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Anthropology & Linguistics (PHD) 
Program Description

Applicants to The University of Arizona’s Ph.D. program in Anthropology and Linguistics (ANLI) should have significant background in both linguistics and anthropology. The ANLI program makes it possible for students to pursue the study of language in its social context and linguistic theory, drawing on the resources of both the Department of Linguistics and the Linguistic Anthropology program within the School of Anthropology, without having to go through two separate Ph.D. programs. Potential applicants should clearly address in their statement of intent how their past experiences and future research interests fit with the current strengths of both departments.

Both departments have strong national reputations for their contributions to the study of language, and each department has specialized in mutually compatible ways in the kinds of linguistic theory and analysis it offers students. The Department of Linguistics focuses on both formal and experimental models of language structure, including the study of Southwestern Native American languages and cultures, and historical linguistics. Linguistic Anthropology, as one of the four sub-disciplines within the field of anthropology, has concentrated on developing the study of language in its social context, particularly in sociolinguistics, including strong links with Cultural Anthropology. Scholars from both departments have also carried out research and fieldwork on numerous languages.

The joint degree in Anthropology and Linguistics is designed for students with interests in both departments who would emerge from the program as job candidates for both linguistics and anthropology departments. Both the School of Anthropology and Department of Linguistics offer teaching assistantships and research support for students in the joint Ph.D. program.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Linguistics -

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona offers undergraduate and graduate programs in linguistics and human language technology. Our faculty has research specializations in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, represented by diverse interests in a variety of languages. We also offer unique programs in Native American linguistics. The department trains students for careers in teaching, research, and industry, and is equipped with a variety of laboratory facilities.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Stephanie Ann Amado
Graduate Program Coordinator
Stephanie Ann Amado
Director of Graduate Studies
Adam P Ussishkin
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Abraham Edward Cooper
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

GPA Requirement

Prospective applicants must have a 3.0 or higher GPA in order to qualify for admission.

Statement of Intent

Applicants must submit a concise statement of intent demonstrating their academic goals, career goals, and why a graduate degree in linguistics would help him/her pursue these goals.

Writing Sample

Applicants must provide a writing sample to demonstrate their level and proficiency of writing.

Standardized Tests

The GRE is optional, not required for the PhD, MS, and Joint PhD Programs. It is recommended, but not required to the MA in Native American Languages and Linguistics Program.

English Proficiency

English proficiency is one of the requirements for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 on the paper-based test (PB), 79 on the internet-based test (iBT), or a IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a score of 6). International students seeking graduate teaching assistantships must attain the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score listed above, and in addition must attain a score of 26 or higher on the speak portion of the TOEFL IBT.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from letter writers who know the student’s work, specifically assessing student’s ability to carry out graduate work in linguistics. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters of recommendation from professors who are familiar with the applicant's recent academic work.

Standardized Tests

Required test(s):

  • GRE
  • TOEFL or IELTS if non-native English Speaker


Minimum TOEFL: Score of 550 on the paper-based test (PB) or 79 on the internet-based test (iBT)
Minimum IELTS: Composite score of 7 (no subject area below a score of 6)

Financial Aid

The ANLI program is a part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), which allows Ph.D. students who are residents of the WICHE member states to enroll in the ANLI program and pay resident tuition. The WICHE states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To be considered for the WRGP resident tuition rate, apply directly to the department or graduate studies department of the institution where you want to enroll, and identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant. WGRP students must fulfill all the usual requirements of the department and institution concerned, and meet all admission deadlines. Contact information for each participating program is listed in our WRGP online directory.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 15

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

In Anthropology, students are required to take two semesters of the interdisciplinary core course, Anth 608A and 608B, as well as Anth680, "Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology."

In Linguistics, students are required to take Ling 503, "Foundations of Syntactic Theory", Ling 510, "Phonology", and Ling 697A, "Prelim", as well as the one-credit 'Linguistics Colloquium" course.

In addition, students must select from a 'menu' of Linguistics and Anthropology courses to make up a total of 46 units of coursework, minimum. The menu requires:

Either LING 515 (Phonetics) or LING 507 (Statistical Analysis) AND either ANTH 620 (Linguistic Field Techniques) or LING/ANTH 588 (Linguistic Elicitation and Documentation)

Four additional courses in Linguistics from distinct 'core groups' (see the Linguistics Graduate Handbook for a description of the core groups and the courses associated with them).

Four additional courses in Anthropology, chosen from the following: Anth 576 Language and Culture, Anth 583 Sociolinguistics, Anth 585 Face-to-Face Interaction, Anth 678 Ethnographic Discourse Analysis, Anth 681 Keywords in Linguistics Anthropology, and Anth 696C Topics Seminars

In addition, before moving on to their dissertation research, students write a comprehensive exam in Anthropology and a qualifying 'prelim' paper in Linguistics (while taking the "Prelim" course). During dissertation research, students must take at least 18 dissertation units, in compliance with Graduate College regulations. The complete program requires a minimum of 81 units of credit.

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 27%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) n/a
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 55%
Enrollment Percent Female 45%
Enrollment Percent International 21%
Enrollment Percent URM 21%

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Last revised 19 Apr 2019