Admissions FAQ

No. Applicants to the SLAT PhD program do not need to find or confirm a SLAT faculty advisor before they apply to the program. SLAT students complete their coursework and get to know different faculty throughout their first two years in the program, and only after that do they start looking for a faculty advisor for their comprehensive exams and dissertation work.

SLAT students work with faculty across all SLAT colleges, and build research projects that extend across traditional discipline boundaries. To see a list of SLAT alumni, their completed dissertation titles, and the faculty members who chaired their committee, please see our SLAT Student Dissertations page.

SLAT does not directly fund its students. The majority of SLAT students are funded Graduate Assistantships in Teaching (GATships), which provide payment of tuition, health insurance, and a stipend during the academic year (August - May). GATships are negotiated with the language programs on campus, and involve teaching a second or foreign language. The GATships are extremely limited and competitive. GATships are offered based on the teaching needs of the partner language departments and the teaching experience of the applicants.

The application for SLAT contains questions related to funding needs. Please answer the questions in the application to help the SLAT Admissions Committee make funding offers.

After applicants are reviewed and chosen for admission by the SLAT Admissions Committee, the SLAT Chair will work with different language programs on campus to hire new admits as GATs. Although SLAT does its best to admit students with funding, please be aware that GATships in all languages may not be available each year, and it is possible that an applicant may be admitted without a GATship. The admissions committee also will recommend outstanding applicants for fellowships and scholarships.

If you have questions related to SLAT funding, please email

All letters of recommendation need to come directly from the recommenders. Letters of recommendation should be written in English and should address the candidate’s academic background, relevant experience, and potential for success in a rigorous Ph.D. program. After you enter your recommender’s name and email address in the online application, the recommender will receive an email from the Graduate College requesting that the letter be uploaded directly to your application. 

Should you or your recommender have any difficulties with this process, please email

SLAT does not list a minimum score, although entrance to SLAT is competitive and GRE scores are used in a variety of ways to determine applicant proficiency and potential program fit.

All applicants must submit current GRE scores (taken less than five years ago). If your scores are out of date, you will need to retake the exam.

International students from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate English language proficiency to be admitted to the University of Arizona Graduate College. Language proficiency exams must have been taken within the past two years to be valid. International applicants who have completed a master’s degree at an institution in an English-speaking country do not need to retake the exam. Learn more information about English proficiency requirements.

For both exams, the Institution code for the University of Arizona is 4832. SLAT does not have a department code. Please leave the department code blank to avoid incorrectly routed scores.

Please do not mail transcripts with your application. Transcripts should be scanned and uploaded electronically into the SLAT online application.

If you are not able to upload your transcripts into the SLAT online application, please contact the SLAT office at to find out if/where your paper transcripts can be sent.

No, the SLAT Ph.D. program is not a remote or online program. Our students complete coursework during the first two years of the program, and the majority of their required courses are offered in-person only. Additionally, funding support usually requires being in-person at the University of Arizona as well.

The SLAT Admissions Committee does not review submitted applications until after the application deadline passes on December 15. The Admissions Committee aims to have the first round of decisions sent out by mid-February each year, although this is not a guaranteed timeline and is dependent on budget updates from the University. Please note that some applicants are placed on a waitlist, and the SLAT Office strives to let all waitlisted applicants know as soon as possible if their position on the list changes.

The University of Arizona is a signatory to the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution that no student can be required to accept an offer of financial support prior to April 15 of each year. This means that any applicants who are offered admission and funding support in the first round of decisions have until April 15 to let us know their decision, although we encourage letting the program know as soon as possible so that we can update our waitlists accordingly. For applicants who are on waitlists, please be aware that admissions and funding offers may come after the April 15 deadline, once the program receives decisions from first-round applicants.

You can email with any questions about the SLAT application process and SLAT admissions process.

Admission Criteria

The admission criteria established by the Executive Council of the SLAT Program include a review of the following:

  • Academic record
  • Solid focus on research questions related to L2 acquisition and/or teaching
  • Quality of master’s level research
  • Appropriateness and quality of preparation
  • Quality of performance in prior coursework
  • Honors and awards indicating exceptional ability
  • Statement of purpose: clear articulation of goals related to earning a degree/certification in SLAT, including research orientation
  • Match of SLAT resources to applicant interests
  • Second Language (L2) or Foreign Language (FL) teaching, travel, study abroad, and other relevant experiences
  • Writing sample: ability to organize and synthesize information; likelihood of success with dissertation requirement
  • Recommendations, particularly with respect to academic potential
  • Current GRE Aptitude scores and (for international applicants) current TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • L2 competence
  • Contribution to SLAT diversity and balance
  • Other potential for contributions to the program/profession

If you have any questions about the SLAT program, the online application, or admissions procedures, please contact the SLAT office at +1-520-621-7391 or by email at