The MA in Cultural Sustainability program has a number of scholarship opportunities available to new, incoming students in the program, based on merit and vision.  Please read the guidelines below for details about each of these opportunities.  The amount and number of new scholarships may vary each semester, depending on availability of funds.  These awards exist to encourage academic and professional potential and personal responsibility.

Application Requirements

Only first-semester students are eligible to apply. To be considered for a scholarship, students must write a 500-700 word essay about their qualifications for the scholarship for which they would like to be considered. Students can apply for up to two scholarships but must write a separate essay for each. The essay must include:

  • The specific title of the scholarship
  • Evidence supporting your qualifications
  • The relevant topical issues you are most passionate about that make you want to be known as a _______ scholar (e.g., Community Scholar, Cultural Equity Scholar, etc.).
  • Your vision for the work you hope to do after graduate school and the impact you hope to have as it relates to the nature of the scholarship.

Send scholarship applications to the Director of Admissions at  

The Scholarships

Community Scholar
This scholarship is given to graduate students who demonstrate the potential for a leadership role within their own cultural community. The field of Cultural Sustainability is strengthened by the perspectives and experiences of diverse populations. We believe that the cultural traditions of some communities are in greater peril than others of losing viability, becoming invisible or disappearing altogether. For this reason, we are especially interested in encouraging scholars from under-served and under-represented communities who intend to return to those communities and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in graduate school to strengthen and sustain treasured cultural and artistic traditions.

Artist Scholar
This scholarship is given to graduate students who are first-and- foremost artists with a passion for using their creativity to make a difference in their communities. Artists have the capacity to motivate their communities to challenge conventions, offer creative solutions and imagine different stories with different outcomes. We believe in the power of story, song, dance, weaving, carving and other art forms to quietly or radically empower communities to seek sustainable ways of being in the world. All artists are welcome to apply for this scholarship, but we are especially interested in artists who practice folk and traditional art forms learned within their own community-based settings and sustained through community participation.

Cultural Equity Scholar
This scholarship is given to graduate students who are passionate about social equity issues and want to make an impact on the most critical social and cultural issues facing their communities. We believe that applying a cultural lens to challenging social issues (i.e. immigration, education, the environment or healthcare) reinforces cultural equity. As noted Ethiopian refugee artist Tessfaye Tessema once said, "Your culture makes you think like a human being." This award is for students who are committed to finding humane, culturally-aware solutions to our greatest social challenges.

Cultural Governance Scholar
This scholarship is for graduate students who want to make an impact by working with institutions, policies, regulations, and decision-making processes that support cultural sustainability planning efforts in communities, cultural institutions, or governmental entities. As Jon Hawkes notes, "cultural vitality is as essential to a healthy and sustainable society as social equity, environmental responsibility and economic viability," Scholars who receive this award will demonstrate an interest in discovering the practical ways in which notions of culture can be applied to public policy making.

Cross Cultural Scholar
"Men build too many walls and not enough bridges" - Isaac Newton. This scholarship is for graduate students who can demonstrate experience working across cultures, whether at the local level or the global level. Preference will be given to students who speak two or more languages, but this is not required. For our cultures to survive and thrive, we must not only sustain that which defines us, we must also be willing do the same for cultures around the world. This award will be given to students who are planning to do work that builds bridges between diverse and distinct cultures.

Amount Awarded per Scholarship

$1,000 - $1,500 per year (not to exceed $4,000 total). The award amount may vary between scholarships, but the amount awarded in the first semester will remain the same for the scholar in each subsequent semester.

Duration of the Award

Scholarships begin when a student enters the program and continue for up to 4 semesters. Students in approved dual degree programs will continue to receive their scholarships for the maximum number of allowable semesters (not to exceed 8 semesters)


Recipients must remain in the MACS program and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. Failure to remain in good standing will terminate the award.

Scholarship recipients must register for at least 4.5 credits each term. Registration is verified at the end of the official Add/Drop period. Students who take an approved Leave of Absence from the college are eligible to have the scholarship reinstated upon their return, assuming they remain in good academic standing. The semester that a student is on Leave does not count toward the allowable number of semesters for the scholarship.


Applications may only be submitted after a student has been accepted into the program. Essays are due May 2nd for the Fall semester. Decisions are made by June 2nd for the Fall semester and December 1st for the Spring semester.

Emergency Fund

A student may apply for a one-time emergency fund dispersal to help defray costs associated with a semester in which the student is facing new financial hardships. Decisions are made by the Academic Director in consultation with the Director of Financial Operations. Emergency fund dispersals may range from $250 to $1000, but generally remain at the lower end of the spectrum.