Graduate Division: Opportunities and Grants

Opportunities for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

Graduate Dean Professional Development Award

Graduate students who have been invited by recognized organizations or conferences to present their work may apply for partial travel assistance or related expenses from the Graduate Dean.
Average awards are $400–700.


There are five deadlines annually. Decisions are made within four weeks of each deadline. 

2022–23 Timeline
Deadline Grantees Notified by
July 22 August 19
October 7 November 4
December 2
January 6
February 10
March 10
April 7 May 5


Graduate students in any year of study, enrolled in any program at SAIC are eligible to receive the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award.
Students may submit more than one application each year, and more than one application per deadline.
Students working together on the same presentation or exhibition must apply as a team. The collaborative team should select one representative student to submit the proposal on behalf of the team. If the grant is awarded, the lead student will be the sole recipient of the grant payment. All students on a collaborative team must be eligible for the team to be considered.

Students are not eligible to receive the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award if any of the following conditions are true:

  • They will have graduated at the time of travel.
  • They are on a leave of absence at the time of applying or at the time of travel.
  • They are not in good academic standing.
  • They have received a Graduate Dean Professional Development Award in the current academic year.
  • They have received World Less Traveled or SAIC Travel Grants in the current academic year.

Graduate Dean Professional Development Awards do not support any of the following:

  • Travel for any purpose other than presentation or exhibition of student work.
  • Residency tuition.
  • Travel occurring before the date of the application deadline.

Evaluation Criteria

Graduate Dean Professional Development Award funds are limited, and grants are highly competitive. Each year, the Graduate Dean receives far more requests than can be honored. Often, extremely worthy applicants cannot be supported. The Graduate Dean considers the following criteria when evaluating proposals:

  • The significance of the travel or exhibition opportunity.
  • The relationship of the opportunity to the student's studies at SAIC.
  • The relationship of the opportunity to SAIC's Core Values.

Optional Faculty Endorsement

The Graduate Dean requests that faculty assist applicants in expressing the worth of the travel opportunity and the suitability of the opportunity for the student. By endorsing a proposal, a graduate coordinator, faculty advisor, or instructor certifies the importance of the opportunity at this time in the student's professional development. Students should attach a brief endorsement letter or email from an instructor to the application.

Application Form:


Other Opportunities

Clay Morrison Scholarship
The Clay Morrison Scholarship for graduate students was established in 2011 to support continuing SAIC graduate students from any department or program who are studying art created independently from the academic mainstream, including self-taught or non-mainstream art, popular culture, and/or folk art from any culture(s). The winning student receives a $1,500 scholarship toward tuition in the fall of their final year of study.

The application process for AY23 will open in early spring semester through Slideroom. Please check back for updates in January.

James Nelson Raymond Fellowship
Two $10,000 fellowships will be awarded to graduating MFA students of exceptional promise. These awards are to support the artist’s career and travel in the year following graduation. 

The application process for AY23 will open in early spring semester through Slideroom. Please check back for updates in January.

Municipal Art League
The Municipal Art League of Chicago Award for Excellence provides $4,000 to a graduating MFA student whose work is concentrated in drawing, illustration, painting or sculpture on the basis of merit.

The application process for AY23 will open in early spring semester through Slideroom. Please check back for updates in January.

AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship
As a member of the Associated Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), SAIC participates in the AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship, which provides significant professional practice opportunities to high-achieving recent graduate alumni who are underrepresented in higher education. The fellowship consists of a one-year full-time (or near full-time) teaching load at an AICAD institution, salary commensurate with starting salary for full-time faculty, mentorship, and professional development support.

Graduating MFA students and recent alumni are nominated in the fall semester by the departments and will be notified of eligibility to apply.

UofC Arts & Sciences Collaboration Grant
Funding is available to support transdisciplinary research between graduate students in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Propose a project for two or more students, at least one in the arts and one in the sciences, to work together to investigate a subject from the perspectives offered by each discipline. Selected teams will receive up to $3,000 in grant support. The 2022-23 grant is open to graduate students at The University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Applications Period: Now - October 31, 2022 @


MassMoCA Residency 
The Studios is MassMoCA's artist and writers residency program situated within the museum's factory campus surrounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Operated by MassMoCA's Assets for Artists department, the residency runs year-round and hosts up to 10 artists at a time. Artists of any nationality can apply for stays of 2-8 weeks. For more information, visit

Applications Period: November 8, 2022 - January 8, 2023 


SAIC x ACRE Alumni Scholarship
Fun ACRE has partnered with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to create a scholarship opportunity to accepted residents are are also Master's level graduates from SAIC. Eligibility for the SAIC Alumni Scholarship will be based on successful completion of an SAIC Graduate Program within 12 months of the start date of the summer residency. Both traditional and Low Residency MFA candidates are eligible. Questions can be directed to

Applications open early spring @