Doctoral students in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies are awarded a six-year fellowship that includes a stipend and coverage of full tuition and health insurance. Additional fellowships and awards are available to support language study, conference attendance, and research travel.

Swift Hall Courtyard - Traci Verleyen

The First 6 Years

For PhD students starting in the Cinema and Media Studies program in Autumn 2019, the stipend and teaching remuneration was $27,000 over nine months. Yearly renewal of this award is contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Please see the Humanities Division website for more information on funding packages.

Additional summer funds of $4,000 are available up to five times prior to the sixth year in the program.

The funding package (called the Graduate Aid Initiative, or GAI) requires all students to complete  teaching requirements as part of their fellowship. Typically, students focus on coursework and language requirements during the first two years and complete the teaching requirements in years three through six. Please see the teaching section of this site for more information about the GAI teaching requirements.


Pedagogical training is a vital part of the education doctoral students receive at UChicago; accordingly, the funding package includes required teaching components paired with faculty mentorship. Students will typically serve as course assistants for three faculty-taught courses with the opportunity subsequently to teach two courses on their own as the primary instructor.

Dissertation Completion

After the six-year fellowship, students who have reached candidacy and are in good standing receive health insurance coverage through year 8 and are eligible to apply for a range of internal and external research and travel grants, and Dissertation Completion Fellowships which are awarded competitively by the Humanities Division.

Fellowships and Grants

CMS strongly supports students applying for additional external and internal fellowships and grants. In recent years our students have received support from the following sources:

  • Mellon Humanities Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Franke Institute for the Humanities Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) Toyota dissertation Fellowship
  • Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship
  • Nicholson Center for British Studies Graduate Research Grants
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS)
  • Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship
  • German American Academic Exchange Fellowship (DAAD)
  • Humanities Division Research Grants

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the fellowship support resources available through UChicagoGrad - in addition to helping with research statements and CVs, UChicagoGRAD manages many external fellowship programs, including the Fulbright programs, FLAS, and DAAD grants. They maintain an extensive fellowships database, and are available for individual meetings with students. 

The Division of the Humanities administers a number internal fellowships. Many of these internal fellowship applications must be formally nominated by the student’s department, so interested students must also be aware of the CMS-specific deadlines and procedures. Fellowship announcements are distributed via the CMS graduate student list-serv (cms-phd) and posted to the CMS student wiki.