The status of graduate students is different from that of undergraduates. Satisfying degree requirements should not be the primary aim of graduate students. Graduate education provides an opportunity to increase knowledge, to broaden understanding and to develop research capabilities. Consequently, a student's academic achievements should reflect a personal commitment to the discipline and to scholarly standards.


Admission to the Graduate College is open to qualified applicants who hold the bachelor's degree from The University of Arizona or from a college or university which grants degrees recognized by The University of Arizona. Degrees that are recognized should be based on programs of study that meet or exceed the general education requirements for comparable degree majors at The University of Arizona. A degree cannot ordinarily be recognized if it is based on any of the following types of credits:

1. Credits awarded by postsecondary institutions in the United States that lack candidate status or accreditation by a regional accreditation association.

2. Credits awarded by postsecondary institutions outside the United States that lead to degrees considered not equivalent to the U.S. bachelor's degree, or that lack recognition by the home country's Ministry of Education.

3. Credits awarded by postsecondary institutions for life experience unless validated by the institution awarding the credits through the use of standardized (such as CLEP) or comprehensive examinations.

4. Credits awarded by postsecondary institutions for courses taken at noncollegiate institutions (e.g., governmental agencies, corporations, industrial firms, etc.).

5. Credits awarded by postsecondary institutions for noncredit courses, workshops, and seminars offered by other postsecondary institutions as part of continuing education programs.

In general, degrees that are recognized should be based on a unit of credit comparable to that defined by the Arizona Board of Regents (26 May 1979) for institutions under its jurisdiction. A minimum of 45 hours of work by each student is required for each unit of credit. An hour of work is the equivalent of 50 minutes of class time (often called a "contact hour") or 60 minutes of independent study work. For lecture-discussion courses, this requirement equates to at least 15 contact hours and a minimum of 30 hours of work outside of the classroom for each unit of credit. Even though the values of 15 and 30 may vary for different modes of instruction, the minimum total of 45 hours of work for each unit of credit is a constant. Admission is granted only after approval of an applicant's previous academic record by the Dean of the Graduate College and the head of the academic unit in which the greater portion of major academic work will be completed.

Grade-Point Average

Applicants who apply for admission to the Graduate College are evaluated on the individual merits of their academic achievements and individual scholarly potential to complete graduate level course work and curriculum requirements. Ordinarily, a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 over the last 60 units of course work is required for admission to the Graduate College. Applicants should consult the academic unit to which they are applying regarding that unit's grade-point average expectations. Prospective students who do not meet this standard may enroll as non-degree students and complete 12 con- secutive units of 500-level (or higher) course work with a grade-point average of a least 3.25 in order to establish eligibility for seeking admission to the graduate degree program of their choice.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Normally applicants must submit scores on the Graduate Rec-ord Examination in order to complete the admission process. Scores on the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination are used to supplement other evidence of preparation for graduate work. Such scores are only one component of the credentials used to make admission decisions, and they are evaluated in the context of the complete record of each applicant. No formal minimum scores on standardized examinations are required for admission to the Graduate College. A number of departments, however, have specific requirements with regard to the Graduate Record Examinations, the Graduate Management Admissions Test, or other examinations. Some may require applicants to take the advanced GRE in the appropriate discipline. Academic departments and departmental headnotes in the Graduate Catalog should be consulted for further information. It is important that the examination is taken as early as possible in the academic year. Applications for the examinations, which are administered locally as well as in other centers, should be sent, together with the examination fee, to Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000.

Regular Graduate Status

Students who meet the admission requirements outlined above may be admitted to Regular Graduate Status to undertake work leading to an advanced degree.

Admission with Deficiencies

An additional number of undergraduate courses may be required when previous work has not approximated the general requirements for the corresponding bachelor's degree at The University of Arizona or the special requirements for the field in which the candidate proposes to specialize. With departmental approval, a limited number of course deficiencies may be satisfied after admission to a graduate program; however, this work will not receive graduate credit.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission indicates some reservation on the part of the Graduate College with regard to the applicant's qualifications to undertake graduate work leading to an advanced degree. This restriction does not, however, impair the student's opportunity to earn graduate credit in properly selected courses. If admitted provisionally, a student who then completes nine credit hours of graduate work with superior grades will be in good standing, subject to any additional requirements established by the major department or academic unit. Students admitted provisionally because they lack only GRE scores may request conversion to Regular Graduate Status immediately upon the receipt of the scores in the Graduate College and may have the requirement to complete nine credit hours of graduate work waived. Students on provisional status who wish to be admitted to Regular Graduate Status should obtain the "Provisional to Regular Graduate Status Request Form" from the Graduate College and follow the directions on the form. Only students in Regular Graduate Status can be awarded a degree.

Graduate Nondegree Status

Individuals holding a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent from a college or university which grants degrees recognized by The University of Arizona may attend graduate-level courses without being admitted to a graduate degree program. Such students may enroll in graduate-level course work as their qualifications and performance permit; however, no more than 12 units earned while in this status may later be applied toward an advanced degree awarded at the University.

Admission of International Students

Nonimmigrants should request graduate application forms from the Graduate Admissions Office and departmental requirements and materials from the major academic unit. All international student applications, with required credentials, must reach the Graduate Admissions Office before February 1 for summer and fall terms and August 1 for the spring term. International applicants may apply for a deferment of their application processing fee until enrollment if they are from Hungary, Liberia, Poland, Tunisia, Zimbabwe or the republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States. All other international applicants must submit a $35.00 processing fee with their application.

International Special Status

Some graduates of foreign institutions may be admitted initially as International Special Students for a period of enrollment limited to two academic terms with the understanding that they may be required to undertake some work without graduate credit in order to make up deficiencies in preparation. In any event, no commitment can be made regarding the time required to complete a course of study.

Students admitted to this status are full-time students, taking a minimum of nine units of credit per semester. Those units may be in appropriate courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level. At the conclusion of the student's first semester in residence, the Graduate College and the academic unit to which the student seeks admission will evaluate the student's progress. If the academic unit recommends a change to Regular Graduate Status, the student can receive graduate credit for all graduate eligible work taken during the first semester in residence. If Regular Graduate Status is not recommended, a final evaluation of the student's progress will be conducted following the student's second semester in residence in International Special Status. Students admitted to Regular Graduate Status can receive graduate credit only for the graduate eligible units taken during the one semester immediately preceding the award of Regular Graduate Status. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the request to change to Regular Graduate Status. Forms are available in the Graduate Degree Certification Office, Administration Building, 316.

Proficiency in English

The University requires all applicants whose native language is other than English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless they have completed at least two academic years of full-time study or received a bachelor's or higher degree at a post-secondary academic institution in which English is the spoken tongue and medium of instruction. The TOEFL must be taken no more than two years prior to the date of admission. Scores will be sent to The University of Arizona, when requested by the applicant, from TOEFL, Box 899-TR, Princeton, NJ 08540, U.S.A. The scores for this examination must be received before the student's application is complete. A minimum, composite score of 550 is required by the Graduate College. Some departments require a higher score. Students whose native language is not English and who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must also submit scores on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) that is also administered by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, NJ 08540, or the SPEAK test available at The University of Arizona.

For those prospective students who lack college-level English proficiency, the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) offers full-time English language training on campus. The full semester or summer term sessions carry no college credit, but satisfactory completion of CESL training meets the University's English proficiency requirement for admission. Further information can be requested from the Center for English as a Second Language, Room 104 CESL Building, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.

Financial Resources for International Students

Students on nonimmigrant visas must certify that they possess adequate financial resources to support themselves while in residence at The University of Arizona. If sponsorship is through an organization or government agency, the sponsor must inform the Graduate Student Admissions Office, in advance, what the terms of support will be. Financial guarantees must be dated and addressed to The University of Arizona. If the University is to bill for tuition and fees, billing must be through an embassy or an agent in the United States. An official letter regarding billing information must be sent to The University of Arizona Bursar's Office, SUPO Box 21042, Tucson, AZ 85720. In addition, students on nonimmigrant visas are required by the University to have student accident and sickness insurance coverage for each term of enrollment. The cost of this insurance is included in the amount of financial guarantee required. International students and family members on nonimmigrant visas may be required to obtain health insurance through The University of Arizona. In addition, international students may be required to have a TB screening test at the Student Health Service prior to registering for classes at the University. Information pertaining to insurance and TB screening will be forwarded to all international students upon admission to the University.

Application for Admission

Application for admission to the Graduate College must be made on forms furnished by the Graduate College. New applicants should submit one set of complete official transcripts/degree certificates of all undergraduate and graduate work with the Graduate College application. Each transcript must be in its original, sealed envelope. All applications and supporting documents should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, University of Arizona, Administration Building, Room 322, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0001. Credits which appear as transfer credits on any other transcript are not valid; applicants must submit an official transcript from the school where the credits were earned. Applications and required credentials for domestic applicants must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office before June 1 for fall term and October 1 for spring term. Applicants are urged to have all materials submitted well in advance of the above dates. Submission of the application and materials up to one year in advance is recommended. Applicants whose records are not in English are required to provide a certified translation of their records. Applicants should also contact the department of their intended major to obtain departmental application materials and requirements.

Students who have been admitted to the Graduate College but who were not enrolled during the previous regular semester must reapply for admission. (See the Graduate Catalog for exception to this policy.) All material becomes the property of the Graduate College and will not be returned.


Full descriptions of programs and requirements for each of the following degrees may be found in the Graduate Catalog. A number of departments offer work leading to more than one degree, and a great many specializations are available within the degrees listed.

Master of Accounting (M.Ac.)

Master of Agricultural Education (M.Ag.Ed.)

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Master of Home Economics Education (M.H.E.Ed.)

Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.Arch.)

Master of Music (M.M.)

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Master of Science (M.S.)

Master of Teaching (M.T.)

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Doctor of Musical Arts (A.Mus.D.)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Graduate interdisciplinary programs have emerged in response to recent changes in many domains of knowledge. They pool expertise from traditional academic fields and embody the spirit of innovation, the search for new knowledge, and the application of this knowledge into new contexts. The need for interdisciplinary approaches, in a wide spectrum of human endeavors, has been recognized by the National Science Foundation, which states that "many of the challenges and opportunities today and into the next century cross traditional disciplinary boundaries." Consistent with this philosophy, interdisciplinary programs (IDPs) offer cutting edge environments for training graduate students and, in a growing number of cases, provide introductory undergraduate courses to acquaint students with innovative opportunities in graduate education.

There are currently 19 IDPs at The University of Arizona in which more than 680 members of the faculty participate. These faculty members represent most colleges and 74 departments. Approximately 11% of graduate students are enrolled in IDPs, and in 1994 the number of advanced degrees earned through IDPs has increased to 143, accounting for 15% of advanced degrees awarded at the University.

The Office of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs is responsible for furthering the development of ongoing and new activities in these programs. Additional information concerning individual programs may be obtained through this office (621-8368; 621-8367; 1010 N. Martin Street). The Director of the IDP Office reports to the Dean of the Graduate College and the Vice President for Research. Close interactions with college deans and department heads are continuously nurtured to optimize participation of faculty in interdisciplinary programs. Graduate interdisciplinary programs are governed by interdisciplinary faculty committees appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College.

For more information on the following graduate interdisciplinary programs, consult the Departments and Courses of Instruction section of the catalog.

Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs

American Indian Studies

Applied Mathematics

Arid Land Resource Sciences

Cancer Biology

Cognitive Science

Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies



Gerontological Studies

Insect Science

Latin American Studies


Nutritional Sciences

Optical Sciences*

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Physiological Sciences


Remote Sensing

Second Language Acquisition and Teaching

*Affiliate program