The School of Cinema is pleased to offer a number of internal scholarship opportunities. The College of Liberal & Creative Arts also has a full list of scholarships available. For full application requirements and to apply please go to the Academic Works website. All scholarships will be disbursed in the Fall semester.
Applications for Cinema related scholarships and awards for Spring 2023 are due by April 15 at NOON unless otherwise noted.
Not offered 2023.
Awarded to a student working in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access whether in service learning, advocacy, and activism or in research and creative activity in the School of Cinema by a sophomore, junior or senior enrolled in the upcoming Fall semester. Please submit:
- A personal statement (typed, double-spaced, not to exceed two paragraphs) describing your project and explaining how your project contributes to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access.
- Unofficial transcript
- Work sample from a project and/or a completed script (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link)
To receive this scholarship, you must be a senior or graduate student enrolled full-time with at least 12 units undergraduate or 9 units graduate in the upcoming Fall semester.
Professor Jameson “Jim” Goldner died in October 2019. He was a beloved professor and teacher of directing who helped found our Cinema program. In honor of Jim Goldner, this scholarship is intended to help a junior-level or senior-level undergraduate student complete a project. To apply, submit:
- A personal statement (not to exceed two paragraphs) how your studies of cinema have influenced your filmmaking style and/or goals.
- Unofficial transcript
- Work sample from a project, up to a maximum of 10 minutes (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link)
To receive this scholarship, you must be a junior or senior undergraduate student and enrolled full-time (12 units minimum) in the upcoming Fall semester.
Karen Holmes, beloved Professor Emerita in the School of Cinema, is a renowned experimental filmmaker whose work has been exhibited and enjoyed internationally for nearly 50 years. Professor Holmes has illuminated the creative potential of cinema for generations of SF State students, spearheading the experimental curriculum for the undergraduate program. In addition, Professor Holmes coordinated the M.F.A. program during its establishing era, fostering experimental filmmaking practice at the graduate level and inspiring multiple cohorts of graduates to pursue university-level teaching of the cinema as well. Professor Holmes’s award-winning works in film and still photography utilize innovative structures and layered compositions to evoke remembrance, question perceptions of identity, and reveal multiple meanings in light and shadow. To apply, submit:
A personal statement (not to exceed 250 words). In your statement to the experimental filmmaking faculty and evaluation committee define your project goal, clarify your experiment, explain why you are pursuing this project and how it is pertinent now.
Work sample from a personal project, up to a maximum of 2-3 minutes in length (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link).
To receive this scholarship, you must be majoring in Cinema (undergraduate preference but graduate students can also apply) and enrolled in at least 2 or more Cinema units in the upcoming Fall semester.
Robin Eickman is an SF State alumni, director of the San Francisco Film and Video Commission (1989-1998), and a friend of the SF State School of Cinema. The Eickman Scholarship supports outstanding seniors and graduate students pursuing careers as professional filmmakers, as well as individuals who may be underrepresented in the film industry. This scholarship is presented to a student whose creative work shows great potential in one of the following areas:
- sound recording/mixing;
- special visual effects;
- art direction/set design; or another category to be designated by the applicant.
To apply, submit:
- A personal statement (not to exceed two paragraphs) describing how your studies of cinema have influenced your filmmaking style and/or goals.
- Unofficial transcript.
- Showreel (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link) demonstrating talent in one of the following: cinematography/lighting; sound recording/mixing; special visual effects; art direction/set design; or another category to be designated by the applicant.
To receive this scholarship, you must be a senior undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the upcoming Fall semester with at least six units.
Bill Nichols is perhaps best known for his pioneering work as founder of the contemporary study of documentary film. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the School of Cinema, having worked in the department since 1987. In honor of his outstanding contribution to the University and the field of documentary, this scholarship provides financial assistance to graduate students interested in documentary film production and studies. To apply, submit:
- A personal statement describing your documentary film project OR an abstract of your critical work on a topic related to documentary film studies. (not to exceed 300 words, plus at least 3 bibliographical sources).
- Unofficial transcript.
- For film projects submit a Vimeo or YouTube link with a sample clip of the project or, if not available, then a sample of a previous documentary that you directed.
To receive this scholarship, you must be a graduate student enrolled full-time with at least 12 units undergraduate or 9 units graduate in the upcoming Fall semester.
Roy Ramsing was the Equipment Room Manager at the San Francisco State University School of Cinema for nearly twenty years. Prior to his retirement in 2017, he mentored and shared his passion for the ever-changing world of filmmaking with thousands of students. This award recognizes a student who uses innovative cinematic techniques for creative self-expression in their work.
To apply, submit:
A personal statement (not to exceed 250 words) to explain your use of innovative cinematic techniques, how the scholarship will impact your academic path and future goals. Work sample from a personal project, up to a maximum of 2-3 minutes in length.
To receive this scholarship, you must be a graduate student working towards your M.FA. and enrolled in at least 2 or more Cinema units in the upcoming Fall semester.
The Gordon “Don” Thomas (1967 - 2003) Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a San Francisco State University junior, senior, or graduate student, currently attending SF State and majoring in Cinema or minoring in Animation. Gordon “Don” Thomas, animator and filmmaker, earned the first Master of Fine Arts in Cinema with an Animation emphasis at San Francisco State University in June 2001. He designed his own program concentrating in 2D and 3D computer animation and stop motion and was also an instructor at SF State teaching beginning and advanced animation classes. With this scholarship, Don’s family and friends seek to honor this memory and promote his values: creativity, diligence, inspiration to others and celebration of human diversity. To apply, please submit:
- A personal statement (not to exceed three pages) addressing the following points: Description of your financial need. Your creativity and diligence to the subject matter of your animation. How you inspire others around you in cinema/animation. Your commitment to your approach and how your work speaks to diversity.
- Animation sample (submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link) the represents your most accomplished work.
- Unofficial transcript.
- Proposal for an animation project that this scholarship will help fund. May include an animatic, storyboard, script, development artwork, animated sketches or sample of your most completed work.
To receive this scholarship, you must be a junior, senior, or graduate animation student, enrolled part time or more in the upcoming Fall semester.
* NOTE: Faculty nominations DUE April 12
Associate Professor of Cinema Jennifer Hammett died in August 2017 after battling severe illness for many years. Professor Hammett was a scholar of American and international film theory, history, and analysis. Her devotion to excellent teaching was legendary among students and colleagues across the University. In memory of Professor Hammett, this scholarship aids promising graduate students in the School of Cinema who have demonstrated teaching excellence as a GA or GTA. The Director of the School of Cinema, along with the M.A. and M.F.A. coordinators will select one application to receive $1000 each year. If you are interested in being considered for this award, please find a faculty member to nominate you and inform the Scholarship committee.
Open to M.F.A.s and undergraduate students with senior standing. One M.F.A. and one undergraduate recipient will each receive funding for a work-in-progress film. Films may be at any stage of production. Previous recipients of this award are not eligible to apply again.
- In Fall, M.F.A. students may only apply for support for thesis films.
- In Spring, M.F.A. students may only apply to support their first-year films.
- Undergraduate applicants must have senior standing and be enrolled in a 600-numbered class or be completing a project begun in a 600 class.
Queer Cinema Project supports creators of LGBTQ+ film through the annual Barbara Hammer Award, honoring the pioneering lesbian experimental filmmaker and SF State alum Barbara Hammer (1939-2019). Interested SF State undergraduate and graduate students should complete and submit this application by April 12. A faculty panel will select one applicant to receive a $1000 award towards completion of an LGBTQ-themed film. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. All genres of film at any stage of production will be considered. Previous recipients of this award are ineligible to apply with the same film. The winner will be announced at Film Finals.
The Jason Lloren Memorial Scholarship in Cinema supports undergraduate and graduate students, with a preference for work focusing on issues or stories critical to Filipino American or Asian American communities and/or that advances media representation for those communities. Jason Lloren (BA, Journalism 1992) worked as a journalist for nearly 30 years, most of that time with the San Francisco Examiner and then the San Francisco Chronicle. Lloren was also a lifelong pop culture fan and cinephile, and he originally intended to major in cinema before switching to journalism. To honor his life and passions, friends and family dedicate these scholarships in his name to help deserving students in the School of Cinema.
- Open to undergraduate or graduate students in the School of Cinema.
- Although open to all students in Cinema, preference will be given to students whose work focuses on issues or stories critical to Filipino American or Asian American communities and/or that advances media representation for those communities.
- Applicants must supply a work sample (not to exceed 2-3 minutes in length, submitted via a Vimeo or YouTube link).
- Applicants must supply a written statement (not to exceed 250 words) explaining how a recent film they watched has influenced their creative process and how this scholarship will impact their academic path.
Students must be currently enrolled (part-time or full-time) and taking at least
- Two units in Cinema.
- Citizenship is not a requirement.
- Financial need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream Act is not a requirement.
- GPA minimum is not a requirement.
SF State Office of Academic Honors and Fellowships
Assistance for current SF State students and recent alumni in applying to nationally competitive scholarships. Visit the website of the Fellowships office for more information.
California Pre-Doctoral Program
A pre-doctoral program designed to support economically disadvantaged undergraduate and graduate students in the CSU and to enrich the pool of potential faculty in California. Special emphasis on support for CSU students entering UC doctoral programs. View the Pre-Doctoral program website for more information.
- College of Liberal & Creative Arts
- University Alumni Association – Graduate Scholarship
- University Alumni Association – Scholar Award
- Division of Graduate Studies
- Other University Sources
- Critical Language Scholarship Program
- Panavision New Filmmaker Program
- Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
- Directors Guild Association Student Film Award
- Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communication Award
- Jacob J. Javits Fellowship
- Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award
- Carole Fielding Student Grants
- Monterey County Film Commission Film Student Scholarship