor.
  4. TAs are responsible for the grading of examinations and papers and should do so expeditiously. In some courses, TAs may be responsible for preparation of examinations and other assignments, with the assistance of the course supervisor. Uniform grading policies and standards are to be determined by the course supervisor and must be followed by TAs to ensure fairness and consistency. All final examinations must be saved and returned to the instructor after grading. Final examinations must be saved by the course supervisor for two years after the final examination.
  5. TAs should establish and maintain office hours when they are available for student consultation. A quarter-time TA is required to have published office hours for two hours each week. A half-time TA is required to have three hours of office hours each week.
  6. Student complaints about individual TAs or any aspect of the course should be referred to the course supervisor or the head of art history.
  7. ACE evaluations should be administered in each discussion section by the TA at or near the end of the course.

  1. The course supervisor may be thought of as the “captain” in what is essentially a “team effort” to teach art history to a large number of undergraduates, most of whom have had little or no exposure to the subject. The course supervisor should be accessible to TAs and students, and should co-ordinate all activities connected with the course in a fair and expeditious manner.
  2. The course supervisor should direct the weekly preparation meetings and make clear, at the outset, any special TA responsibilities (e.g., preparing the lecture room) and/or assignments (e.g., preparing discussion section lectures, examinations) and grading policies.
  3. The course supervisor must make every effort to be consistent and fair in their treatment of TAs and students enrolled in the course. Particular attention must be given to requests for make-up exams, late papers, or other assignments. Policies should be established, with the TAs, to ensure that all of these matters are treated in a consistent manner.
  4. The course supervisor will attend at least one discussion section for each TA during the semester. Afterwards, the course supervisor should offer a frank and candid constructive evaluation of the positive and negative features of the TA’s performance, in a private meeting. The course supervisor produces a written report which is signed by the TA and returned to the course supervisor, who will submit it to the graduate program coordinator.
  5. The course supervisor will administer ACE evaluations for the lecture portion of the course and may review the ACE forms of the discussion sections with the relevant TA after the course ends.

For additional information, TAs should consult the Handbook for Teaching Assistants at the University of Iowa.

The assignment and number of research assistantships is reviewed each Spring Semester before appointments are recommended to the Director by the Art History Faculty.

Art history graduate students enrolled in a degree program must maintain at least a 3.50 grade-point average (GPA) and have demonstrated excellence in their course of study. Students must be registered during the semester(s) of appointment.

First consideration is given to students who are working on their PhD degrees; exceptional MA degree candidates are considered next.

To insure the general satisfaction of faculty and students in the appointment of qualified graduate students as research assistants the following procedures are followed:

The assignment of research assistants to any area is reviewed each spring semester before appointments are recommended to the Director by the Art History Faculty.

The director, with the advice of the art history faculty, makes certain that research assistantships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellent qualifications and that the appointments are made according to procedures that guarantee equal opportunities to all qualified applicants. Faculty members primarily responsible for the direction and duties of RAs select graduate students who are qualified for the positions.

Appointments of RAs are announced as soon as possible before the end of the spring semester. Some appointments that depend upon budgetary and other contingencies may not be announced until they are financially guaranteed. All definite positions are announced by letter as soon as decisions have been made.

Members of the art history faculty assist, advise, and oversee teaching and research assistants in the performance of their duties. The mechanics of this oversight and the criteria of performance are left to the discretion of the individual faculty member who is directly responsible for the student. Graduate student TA and RA standards of performance and retention are also governed by regulations of the University of Iowa, by the Graduate College, and by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Documentation of satisfactory performance is necessary for the re-appointment of a graduate student as a teaching assistant or a research assistant.

If a student's performance as teaching assistant or research assistant warrants dismissal from the appointment, the Graduate Assistant Dismissal Policy procedures as published in the University of Iowa Operations Manual will be followed.

Studio arts

Virgil M. Beall Fellowship

This fellowship is given to graduate students.

Leola Bergmann Fellowship

Provides a yearlong fellowship in the amount of $10,000 for a deserving graduate student in the printmaking program.

Byron and Kay Burford Painting Scholarship

This is awarded to second-year MFA students in painting who demonstrate the greatest potential for a successful career in painting or art education as evidenced by academic achievement and talent. If two students are equally qualified, the scholarship is awarded to the student with the greatest financial need.

Elizabeth Catlett Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate or graduate students in the printmaking program who are African-American or Latino.

Lee R. Chesney, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship is awarded to a deserving MFA student in the printmaking program.

Gabriella Nora Cross Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to deserving student(s) in the printmaking program; preference is given to undergraduate students.

Eve Drewelowe Scholarship

This award is given to one or more female artists in the painting and drawing program; preference is given to graduate students.

Len Everett Fund for Excellence Scholarship

Awarded to graduate students to provide funding for student financial aid and special projects.

Foil Imaging and Frogman’s Print Workshop Scholarship

This award celebrates the memory of Virginia A. Myers by awarding one undergraduate student and one graduate student funding to research foil imaging at both the Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa and Frogman’s Print Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Paula Patton Grahame Scholarship

Awarded based on ability and financial need to undergraduate or graduate students in the graphic design, photography, printmaking, and sculpture programs.

Orton & Eugenia Hamby Scholarship

Provides scholarship support for deserving students in the School of Art and Art History in the studio division.

Hu Hung-shu Memorial Scholarship

This is an annual scholarship to a deserving graduate student in the 3D design program, awarded based on financial need.

Iowa Arts Fellowship

The Iowa Arts Fellowship (IAF) is designed to help recruit the most talented artists to MFA programs at the University of Iowa. The Iowa Arts Fellowship provides MFA students with a first-year fellowship. During this protected time, students will focus on completing their scholarly activities and creative works. This is a one-year award that includes an $20,000 academic year fellowship stipend plus full tuition and 50 percent of the mandatory fees. Students will be responsible for the remainder of their mandatory and course fees. Recipients of the Iowa Arts Fellowship may not hold other paid appointments (TA, RA, instructor) during fellowship years.

L.A. "Tadd" Jensen Sculpture Study Scholarship

Awarded to students in the sculpture program who wish to study traditional sculpture techniques in a European country.

Ester G. Madison Scholarship

Awarded to students pursuing an MA or MFA in painting.

Mary Sue Miller Memorial Scholarship

Awarded based primarily on academic record and financial need. Students from Fremont County, Iowa, are given preference; incoming freshmen are eligible for the scholarship.

Virginia A. Myers Scholarship

Selections are based upon merit and/or a need basis; preference is given to graduate students in the studio division.

The Glenn C. Nelson Memorial Scholarship

This is a merit-based award given to graduate students in ceramics.

Emma McAllister Novel Scholarship

$1,500 awarded annually to a minority student in the School of Art and Art History. The award recipient is chosen on the basis of need and excellence, with no preference toward undergraduate or graduate resident or nonresident students.

Louise L. Osten Memorial Scholarship

This award is used to assist talented and dedicated undergraduate and graduate students in the jewelry and metal arts program. A minimum cumulative Iowa grade-point average (GPA) of 2.75 is required; scholarship is awarded on the basis of ability and financial need.

Margaret P. Park Scholarship

This fund is to support one or more annual scholarship(s) in the School of Art and Art History based on need and merit to deserving students from St. Louis County, Minnesota, or Rock Island County, Illinois. If no candidates from the above-mentioned locations qualify, then preference is given to a student from Iowa.

Mildred Pelzer-Lynch Graduate Fellowships

Three fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the painting and drawing program. The fellowships carry a stipend of $10,000 for the academic year.

W.T. Proudfoot Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate or graduate students; preference is given to students from Warren County, Iowa.

Eleanor Simmons Memorial Fund Scholarship

The fund is designated to support scholarships in the School of Art and Art History in the annual amount of $1,500. The recipients may be either undergraduate or graduate students.

Lucina Mendenhall Wilde Scholarship

Awarded in support of deserving undergraduate or graduate students.

Appointments of graduate assistants will be announced by April 15. It is understood that some appointments, dependent upon budgetary changes and faculty on leave, may not be announced until financially guaranteed. As soon as decisions have been made all definite positions will be notified by e-mail or letter.

Graduate assistantships are awarded to graduate students on a competitive basis. Quarter-time assistantship appointments require effort that averages 10 hours of work per week over the course of each semester. Half-time assistantships require effort that average 20 hours of work per week.

Quarter-time assistantships or greater are awarded a full tuition scholarship, which will be applied as a credit toward your tuition bill. (NOTE: this is for tuition only and not fees associated with being a registered student.) For enrollments of fewer than 9 semester hours, the tuition scholarship will be prorated accordingly. If you hold graduate assistant appointments in more than one department, your tuition bill will be credited only once.

Graduate Assistants are covered by UE Local 896 - COGS: The Graduate Employee Union at the University of Iowa. Information on COGS and a copy of the current agreement can be found on the COGS website.

Graduate assistant appointment for one term is no guarantee of re-appointment for a subsequent term. A student holding an assistantship must be available to start the appointment three working days before the start of each semester, attend the graduate assistant orientation, take the sexual harassment prevention training (SHPT), take the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) training, be a candidate for an advanced degree, be making acceptable progress toward that degree and registered full time while holding the assistantship.  During the final semester of the MFA may be only registered for:

Fall/spring
  Minimum Maximum
Quarter time 6 semester hours 15 semester hours
Half time 4 semester hours 12 semester hours

 

Studio art graduate students enrolled in a degree program who have maintained at least a 3.00 grade-point average (GPA) and have demonstrated excellence in their course of study.

For non-native English speakers: All students for whom English is not a first language and who have first-time appointments as graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are required to take a test to assess their effectiveness in speaking English before they are assigned assistantship responsibilities.

The English Speaking Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) is a test that assesses students' oral language and listening skills. To take the test, students must be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Iowa, and an academic department must be considering hiring them as teaching assistants.

Tests are administered through the English as a Second Language Department (ESL). Specific information on the tests is available online

All students to be tested must first register for the ESPA test by seeing the administrative/academic coordinator or the graduate program coordinator.

TAs are required to pass these tests with an “A” Level Certification or will not be allowed to teach and thus forfeit their TA appointment.

All graduate assistantship appointments must be posted in public places within the School of Art and Art History. All appointments are normally for the academic year which begins three days before the semester begins and terminates on the last day of final exam week.

The assignment of graduate teaching or research assistants to any area is reviewed each spring before appointments are recommended by the director and the area heads.

It is the responsibility of the director, with the advice of the area heads, to ensure that assistantships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellent qualifications and that the appointments are made according to procedures which would guarantee equal opportunities to all those qualified.

To ensure the general satisfaction of faculty and students in the appointment of qualified graduate students as teaching or research assistants the following procedures are to be followed:

A faculty member who is primarily responsible for the teaching assistant may be required to write a letter of recommendation for the student who is preferred, enumerating the reason for the selection. This letter should be presented to the Director of the School of Art and Art History no later than Feb. 1.

Procedures of selection and appointment follow the same guidelines established for academic year appointments, with the exception of the following calendar deadline, and first consideration being given to those already holding assistantships in the appropriate area.

Letters of recommendation from area heads should be in the director's office by May 1.

TAs and RAs are evaluated each semester based upon criteria related to their job performance, skills, and professional development. The evaluation form completed by the supervisor includes an overall assessment of performance. The evaluation is reviewed by the supervisor with the TA/RA upon its completion. The TA/RA must sign the evaluation form to indicate that the evaluation has been discussed and that they have received a copy of the evaluation. Signature of the TA/RA does not necessarily mean that they agree with the evaluation. TA/RAs have five (5) working days to provide a written response to their evaluations. Such responses and/or comments are attached to the evaluation.

The TA/RA has the right to grieve an evaluation only if the overall assessment is less than satisfactory and such evaluation results in an adverse action by the employer.

Documentation of satisfactory performance is necessary for the re-appointment of a graduate student as a teaching assistant/research assistant.

The evaluation questionnaire “Assessing the Classroom Environment” (ACE) will be that created by and/or accepted by the faculty of the School of Art and Art History. Each faculty member/TA is evaluated for every class each academic year. The evaluation is to be done during the last half of each semester at a time considered appropriate by the individual faculty member/TA but before the final examination/critique. Returned reports from Exam Services should be kept by the faculty/TA of the course. The School of Art and Art History does not keep copies of reports.

The Graduate College

The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students through additional methods. You can learn more about funding your education on their site: