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 $22,000 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.


There are several University fellowships for which students can be nominated. The University awards Sproull Fellowships and Provost's Fellowships on a competitive basis, for up to two years, to applicants to its Graduate Programs.

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies offers small research and travel grants to graduate students working in the area of women's studies.

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.


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.

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