A. Coursework Requirements

A1. Overview
Degree candidates will be subject to all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as stated on the website of The University of Arizona (https://grad.arizona.edu [link is external]). It is anticipated that most students entering this degree program hold the master’s degree or its equivalent. Candidates will be required to complete 24 units of core courses (including the three-unit SLAT Proseminar) and must choose an 12 unit specialization from among four areas: 1) Instructional Dimensions of L2 Learning, 2) Cognitive Dimensions of L2 Learning, 3) Linguistic Dimensions of L2 Learning, and 4) Sociocultural Dimensions of L2 Learning. In addition, candidates must select a minor (usually consisting of 9-12 units depending on field of study) in SLAT or in some other area, and must complete a dissertation for a minimum of an additional 18 units.

Post baccalaureate course work completed prior to admission may be substituted for a portion of these requirements through consultation with the SLAT Advisor. The SLAT Director and SLAT Advisor make all decisions regarding course work.  Up to 24 post baccalaureate credits earned at other approved institutions may be counted toward the SLAT Ph.D. Up to 30 post baccalaureate credits earned at the University of Arizona may be shared between the SLAT Ph.D. and another degree program such as an MA program.  Please see the SLAT advisor for more information regarding courses shared between degree programs.

Summary of Program Requirements (beyond B.A./B.S. degrees, including transferred units):

 24 units of required core courses (including a three-unit SLAT Proseminar);
 12 units in one of 4 areas of specialization;
 9-12 units of minor;
 18 units dissertation.

Total: 63 – 66 Units

Rationale for course work: To ensure that a student is well trained in the interdisciplinary field of SLAT, it is necessary to have a course work plan that includes both core requirement courses and areas of specialization. The SLAT faculty believe that a SLAT scholar must have a solid grounding in linguistics, and sociolinguistics, as well as in the theory of second language acquisition and teaching. 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 methods, design, and statistics courses are included as a part of the core requirements as well as in the areas of specialization.

Please see  the SLAT master course list, which lists the degree requirements and courses available in each SLAT concentration. The courses webpage contains links to SLAT courses offered the current and previous semester.

By the end of the 2nd semester, students should have filed the SLAT MAP with the Graduate Advisor. The SLAT MAP lists all courses, both UA and transfer courses, that will be used to complete course requirements for the SLAT degree. The MAP must be approved by the Graduate Advisor and the Curriculum Committee Chairs for the the student’s major and minor area. The plan will meet the guidelines outlined below.

Please consult the SLAT Advisor regarding additional courses, or for questions.

A2. Core Courses
Students need to complete 24 units in approved core courses (see SLAT  Master Course List) in the following areas:

 SLAT Proseminar (to be completed during first fall semester in residence)
 Second Language Acquisition Theory
Instructional Dimensions of L2 Learning
Linguistic Dimensions of L2 Learning
Sociocultural Dimensions of L2 Learning
Cognitive Dimensions of L2 Learning
Quantitative Methods/Research Design
Qualitative Methods/Research Design

Note: Every effort will be made to adapt degree requirements to candidates’ needs. Courses listed will be periodically reviewed by the Executive Council and courses can be added or deleted at the committee’s discretion, provided there is no change in the number of overall units required for the degree. Substitution of equivalent courses can be made on an individual basis with the approval of the Director or SLAT Advisor.

A3. Courses in Program Specializations
One program specialization is required, to be selected from the four Established areas of Specialization, consisting of a minimum of 12 units. A list of specific courses that will count for each program specialization is available from the SLAT Advisor or on the SLAT Master Course list. Courses listed may be changed or augmented by action of the SLAT Executive Council.
A4. The Minor

Students may select their minor from:

  • one of the four specialty areas (Instructional Dimensions of L2 Learning, Linguistic Dimensions of L2 Learning, Sociocultural Dimensions of L2 Learning, or Cognitive Dimensions of L2 Learning) offered by the SLAT Program,
  • in L2 Pedagogy and Technology (aka SLAT Tech Minor), or
  • in any field approved by the SLAT Advisor.

A SLAT minor consists of a minimum of twelve units in one of the SLAT specialty areas (listed above)  or in L2 Technology and Pedagogy that have been approved by the SLAT Advisor and appropriate subcommittee chair.   If the the L2 Pedagogy and Technology minor is chosen, the student may choose courses from the SLAT Certificate in Technology course list, subject to approval by the appropriate advisor.   Students who wish to minor in a field outside of SLAT (e.g., French; German Studies; Russian; Language, Reading and Culture; Teaching English as a Second Language; Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English; Cognitive Science) should contact the department or program in which they wish to minor early on in their studies to ascertain department or program-specific requirements for a Ph.D. minor. Students should be aware that some departments or programs require 9-12 units for a minor, while others may require 15 units.

A5. SLAT Minor for Doctoral Students in Other Majors
SLAT offers a Doctoral Minor in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching for students enrolled in University of Arizona doctoral programs other than SLAT. The SLAT minor requires completion of 12 units of course work, including 3 units of SLAT 596Y (Proseminar), 3 units of SLAT 615 (Theories of Second Language Acquisition) and 6 other units of approved SLAT course work selected in consultation with the SLAT graduate advisor. Please consult with the SLAT advisor before assuming any proposed course work will be approved to apply to your program.
A6. Independent Studies
Special topics not regularly covered in scheduled courses can be taken on an independent studies basis for varying credits (courses numbered 699 or 799). Grades available for such courses are: S/P, C, D, E, K, W. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a faculty member willing to supervise their work. The SLAT Advisor must approve Independent Studies courses. For this purpose, please submit a completed Independent Study Form to the SLAT office in order to be registered for independent study credits.

Only under very special circumstances will independent studies be available in areas covered by regularly scheduled courses. Independent studies courses cannot be used to satisfy any of the Core requirements. (Please note that a course taken on pass/fail basis will not count for the Ph.D.).

No more than six (6) credit hours of 699 or 799 can be applied to fulfill requirements of the SLAT Ph.D.

A7. Workshops and Required Meetings
During the first 3 years in the program, attendance to several workshops or other meetings is required in in order to advance to candidacy once the comprehensive exams have been successfully completed:

1st year Colloquium requirement

All 1st-year students must register for and attend the SLAT colloquium every Friday in Fall and Spring.

1st year meeting

On a Friday in March (typically on the last Friday before Spring Break), SLAT will schedule a meeting for all 1st year students. It is led by the SLAT program director and graduate advisor. During this meeting the director and graduate advisor will offer students advice on the next step in the program, now that the qualifying exam has been completed.

Comprehensive Exam Workshop  

This 2-hour workshop, typically held  in October, is required for all students who expect to complete their comprehensive exams on or before October 1 of the following year. Topics discussed include: putting together a committee, preparing readings lists and questions, etc.

Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Format Workshop

This  1-day workshop (6-8 hours), held on Reading Day in the Fall semester,  is mandatory for all students who expect to propose in the upcoming Spring or Fall semesters.   Topics  discussed include:  the dissertationroposal, presentation, and defense, and the dissertation format.  

Publications Workshop

This 1-day workshop (6-8 hours), held on Reading Day in the Spring semester, is mandatory for all students who have passed or expect to pass their comprehensive exams and expect to present and defend their dissertation proposal in the upcoming Fall or Spring semesters.   Topics discussed include: journals, writing and submitting articles, the review process, etc.

A8. Auditing Courses
Audited classes do not receive graduate credit and, therefore, do not fulfill minimum registration requirements or count toward the Ph.D. in SLAT.
A9. En Route MA in SLAT
Although SLAT does not accept applications for a Master of Arts degree, students may earn a Master of Arts degree in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching en route to their doctoral degree. Once all course requirements have been met and the student has passed the written and oral comprehensive examinations, the student has met the standards of a Master of Arts degree in SLAT. In order to file for the degree, a student must first create and generate a Change of Program form and bring or email it to the SLAT office for processing. The student may then initiate the necessary GradPath forms and pay the required fees to obtain their Master of Arts. Note: If the student has earned another MA degree at the University of Arizona with more than 6 units of course overlap with the SLAT MA degree, a second MA degree will not be granted. Students who come to SLAT from the MA in EAL from the English Department at the University of Arizona fall into this category and cannot also earn an MA in SLAT.  If a student holds a master’s from anywhere in a closely related field, they may not earn a UA master’s. Transfer credits from a master’s earned elsewhere are not available for a UA master’s. The enroute MA is available only to those who lack a related MA
A10. Responsible Conduct of Research and Doctoral Plan of Study
By their third semester of study, students must complete the Responsible Conduct of Research and Doctoral Plan of Study (DPOS) forms required by the Graduate College. The forms are accessed via GradPath.   See https://grad.arizona.edu/gsas/gradpath/faq?audience=35 for more information about GradPath. The Responsible Conduct of Research form must be submitted before any academic forms will be available to the student.

The DPOS will list a minimum of 36 units of SLAT course work unique to the SLAT major, and a minimum of 9 units of course work unique to the minor program. The form is generated through the online GradPath system, which will route the form electronically to the SLAT program office, the SLAT Graduate Advisor, and finally to Graduate Student Academic Services. If the minor is outside of SLAT, the form will be routed to the minor department as well. Failure to submit the form during the third semester can result in being judged as not making satisfactory progress toward the degree. The DPOS must be submitted and approved before other academic forms (e.g. comprehensive exam approval forms, etc.) will be available to the student.