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Fellowships and Awards

The Department of Art History and Archaeology offers teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships and fellowships to support full-time Ph.D. students.

Teaching Assistantships

The majority of our financial aid awards are in the form of teaching assistantships. Doctoral teaching assistants presently teach two courses per year, or their equivalent. These full teaching assistantships also include 10 credits of tuition remission and the option of participating in the health insurance program that the university offers to full-time employees. 


For more information about the responsibilities of departmental teaching assistants, see the Graduate School website.

Graduate Assistantships

Across the campus, the university offers graduate assistantships in many different capacities. These assistantships can carry the same tuition remission and health benefits as the departmental teaching assistantships and similar stipends. University graduate assistants work 10-20 hours per week. Many of our students have received these graduate assistantships. Advertisements for these positions, many of which are announced during the spring and summer, can be found at the University of Maryland's Department of Human Resources.

Dissertation Fellowships

The Graduate School awards semester-long fellowships to provide full-time support to University of Maryland doctoral candidates who are in the latter stages of writing their dissertations. Fellowship benefits include a $15,000 stipend, a candidacy tuition award (to cover enrollment in ARTH 899, Doctoral Dissertation Research, only), a credit for mandatory fees and reimbursement for the purchase of an individual student health insurance plan for the semester. 

All those interested in applying for the aforementioned dissertation fellowship competitions must have advanced to candidacy and submitted an approved copy of his or her prospectus. Applicants are asked to submit one application for nomination and/or support consideration by the department’s graduate faculty. This procedure will allow the faculty to match applicants to the fellowship competitions appropriately and to distribute resources among graduate students as widely as possible. Once the faculty has made its selections, students and advisors will be asked to revise/edit their materials to make them specific to a particular competition.

Applications must include:

  1. A 500-word abstract of the dissertation written for a general audience. The abstract should include: a) the title; b) a description of the study; c) the significance of the study; and d) sources of information or data, if applicable;
  2. A one-page statement of work completed to date, work remaining, timeline and expected date of completion;
  3. A C.V. of no more than 2 pages.

Please electronically submit all of the documents requested to Graduate Coordinator Deborah Down (ddown@umd.edu) by no later than January 15.

Museum Fellowships

Graduate students in their final year of study are eligible to apply for a University of Maryland Museum Fellowship (UMMF), which places students under the direct supervision of a curator or other museum professional on a research project which suits their interests, skills and the host institution's projects. Recent museum fellows have worked at the National Gallery of Art, the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Museum of the Americas and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Travel and Research Support

The Department of Art History and Archaeology will provide financial assistance to graduate students presenting their research at academic and professional conferences or pursuing advanced research for their thesis or dissertation. Departmental travel funds are provided through the generosity of Helene and Michael Stein and anonymous donors. Awards are granted on a rolling basis.

The International Conference Student Support Award (ICSSA), administered by the Graduate School, helps to offset the expenses incurred by UMD graduate students who are traveling to scholarly, scientific or professional conferences to present papers, posters, or other scholarly material. Further information on eligibility and the application process for Graduate School travel grants can be found on their site. 

For more information on external travel awards, please consult the External Funding link at the bottom of the ARHU Fellowships, Grants & Awards page.

Summer Funding

In partnership with the Department of Art History and Archaeology, the Graduate School offers summer research fellowships and summer internship fellowships. The fellowships are designed to support research activities that advance a doctoral student’s progress toward degree, as well as alternative learning experiences that advance a doctoral student’s professional development. Summer research fellowships typically carry stipends of $5,000. Each department or program may submit two nominations. Programs must submit their nominations to the Graduate School. Further information on eligibility and the application process can be found on the Graduate School website.

Awards for Excellence in Research and Teaching

Rhee Fellowship

Thanks to a generous gift from the Rhee family the merit-based Rhee Fellowship provides students in the graduate program in art history and archaeology additional financial support for up to six years. The department supports an average of five Rhee fellows each academic year.

Mark Sandler Award

This departmental award is dedicated to the memory of Mark Sandler, an Assistant Professor of Japanese Art History, and recognizes a graduate student for outstanding work as a teacher.

Kathy Canavan Awards

This departmental award is dedicated to the memory of Kathy Canavan, a beloved Graduate Secretary in the Department, who was very much the kind heart and generous soul of the graduate program. This award recognizes a graduate student who brings together members of the Department much in the way that Kathy did – through building community among undergraduates and graduate students, for example, and in initiating events and opportunities outside the classroom. 

The Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Four awards are given each year, one of which is in Humanities and Fine Arts. Recipients of the Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award receive an honorarium of $1,000 and may be selected for nomination to the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award competition. Further information on eligibility and the application process can be found on the Graduate School website.

2019 Recipient in Humanities and Fine Arts

Raino Isto, Ph.D., Art History

Dissertation Title: “Monumental Endeavors: Sculpting History in Southeastern Europe, 1960-2015”

Dissertation Advisor: Distinguished University Professor Steven Mansbach

2017 Recipient in Humanities and Fine Arts

Caroline Shields, Ph.D., Art History

Dissertation Title: “Objects of Memory: Paul Gauguin and Still-Life Painting, 1880-1901”

Dissertation Advisor: Professor June Hargrove

Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards

The Graduate School invites colleges to choose graduate students for Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards, reflective of exemplary achievement as a GA. The Graduate School will make approximately 80 Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards annually and will recognize the awardees for each academic year at the Annual Fellowship and Award Celebration in May.

ARHU may nominate up to 10 graduate assistants for this award, all of whom will receive the award from the Graduate School. While the award does not carry a cash prize, it conveys the honor of being named among the top 2% of campus GAs in a given year. Award winners receive a credit for mandatory fees for the Spring 2022 semester.

To be eligible for this award, GAs must be currently enrolled master’s or doctoral students holding at least a half-time graduate assistantship (TA, RA, AA) for the full academic year.

Further information and the nomination sheet are available here. Please direct questions to Robyn Kotzker, assistant director for the Office of Funding Opportunities (rkotzker@umd.edu, 301-405- 0281).

Additional Graduate School Fellowships and Awards

The Graduate School currently offers four prestigious endowed awards: the Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement; the Dr. James W. Longest Memorial Award for Social Science Research; the Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study; and the Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship.

Nominations: Due to the Graduate School by [date], by noon. Updated award guidelines and nomination forms are available below on the Graduate School website.