Awards, Grants and Fellowships   

Springborn Fellowship

Dr. Robert and Carolyn Springborn (BFA '76) have generously established a scholarship program to support students who have proven themselves to be excellent and highly motivated artists. The Springborn Fellowship program is the most prestigious undergraduate award at the SMFA. Through this program, the School will award tuition, fees and living expenses: $25,000 each to two undergraduate students moving in to their second, third or fourth year of study.

Intention to apply deadline: February 28, 2014
Application deadline: March 12, 2014

Applicants must be:
  • Enrolled in the BFA or Diploma program full-time
  • Planning to be enrolled in the fall of 2014 in their second, third or fourth year of study
To apply, send an email by February 28 to Shaun Thomas ( with your intention to apply. Use "Springborn Fellow" for the subject heading and in the body, include your name, phone number and email address.

Following a review by the Financial Aid office for eligibility, you will be invited to apply with details to follow. A three-person independent jury will meet in March to review the submissions.

President's Research Award
The President's Research Awards support extraordinary projects that might not otherwise be realized. They fund a wide range of ventures: new work, exhibitions, publications, related travel, research/materials, and much more. The sole purpose of these awards is to help SMFA students realize bold and important ideas.

Students may apply for multiple projects, although it would be rare for the committee to fund more than one project per person in a year's cycle. Collaborations are encouraged, but not required. The award does not exceed $1,000, with the average being $500.

All current students are eligible to apply. Download the 2014 President's Research Award Application.

SMFA Traveling Fellowships
Since 1899, SMFA has given Traveling Fellowship Award (formerly Traveling Scholarship) travel grants that annually total $80,000 to $100,000 to select Museum School alumni. Among the largest endowed art school grant programs in the country, the Traveling Fellowship program provides each artist with traveling funds to further develop and inform their work, in addition to the opportunity to compete for a one person presentation of their work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The program has provided critical early career support for many notable graduates of the Museum School including Nan Goldin, Mike and Doug Starn, Ellen Gallagher, Omer Fast and recent graduates such as Cliff Evans, Leslie Hall and Rachel Perry Welty.

In 1894, James William Paige left a bequest of $30,000 to the Museum School to establish a scholarship, the income of which would be used to send SMFA students to study art in Europe for a period of two years. This gift had a stipulation that an additional $10,000 had to be raised and added to the bequest. By 1899, the additional monies had been raised and the first traveling scholar, Mary Brewster Hazelton, sailed to Europe. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, award recipients typically traveled to Paris, Rome or Florence and received $800 per year for two years. These days, award recipients journey across the globe and each award is between $9,000 and $10,000.

Boit Award Competition
These awards are given to multiple students in early fall for independent work completed during the previous summer. Eligibility: Current full-time students who were also enrolled during the previous spring semester. Award winning works are included in the "Award Recipients and Graduating Students Exhibition."

Dana Pond Competition
An annual painting competition held in early spring which honors three students who have done exemplary work during the preceding school year. The three award recipients are selected by an outside jury. Eligibility: All full-time enrolled Museum School students. Award winning works are included in the "Award Recipients and Graduating Students Exhibition."

Will and Elena Barnet Painting Award
An annual prize given to a student whose paintings "embody the formal elements of painting, composition and the principles of structural design". Awarded each spring by an, outside jury. Eligibility: All full-time enrolled Museum School students. Winning works are exhibited in the "Award Recipients and Graduating Students Exhibition."

The Stella and Sumner Cooper Award

An annual prize for work in metals, glass and/or ceramics. Awarded each spring by an outside jury. Award recipient's work is then exhibited in the "Award Recipients and Graduating Students Exhibition.

The Museum School Council Sculpture Prize
For outstanding work in sculpture. Awarded by Sculpture area.

G.T. Chan Sculpture Prize
For outstanding work in sculpture. Awarded by Sculpture area.

The Timothy F. Nichols Drawing Breath Award
Presented to a student who sustains a constant, high level of effort and production both in class and outside. Awarded by Drawing area.

Skowhegan Summer Fellowship Recipient
The Ann and Graham Gund Scholarship supports recipients of the Skowhegan Summer Fellowship.

Printmaking and Papermaking Awards
For outstanding work in print and paper media. Awarded by Print + Paper area.

The Alpers Prize
Awarded to an outstanding student in metal-smithing and jewelry. Awarded by Metals area.

Allie Pratt Traveling Scholarships for Ceramics Students
For outstanding work in ceramics. Awarded by Ceramics area.

The Stella and Sumner Cooper Award
An annual prize for work in metals, glass and/or ceramics. Awarded during the Student Annual selection by the same, outside jury. Award recipient(s) exhibit in the "Student Annual Exhibition."

The Annual Eugene C. Ward Memorial Scholarship
Was established by family and friends in memory of the late Gene Ward, former dean of Admissions. A call for applications takes place each Spring semester and the scholarship is awarded by a three-person faculty jury in the form tuition abatement for the following year. Eligibility: students must be continuing their studies at the School.

Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography
The Karsh Prize is awarded annually to three talented students of photography. An outside jury awards the prizes in December/January and the  winning works are included in the "Student Annual Exhibition."

Kuniyoshi Award
Established in 2008 in honor of American artist and educator, Yasuo Kuniyoshi. The prize is awarded to advanced students who have completed at least two years of studio study, have demonstrated creative ability and have dedicated themselves to their work as artists. The award is intended to acknowledge and encourage students of ability who are in need of financial aid to continue their study. The award is in the amount of $5,000 applied to the fall semester tuition.

The Rose Hill Performance Art Award
The Rose Hill Performance Art Award was established by the performance area in 2008 in memory of Rose Hill, who completed an MFA in the SMFA/Tufts University graduate program in 2003. She died in the winter of 2008 after a long battle with cancer. Awarded by the Performance area.

Edward Cinotti Prize in Video
Presented to a student who has shown outstanding achievements within the video medium. Awarded by the Video area.

Film Annual Award
For outstanding work in film and animation. Awarded by the Film area.

Nationally Recognized Awards Frequently Received by SMFA Students:

The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting and Sculpture
SMFA has produced more Joan Mitchell MFA Grant Recipients than any other art school. Each year the Joan Mitchell Foundation Annual MFA Grant Program awards $15,000 to help MFA painters and sculptors in furthering their artistic careers. This prestigious national award has been received by 12l Museum School MFA Program students: Ahmed Abdalla, Evelina Brozgul, Heather Cox, Allan Doyle, Omer Gagnon, Ridley Howard, Amy Morel, Arlayne Peterson, Ayae Takahashi, Cullen Washington, Cobi Moules and Jamal Thorne.

Stephen D. Paine Scholarship
The Stephen D. Paine Scholarship was established in 1999 to support Massachusetts students entering their final year in studio art programs at colleges in the city of Boston.