Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award

Purpose: The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the US or abroad. 

Eligibility: Jack Kent Cooke Scholars possess exceptional academic records and demonstrate unmet financial need. At a minimum, each candidate for the Graduate Arts Award must have:

  • Senior standing or have graduated from an accredited four-year US college or university within the past five years.
  • A cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.20 or better on a scale of 4.0 (or the equivalent).
  • Demonstrated unmet financial need.
  • A bachelor's degree by the start of the fall semester they begin graduate school. 
  • Plans to begin their first graduate degree program in the performing arts, visual arts, or creative writing at an accredited college or university in that same fall.
  • Not have been previously nominated for the Graduate Arts Award.  
  • U.S. citizenship is not required, but candidates must have attended and be nominated by an accredited U.S. institution.

Award amount:  Awards can be as much as $50,000 annually and provide funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books.  Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors, including cost at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives. 

Number Offered:  The Foundation will select up to 20 recipients for this award.

Application Process: Applicants do not need to be nominated by Amherst in order to apply during the first of a two phase process.  Phase One requires the candidate to submit a portfolio of your work, one letter of recommendation, transcript(s), demonstrate unmet financial need, complete a variety of general information questions, and write several different paragraphs describing your portfolio, your possible graduate school plans, and your career plans.  If the Foundation invites you to compete in Phase Two, there are more questions to answer, more financial information to submit, another letter of recommendation, and a nomination letter from Amherst College.

A review panel of distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators select Scholars using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, and resilience.  Applicants must be planning to pursue a career as a practicing artist to be eligible for this award. 

Deadlines: Phase One deadline is in late November.  Candidates are notified in early January if they are forwarded to Phase Two.  Phase Two deadline is in late February.

Official website for the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award can be accessed here.

For more information:

Denise Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising
413-542-2536 Fax: 413-542-8555
The Office is located in
213 Converse Hall.

The mailing address is:
Office of Fellowships
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

Converse Hall

Office of Fellowships
213 Converse Hall
Amherst College
Amherst, MA  01002

Fax. 413-542-8555

Denise Murphy Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising

Suzanne Fogel Spencer
Fellowships Coordinator