Ph.D. in SLAT

Degree candidates are subject to all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy determined by the Graduate Catalog of the University of Arizona. Nearly all incoming SLAT students enter with a completed Master’s degree.  Depending on course content and relevancy to the SLAT degree, up to 24 units of previously completed post-baccalaureate work may be transferred in to meet the credit requirements of the SLAT program. Transfer units are evaluated individually and must be approved by the SLAT Graduate Advisor and the Graduate College to count toward SLAT degree requirements.

Course Unit Requirements

In total, degree candidates complete 27 units of core courses and select an 18-unit specialization from among the four specialization options. In addition, candidates choose a minor field (consisting of 12 or more units depending on field) and must complete a minimum of 18 dissertation units.

Path to Degree

Prospective Ph.D. candidates complete a qualifying exercise within one year of entry into the program.  Before formal admittance to candidacy, all students must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of one language other than English, and must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination in both the major and minor fields of study. A final oral examination is required in defense of the dissertation. Please see the SLAT student handbook for complete details on degree requirements.

Rationale for Coursework

To ensure that a student is well trained in the interdisciplinary field of SLAT, it is necessary to have a coursework plan that includes both core requirement courses and an area of specialization. The SLAT faculty believes that a SLAT scholar must have a solid grounding in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics, as well as second language acquisition theory and teaching practice. Therefore, the core requirements include courses in each of these areas. In addition, a SLAT scholar must be well versed in research methods, research design, and approaches to analyzing and interpreting research findings. Accordingly, research-related and statistics courses are included as a part of the core requirements and in the areas of specialization.

Time to Degree

Students have completed the SLAT Ph.D. program in as few as 3.5 years.  On average, SLAT students take 5.6 years to complete the program.