AssistantshipsDance at Illinois offers three types of assistantships for MFA candidates: teaching assistantships, office assistantships, and the media assistantship. The teaching and administrative assistantships are available on an annual basis. Because the department has only one media assistantship, it is typically available only once every two years.


Teaching assistantships are awarded to experienced educators. Prospective students who have had prior teaching experience may apply for a teaching assistantship by completing the appropriate section of the online graduate assistantship application. A letter of recommendation from a dance professional who has observed the applicant's teaching is required with the application.

Teaching assistantships are awarded as either 17 percent, 25 percent, or 33 percent time appointments. Responsibilities include teaching one course each semester for 17 percent time appointments, teaching two courses one semester and one the next for 25 percent time appointments, or teaching two courses each semester for 33 percent time appointments.


One administrative assistant is chosen from the entering MFA class each year. Administrative assistantships are usually 17 percent time and require seven hours per week of work in the departmental office. Administrative assistants can receive both an administrative assistantship and a teaching assistantship. Interested students may apply by completing the appropriate section of the online graduate assistantship application.


The media assistantship is a 33 percent time assistantship in the first year and a 50 percent time assistantship in the second and third years. This assistantship encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, all related to the video and media needs of Dance at Illinois and at other facilities at the university. The job has three distinct branches: direction, archiving, and lab supervision. The media assistant receives a full tuition and partial fee waiver.


The media assistant must have a high comfort level with technology. The chosen applicant must have the ability to develop and maintain close working relationships with both internal and external constituents. Knowledge of mini-DV cameras and minimal shooting skills are essential, as is a basic level of knowledge in or experience with nonlinear and audio editing programs such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, iMovie, Peak, and Pro Tools with a primary focus on Macintosh platforms. The media assistant should demonstrate computer literacy, show an orientation toward creative uses of technology, and have a compelling interest in gaining new skills upon receipt of the assistantship. Qualified students may apply by completing the appropriate section of the online graduate assistantship application.

More Funding Resources

All students awarded an assistantship must attempt to qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Graduate College maintains resources on fellowships such as the Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship and the Graduate College Fellowship for Underrepresented Students, as well as scholarships, grants, loan programs, and awards.

Information about current salaries for graduate assistants and taxation of tuition waivers is available from Academic Human Resources.