Most graduate students in Cinematic Arts receive funding for the normative time for each degree, as follows:

  • PhD Students: up to five years
  • MFA Students: three years
  • MA Students: two years

These funding periods match the normal degree timelines, which are given in detail in the graduate handbook available here. Most funding occurs through TAships, which allow our students to gain hands-on training in the classroom as instructors under close supervision of departmental faculty. In this way, students acquire the core professional skills needed to pursue a further academic career. Some of our Film Studies graduate students also teach in Rhetoric for their first two years. TAships in Cinematic Arts come with a tuition waiver as well as an annual stipend. Please note that the Iowa Board of Regents mandates that all non-native speakers of English pass an oral fluency test before they are eligible to teach. Annual renewal of teaching appointments is contingent upon good academic standing, satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, and satisfactory performance in the graduate teaching appointment.

Graduate Fellowships

The university also offers various competitive graduate fellowships, both to incoming graduate students and to more advanced students. For students applying to the department for the first time, there is no need to apply for a fellowship separately. The department will nominate applicants for fellowships where appropriate. Continuing graduate students can find information on several internal fellowships with application processes and deadlines on the Graduate College's Internal Fellowship page. Please also see information on the CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowship.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supports numerous scholarships through the college's annual scholarship competition. For a list of scholarships available in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and information on applying for scholarships, visit the CLAS Scholarships page.

Further Information

For further information on graduate funding broadly, please visit Funding your UI Education in the Graduate College or contact the Director of Graduate Studies locatable in the People section of this website.