On average the Art Department awards $1.3 million annually to fund graduate student education. Funding comes in the form of teaching assistantships (TA & TA-IS), project assistantships (PA) fellowships, and scholarship funding packages. TA, PA, and fellowship awards provide full tuition remission, living stipends, and medical benefits. Scholarship awards vary in amount and are used to offset annual tuition costs. Students apply for funding each year and are awarded comprehensive funding packages based on their continued success in the program. Funding is based on sustained academic and artistic progress, and satisfactory performance toward the completion of the degree.

Departmental Funding

Interdisciplinary Artist Research Cohort Program: The UW/Art department at UW-Madison is excited to announce a new graduate funding opportunity as part of its recently implemented IARC program. The IARC is a multi-disciplinary, flexible program that supports highly evolved research in contemporary art practice. Recipients will be chosen through a rigorous process that matches previous experience with the expectations and goals of this exciting new program. Regular public presentations of the candidate’s research will be an integral component of the program Further expectations include: robust community engagement; an interdisciplinary approach to arts literacy and practice; and a commitment to a progressive and contemporary understanding of the intersection of theory and practice as well as the changing landscape of artists in society and culture.

Piloting in fall of 2019, the IARC program will support a cohort of four MFA-Art candidates. The appointments are 12-month/50% positions providing three consecutive years of tuition remission, salary stipends, and access to UW health insurance. Fellows will provide a variety of academic, technical, and administrative support to the UW-Madison Art Department throughout the regular academic year, as well as during summer terms.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to increasing the diversity of its student body; therefore, we encourage applicants from women and men of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Applicants interested in the IAR fellowship will apply within the UW/Art Department’s annual M.F.A. admissions application. Applications will be accepted beginning October 1, 2018. For more information about the UW/Art M.F.A. in studio art program and application procedure please refer to the department’s MFA application webpage.

Eligible candidates must have had experience in at least one of the following areas: university-level teaching, online and, or nontraditional course delivery, possess an active exhibition record of both national and international acclaim, community / civic volunteerism, management or leadership related to art residencies, workshops or community cooperatives, public or non-profit work in a related visual arts field, experience with art administration, humanitarian / global creative arts engagements.

Please bookmark this page and refer back to it before you apply. Application information, eligibility and requirements may be subject to change before October 1, 2018.


Teaching Assistantships: Continuing students apply for Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions in November through the Annual Funding Application. Due to the demanding responsibilities of these positions, the Department prioritizes students moving into their second and third year of the program. All continuing students are offered an interview for TA positions. Students completing their third year of the program are not eligible to teach a fourth year. Qualified incoming applicants will be considered for an interview as class sections become available. Incoming students are encouraged to apply for TA positions within the department’s admissions application. Students may hold a TA position for two years while in the program. An appointment as a TA includes remission of all tuition (excluding segregated fees or extra course fees) and health insurance coverage for the duration of the appointment. Appointments usually require teaching two studio sections or three discussion sections per semester.

Project Assistantships and Teaching Assistant (Instructional Staff): Project Assistantships (PA) and Teaching Assistant-Instructional Staff (TA-IS) positions are available within and outside of the department. These are limited-term appointments that pay a salary and provide benefits for studio, lab, or research work.

PA positions are offered by faculty members directly to qualified students. Eligible incoming and continuing students who have submitted either their Admittance Application or the Department’s Annual Funding Application will be considered, there is no separate application. PA appointments can range from one semester to the full calendar year and provide full tuition remission (excluding segregated fees and extra course fees) and health coverage for the duration of the appointment.

TA-IS applications are included in the Annual Funding Application provided to continuing students in November. Incoming students apply for TA-IS positions within the department’s Admissions Application. An appointment as a TA-IS includes remission of all tuition (excluding segregated fees or extra course fees) and health insurance coverage for the duration of the appointment.

In past years, graduate students have been successful in locating PA, TA, and TA-IS positions in other departments, primarily in positions requiring experience in art, design, or writing backgrounds.

Fellowships: Additional fellowships are awards that enable graduate students to pursue their degrees full-time. The Art Department Faculty Steering Committee nominates students for fellowships. Administered by the Graduate School, the Graduate School homepage has general fellowship information.

Non-Departmental Funding

Office of Student Financial Aid
333 E. Campus Mall #9701
Financial Aid information for graduate student grants, employment appeals, and general loans is available at Student Financial Services. Please note that student financial aid awards are not connected with the Art Department.

Work Study
Work-study is awarded through the Financial Aid Office. Work-study positions are listed in the work-study office. Many professors in the Art Department hire work study students to assist them in lab courses.