Tuition scholarships are offered to most doctoral candidates. These scholarships cover the cost of coursework and research credits required for the PhD. In addition, the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies (VCS) provides an annual stipend of $23,000 to all full-time students during their first five years of study. These stipends require students to undertake teaching and research assistantships during their first four years in the program.

Internal Fellowships

Dean’s Dissertation Fellowships

The Dean's Dissertation Fellowships are awarded annually by Arts, Sciences & Engineering to support advanced graduate students as they complete their dissertation research and writing.

George Eastman Museum Fellowship

The University and the George Eastman Museum appoint a George Eastman Fellow each year. This fellowship is awarded competitively to advanced graduate students and currently carries a stipend. It is renewable for up to two years. The George Eastman Fellow pursues curatorial duties in the Motion Picture Department and the Photography Department, and sometimes assists in the public programs of the Dryden and Curtis Theatres.

Paul F. Slattery Fellowship

The Paul F. Slattery Fellowship will supplement the department’s base stipend by a small amount per year for a period of 2 years. Slattery Fellows will participate in teaching activities during the period of their fellowship according to the same policies that apply to other graduate students in their program of study. The award is made by the University dean of graduate studies based on nominations from the relevant departments.

Provost’s Fellowship

The goal of the Provost Fellowship is to broaden and increase the diversity of our graduate students in doctoral programs by attracting promising students from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in a particular discipline.

Students are nominated by departments based on their application review. Nominees must be US citizens or permanent residents. Specific criteria for determining diversity and selecting nominees will depend on each program, but may include ethnicity, race, gender, or disability.

Raymond N. Ball Dissertation-Year Fellowship

The Ball Fellowship provides a one-year dissertation fellowship award to an outstanding fifth-year graduate student in the humanities, economics, or business administration. The award is made by the University dean of graduate studies based on nominations from the relevant departments.

Samuel H. Kress Fellowship

The University also nominates students for awards and fellowships, including the Samuel H. Kress Fellowship, administered by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Sproull Fellowship

The Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fellowship is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by the University of Rochester.

Robert L. Sproull was a distinguished physicist and was the University’s seventh president. While in office, he oversaw significant growth of degree programs, faculty size, laboratories, hospital facilities, and other campus structures. The fellowship program named in his honor reflects his commitment to intellectual excellence.

Each year 10 to 12 incoming PhD students are awarded the Sproull Fellowship. These students are nominated by a committee of faculty members and the final selection is made by the University dean of graduate studies.

Susan B. Anthony Teaching Fellowship

Each year, the SBAI invites current graduate students at the University of Rochester to compete for the Susan B. Anthony Teaching Fellowship, which offers graduate students an opportunity to design and teach their own introductory (100-level, four-credit) course in GSW.

This teaching fellowship will offer an award of $7,000 for an individual graduate student. We especially encourage applications from students who have passed their qualifying exams or will shortly do so.

See the teaching fellowship page for application information and full details about the fellowship.

External Fellowships 

Hobart and William Smith College, Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice Predoctoral Fellowship

Predoctoral fellows gain experience teaching in the private liberal arts college setting while completing thesis work. The fellowship carries a stipend in exchange for teaching one course per semester related to your research and the year's theme, attending Fisher Center lectures and meetings, making a public presentation and assisting with administration of Fisher Center programming. The pre-doctoral fellow participates in the Faculty Fellows Research Group which meet twice a month to discuss research as related to the year’s theme. See the Hobart and William Smith College website for more information.

Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies Doctoral Fellowship

The Metropolitan Center supports projects that reflect advanced scholarship and offer new insights into East Asian art. Doctoral students who have completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. (except the dissertation) and are engaged in field work for the dissertation may apply for a grant as a supplement to other sources of funding. See the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies website for more information.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellowship Program

Join a community of scholars in the fields of art history, archaeology, museum education, conservation, and related sciences, as well as scholars in other disciplines, whose dynamic and interdisciplinary projects require close study of objects in The Met collection. See the Metropolitan Museum website for more information.

Research External Fellowship Opportunities

Online Resources for Graduate Fellowships/Scholarships

Research Grants

Frederick Douglass Institute Research Award

The Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) offers grants to University of Rochester faculty and graduate students to support their research in the field of Black studies.

Proposals may include expenses like travel to professional conferences (in cases where the applicant is on the program), travel for research purposes, and expenses connected with research and course development.

Susan B. Anthony Research Grant

The Susan B. Anthony Institute (SBAI) offers grants each December and April to support research in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's studies by graduate students. The Grants Committee's policy has traditionally been to award money to as many eligible applicants as possible.

Other Funding

Students are encouraged to apply for outside funding for their sixth and seventh years of study. Many sources of funding from outside the University are available, and visual and cultural studies graduate students have been successful in receiving them.

Students can sometimes receive additional funding by teaching introductory classes in art history, film studies, studio arts, and visual and cultural studies, or by teaching summer school courses or courses in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program.

There are also continuing opportunities to teach at neighboring institutions. In the past, our visual and cultural studies students have taught classes at:

  • SUNY Buffalo
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • St. John Fisher College


As of fall 2022, the University of Rochester covers health insurance fees for full-time PhD students under the University’s single-payer health insurance coverage program. For more information about the university-sponsored health insurance, please visit the University’s Health Services website.