Distinguished Majors & Aunspaugh Fifth-Year Fellowships


Distinguished Majors


The Distinguished Major Program (DMP) in Studio Art is designed for majors who have a 3.4 GPA or better, demonstrated exceptional engagement with their studio work, and wish to undertake an extended project under the supervision of a faculty advisor while participating in a year-long seminar with similarly motivated students from across studio disciplines. The DMP is ideal for students who are interested in understanding their work in the larger context of contemporary art. 

During the third year, potential students submit proposals for an ambitious thesis project involving written research as well as the development of a significant body of art work. In the spring of the fourth year, the finished research is submitted to the department and the artwork is presented to the public as an exhibition in Ruffin Gallery.

Successful completion of the Distinguished Major Program is a very effective preparation for graduate work, and many studio majors who succeed in fulfilling the stringent demands of the program go on to distinguish themselves in outstanding graduate schools.


The 2022/2023 DMP Application can here found here



The Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellowship


Many of UVA's most dedicated art students have professional aspirations. The Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellowship assists these students in fulfilling that goal. The primary purpose of the program is to help students develop their portfolios for admission to graduate school. The fellowship enables a UVA student, who has completed an undergraduate degree in Studio Art, to spend an additional year of intensive effort in a studio area within Ruffin Hall. 

Fellows receive a stipend, research funds, and a private studio space for the year. They participate in an advanced seminar, interact with visiting artists and have a culminating exhibition of their work at year's end. Past Fellows have gone on to the very best graduate programs in studio art including Yale, U.C.L.A., Boston University, the University of Iowa, the San Francisco Art Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Tyler School of Art.


The 2022/2023 Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellowship Applications are due on May 4, 2022.