Graduate Associateships


Graduate associateships, the means by which the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts funds the majority of its graduate students, provide a full fee authorization and monthly stipend in exchange for 20 hours of service per week during autumn and spring semesters. Graduate associates who hold their positions for autumn and spring are eligible for a full fee authorization in summer semester. Graduate associates are typically assigned to one of three areas: teaching in undergraduate courses; working in one of our production studios or box office; or working in the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute.

There is no separate application process for a graduate associateship. Anyone whose admissions application is complete by the department deadlines for applicants who wish to be considered for funding will be considered. Funding decisions are usually based on the number of available graduate associateships for the semester of admission, and the strength of the applicant in relation to the rest of the pool. 

Table 1: Graduate Associate Financial Aid Package

Item Ohio Resident                  Non-Ohio Resident     

Full instructional and general fees for 3 semesters*       

$17,892 $54,966

Monthly stipend ($2,364.44 per month)

$21,279.98 $21,279.98


$39,171.98 $76,245.98

Funding eligibility:

Our department guarantees financial support for a set term of years based on the degree program.

  • MA students are eligible for a maximum of 2 years
    • MA students who are later admitted the PhD program are eligible for a maximum of 5 years
  • MFA students are eligible for a maximum of 3 years
  • PhD students are eligible for a maximum of 4 years

This support includes internal and external fellowships and graduate associateships with the conditions that the student makes satisfactory and timely progress in research and program requirements, maintains a satisfactory teaching record, remains in good academic standing (GPA >3.0), and adheres to the university's graduate policies. After the maximum numbers of guaranteed funding has been reached, if needed, support may be extended as described in the Graduate Studies Handbook, subject to department needs, confirmation of the extension by the College of Arts and Sciences, and the availability of resources.

*Based on the figures for 2020-21.

NOTE: The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) fee of $13.50 per semester, the student activity fee of $37.50 per semester, the student union fee of $74.40 per semester, and the recreation and physical activity fee of $123 per semester are the responsibility of the student. They are not covered by the departmental fee authorization. These fees can be automatically deducted from the monthly stipend.

Cost of Living

Despite being the 14th largest city in the US by population, the cost of living in Columbus, OH is about 15% below the US average, increasing the competitiveness of our financial package. Consider using a cost of living calculator such as CNN Money to compare our offer with others you have received.

Additional Benefits

Health Insurance

Graduate students enrolled for 4 or more credit hours must carry adequate health insurance. The university provides Student Health Insurance at a reasonable cost for those who aren’t covered by another plan.

Graduate Associates are eligible for Student Health Insurance (SHI) or The Ohio State Faculty and Staff Health Plans. Review a comparison of premiums on the student employee benefits page. The university pays 85% of the SHI premium. Graduate Associates are also covered by Workers Compensation.


Graduate Associates are eligible for a Staff ID and may purchase “B” (staff) Parking Permits, which allow you to park in more areas than a “C” (student) permit. For more information on parking visit the CampusParc website.

Department Tickets

Theatre graduate students receive complimentary tickets to the majority of department productions.

Wexner Center Memberships

All Ohio State students receive a free membership to the Wexner Center for the Arts. Membership entitles you to discounts on performing arts and film tickets, free admission to art exhibitions, and invitations to special events at the Wexner Center. For more information visit the Wexner Arts website.

Standard Student Employee Benefits

Additional information about standard student employee benefits can be found on the Office of Human Resources website.

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