CDM Assistantships, Production Grants & Stipends

A limited number of funding opportunities are available for qualified CDM graduate students. These opportunities are very competitive. Assistantships are tuition and/or monetary awards based on academic merit, experience in the field, and recommendations. An assistantship typically requires the recipient to perform some service for CDM such as tutoring, grading or lab support.

Types of Duties

Masters’ students are typically assigned tutoring, grading or lab support. Doctoral and MFA students may be involved in tutoring, technical support, lab management, research, producing videos for CDM, stage management, screenwriting conference, film festivals, animation projects or work at Cinespace Studios. Students must re-apply quarterly or yearly as specified below for each funding opportunity.

Application Review and Notification

The assistantships, production grants and stipends are extremely competitive. The review committees reject many students who have high (or even perfect) grade point averages simply due to high volume and quality. Therefore, the selection process tends to focus on the student's technical expertise and/or potential. Weight is given to excellent letters of recommendation that explicitly discuss the student's technical expertise and/or potential.

Available Assistantships

Please read carefully each assistantship description to determine the qualifying criterial for each assistantship prior to submitting your application. Some assistantships require additional application materials.


CDM Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of funding opportunities are available for qualified CDM graduate students, MFA and PhD students. These opportunities are very competitive. Assistantships are tuition and/or monetary awards based on academic merit, experience in the field, and recommendations.

Types of Duties

Masters’ students are typically assigned tutoring, grading or lab support. Doctoral students may be involved in tutoring, technical support, lab management, or research. Students must re-apply yearly as specified below.

Application Review and Notification

The graduate assistantships are extremely competitive. The review committee rejects many students who have high (or even perfect) grade point averages simply due to high volume and quality. Therefore, the selection process tends to focus on the student's technical expertise and/or potential. Weight is given to excellent letters of recommendation that explicitly discuss the student's technical expertise and/or potential.


Graduate Assistantship Application Process

Intended for any degree-seeking (PhD, MS, MA and MFA) graduate student in CDM. A graduate assistantship may include tuition awards for one or more courses per quarter and a small stipend (not sufficient to satisfy the financial requirement for a student visa). Full graduate assistant awards require that the student works 20 hours per week and include two course tuition waivers. Partial awards require that the student works 10 hours per week and include one course tuition waiver.

You may apply only if you are a degree-seeking student. Your status is considered "degree-seeking" if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have been admitted as a PhD student at CDM.
  • You are pursuing an MS, MA or MFA and you have completed all Introductory/Foundation Courses in your declared program.
  • Must be currently enrolled.

Newly admitted students should contact an advisor in the CDM Academic Success Center to discuss the Introductory/Foundation Course requirements for their program of study, if applicable, prior to submitting an application for a graduate assistantship.

How To Apply

To be considered for an assistantship the following must be submitted.

  • Online application
  • Resume
  • All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the time the application closes 11:59 pm on the due date for each application period. A minimum of two faculty recommendations must be submitted by the deadline.

Applications and additional supporting materials must be submitted online by clicking on the link below.

NOTE: Once you submit your application you may not add or change your submission.

Part 1: Application Period and Deadlines

Students awarded a graduate assistantship will receive funds either for academic year or quarterly during the application periods specified below.

Note: Submit your application as early as possible to allow enough time for faculty recommendations to be submitted by the deadline as noted below.

There are two application periods annually
  • April 1st – April 30th by 11:59 pm
    • This application period is for consideration for positions for the full academic year beginning the Autumn quarter.
      • Notifications regarding your application will be sent in early July.
  • September 15th – October 15th by 11:59 pm
    • This application period is for consideration for positions for the Winter and Spring quarters.
      • Notifications for this application period will be are made within a month prior to the start of the quarter.
  • Graduate assistantships are awarded either quarterly with a possibility of renewal for the Winter/Spring quarters or per academic year depending on your performance and academic degree progression but are not guaranteed.
  • All students must re-apply annually for consideration for the new academic year during the application period beginning April 1st.

NOTE: Once you submit your application you may not add or change your submission.

Part 2: Recommendations

All applicants must submit on their application between two to five faculty recommenders, preferably from CDM faculty. CDM faculty MUST submit their recommendations online. Students must submit requests for recommendations on their application and should give the faculty member appropriate lead-time to submit the recommendation before the deadline.

  • Prior to submitting your application, students are urged to inform faculty that they are requesting that they provide a recommendation to support their application.
    • One you submit your application you may not go back and add additional recommenders.
  • You may check the status of your faculty recommendations by checking your application on MyCDM.
    • A minimum of two faculty recommendations must be submitted by the deadline for each application period.

Part 3: Interview

After you have submitted your application, you may be contacted and invited for a short interview. The goal of this interview will be to assess your technical expertise and communication skills. The interview process is typically utilized when selecting students for assistantship positions.

For more information about graduate assistantships, contact CDM-GAAdmins@depaul.edu.
Note: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

If you are having technical issues regarding your application, contact development@cdm.depaul.edu
NOTE: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

MFA Assistantship Application Process for MFA students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Only

A limited number of funding opportunities are available for qualified CDM MFA students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). These opportunities are very competitive. Assistantships are tuition and/or monetary awards based on academic merit, experience in the field, and recommendations.

Intended for any CDM degree-seeking MFA students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). An MFA assistantship may include tuition awards for one or more courses per quarter and a small stipend (not sufficient to satisfy the financial requirement for a student visa). Most graduate assistant awards in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) include one course tuition waiver and require that the student works 10 hours per week. Most assistantships are quarterly and may be renewed.

You may apply only if you are a degree-seeking student and meet the following criteria:

  • You are an MFA student at CDM and have completed 24 credit hours toward your MFA by the first day of the quarter you are to begin your assistantship. Credit hours earned as an MS student apply.
  • Your cumulative GPA is 3.5 or higher.
  • You have a faculty sponsor.
  • Must be currently enrolled.

Students awarded an MFA assistantship will receive funds quarterly during the application periods specified below.

Note: Most assistantships are quarterly and may be renewable but not guaranteed. Therefore, students must re-apply each quarter.

Application Period
  • Fall: Apr. 15th – May 15th
  • Winter: Sept. 15th – Oct. 15th
  • Spring: Jan. 1st – Feb. 2nd

Log into MyCDM to submit your application.

After submission of the application, students may be contacted and invited to interview with a faculty committee to discuss the request. The interview may be necessary to assess your technical expertise and communication skills.

Note: Notifications for Fall assistantships are made after July 1st.

Note: Notifications for Winter and Spring assistantships are made within a month prior to the start of the quarter.

For more information please contact MFAAdmins@cdm.depaul.edu.

If you are having technical issues regarding your application, contact development@cdm.depaul.edu
NOTE: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

MFA Production Grant for MFA students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Only

MFA Production Grants are intended for students pursuing an MFA in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) at CDM. These grants are used to offset costs related to completing student thesis films. The grants are restricted to projects that have already begun or have finished production, and are to be used primarily for post, sound mix, score and music, color correction, or festival entry fees.

Types of Duties

MFA students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) may be involved in producing videos for CDM, stage management, screenwriting conference, film festivals, animation projects or work at Cinespace Studios. Students must re-apply quarterly or yearly as specified below for each funding opportunity.

Application Review and Notification

The assistantships, production grants and stipends are extremely competitive. The review committees reject many students who have high (or even perfect) grade point averages simply due to high volume and quality. Therefore, the selection process tends to focus on the student's technical expertise and/or potential. Weight is given to excellent letters of recommendation that explicitly discuss the student's technical expertise and/or potential.

MFA Production Grant Application Process

Only degree-seeking students who meet the following criteria may apply:

  • You are an MFA student at CDM in the Thesis Phase of the program.
  • Have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Must be currently enrolled.
  • In post-production phase of their thesis.

Application Materials

  1. A short narrative describing the status of the project including:
    • Your vision and inspiration for the project and synopsis of the film.
    • Cast and crew list.
    • Work completed to date.
    • Work still to be completed.
    • A specific dollar amount requested and how the grant money will be utilized.
  2. A detailed budget of the film. Include a budget top sheet and budget narrative.
    • The budget narrative should specify in detail the need for each line item and justification of cost.
  3. An online link (such as Vimeo) to select footage from the film. This can be raw footage, a rough cut, a trailer, or a finished film.

Production grant applications are reviewed twice a year. To be considered for a production grant, the application materials must be submitted by the dates specified below.

Application Period
  • Fall: Sept. 15th – Oct. 15th
  • Winter & Spring: Jan. 1st – Feb. 2nd

Log into MyCDM to submit your application.

After submission of the application, students may be contacted and invited to interview with a faculty committee to discuss the request. The interview may be necessary to clarify issues regarding the application.

The MFA production grants are extremely competitive. The review committee rejects many excellent student proposals due to the high volume and quality. The selection process includes assessing a student’s vision, creativity, ingenuity, technical and narrative execution, and overall promise of the project as a representation of our program. The decisions are based on the merits of each application and the quality of the filmmaking. Prior to the start of each quarter, students will be notified via email of the result of their grant application.

For more information please contact MFAAdmins@cdm.depaul.edu.

If you are having technical issues regarding your application, contact development@cdm.depaul.edu
NOTE: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

Undergraduate Production Grants for undergraduate students in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Only

Undergraduate Production Grants are for students in any undergraduate cinema or animation production degree program at CDM. These grants are used to offset costs associated with producing ambitious short films outside of coursework. Faculty and staff on the grant award committee will work with grant recipients over the course of the year.

Types of Duties

Recipients of Undergraduate Production Grants must meet regularly with committee members and meet production milestones throughout the process. Students must reapply yearly as specified below for each funding opportunity.

Application Review and Notification

The Undergraduate Production Grant is very competitive. The award committee is seeking projects that demonstrate a detailed level of preparation, a distinctive creative voice, and a clear path to project completion. Student recipients will be expected to meet throughout the production with committee members to improve initial scripts, review progress, and screen cuts. Continued disbursement of funds will be dependent upon meeting those deadlines.

Undergraduate Production Grant Application Process

Applicants for the Undergraduate Production Grant must meet the following criteria:

  • Current enrollment in any undergraduate cinema or animation production degree program at CDM.
  • Principle producer or director of the proposed project.
  • Possess all necessary intellectual property rights to story material.
  • Undertaking the project outside of coursework requirements.
  • Major crew positions filled by current DePaul students, per SCA Student Production Handbook.
Application Materials, to be submitted in a combined pdf document
  • Completed Undergraduate Production Grant Online Application (not open yet).
    • Application materials must be submitted in a combined pdf document in your application.
  • Completed script of 10 pages or less, or other primary shooting document for un-scripted projects.
  • Detailed budget of the film including specific estimated costs.
  • Principle crew list identifying Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Sound Mixer.
  • Full schedule including pre-production, production, and post-production phases.
  • Storyboards.

Undergraduate Production Grant applications are reviewed once a year. To be considered, application materials must be submitted by the dates specified below:

Application Period

October 22, 2018 — November 11, 2018.

Log into MyCDM to submit your application.

After submission of the application, select projects will be invited to pitch before the awards committee. Not all applicants will be invited to pitch. Award recipients will be determined after the pitch date and will be notified via email. For funds to be disbursed, students will be required to first meet with the committee chair and Manager of Production Operations.

For more information please contact ugradprodapp@depaul.edu .
NOTE: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

If you are having technical issues regarding your application, contact development@cdm.depaul.edu
NOTE: You will generally receive an answer within two (2) business days during regular business hours.

PhD Stipend Application Process

Intended for full-time students pursuing a PhD at CDM. All PhD stipends include tuition awards for two courses per quarter plus a living stipend (sufficient to satisfy the financial requirement needed to obtain a student visa). This award requires that the student works 20 hours per week (typically, tutoring or lab support). PhD stipends are primarily intended for new PhD students starting in the fall quarter, and the award decisions are made at the same time that fall quarter admissions decisions are made. However, current PhD students without funding may also apply.

If you are applying to the PhD program, you should submit a separate application form requesting financial aid. The stipend application form must be submitted by the January deadline for fall admission. Notice that only applicants for fall admission will be considered for financial aid.

Current PhD students without a PhD stipend can apply for financial aid by submitting the stipend application form before the January deadline for fall quarter admission. In addition to the stipend application form, the continuing PhD students should also submit:

  • A resume summarizing the research activities and experience to date.
  • 3 recommendation letters, including one from the PhD thesis advisor.
  • A personal statement describing accomplishments during the years the student has been in the program and the student's research plans for the following years.
  • And a list of publications and conference presentations.

Students awarded a PhD stipend will receive funds for a maximum period of five years, including periods funded by other grants.

Qualified PhD students in the Computing and Information Sciences program may be considered for GAANN fellowships.