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Teaching AssistantshipsThe department offers teaching assistantships for students to lead discussion sections of large survey classes, and full-charge teaching assistantships for students who teach their own classes. These assistantships carry a recommendation for tuition remission and health insurance as well as a stipend.

Visual Resource Library Assistantships

These assistants work with the VRL curator for 20 hours per week. They carry a recommendation for tuition remission and health insurance as well as a stipend.

Research Assistantships

These financial awards are made possible by generous gifts to the Department of Art from private donors. Research assistants work with faculty on their scholarly projects or on course development. The typical award requires 15 hours a week of service. There is a stipend and health insurance included in the award.

Non-Service Awards

These financial awards are made possible by generous gifts to the Department of Art from private donors. They vary in amount and are usually reserved for advanced students, often in the semesters they are preparing for PhD examinations or beginning a doctoral dissertation.

Travel Awards

These financial awards are made possible by generous gifts to the Department of Art from private donors. Funds are used to support travel necessary for theses and dissertations, travel to collections and museums, as well as travel to present papers at professional conferences. Awards are based on applications made to the department’s graduate committee.

Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance offered by the Graduate School must complete the application process by January 1. Further information on each of these awards can be found on the Graduate School website.

  • Thomas S. and Caroline H. Royster, Jr. Fellowships
    Note: Eligibility for this award is limited to student applying to the PhD program and candidates who indicate they intend to continue in the doctoral program after receiving the MA degree.
  • Scholars for Tomorrow
  • University Fellows
  • Weiss Urban Livability Fellowships
  • University Merit Assistantships
  • North Carolina Minority Presence Grant
  • North Carolina Native American Incentive Grant
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowship Opportunities

For students within degree programs, the Graduate School also offers dissertation year support. Further information is available on the

Graduate School website

  • Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowship
  • On-Campus Dissertation Fellowship
  • Lurcy Fellowship

Established with an initial gift by Maie Foushee in honor of her late husband John McIver Foushee, this fellowship supports student travel to museums.

Established in 1999, the Vivian and John Dixon Award for Graduate Study in Art and Religion provides an annual grant to a graduate student in art history or religion who is interested in studying the relationship between art and religion. The purpose of the award is to encourage the study of the interplay between art and religion, the implications of each for the understanding of the other, and the ways in which the study of one discipline illuminates the study of the other.

Students who receive this award are selected by faculty from both the Department of Art and the Department of Religious Studies. Preference is given to PhD-level students. Recipients of this award must be willing to undertake mastery of a basic corpus of works by major authors in religion and art history as a condition of the grant. Arrangements for this course of study are implemented on an individual basis.

This award is open to both incoming and current students. Interested and qualified students should submit the following materials with their applications:

  • a letter explaining their interest in the fields of art and religion
  • transcripts of all graduate work
  • a writing sample (such as a paper from a recent course relating to the student’s interest in art and religion)
  • students already enrolled in the program should submit a letter of recommendation from a UNC faculty member

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Established by a legacy from Emily L. Pollard, this fellowship provides funding to aid and support student research in the visual arts.
Joseph C. Sloane was Director of the Ackland Art Museum from 1958-1978 and Chair of the Department of Art from 1958-1974. He helped build both the department and the museum to national prominence. The Joseph C. Sloane Travel Fund was established in 1998 by former art history graduate students and friends of Joseph Sloane who were inspired by his enthusiasm for art and wanted to ‘pass the torch’ of his legacy. The fund provides grants to graduate students who need to conduct research in museum collections.

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Friends, colleagues, and former students of Dr. Clemens Sommer, Professor of Art History, established this award as a memorial to him. This award provides travel and non-service grants for graduate student research. The award is typically given to students who are working on their PhD dissertations.

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