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Degree Requirements



Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. This may be demonstrated by:

  1. Passing the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) (contact the UA Testing Center at 621.7589) or individual department proficiency examination. Online information is available at

  2. Student may also present a transcript showing a grade of "B" or better in a fourth semester (undergraduate) course in a foreign language taken at an accredited college or university.

A student whose native language is not English may offer English to satisfy the foreign language requirements.


Total Credits Required by the Graduate College

Credits beyond Masters Degree: 36*

Dissertation Credits: 18

Credits Required for Minor: 9 – 15* (varies by Department/Program)

Minimum: 63 – 69

* Graduate College policy requires that at least ½ (one-half) of these units receive a letter grade of A, B or C.


The common core curriculum provides a base from which all students can proceed to more detailed studies in their selected areas of research interests. The core curriculum required of all students consists of 16 (sixteen) units in the following courses. NOTE: A grade of A, B, S or P must be received in all core curriculum.

Course # Title Units

ARL 564 The Arid and Semiarid Lands 3

ARL 565 Physical Aspects of Arid Lands 3

ARL 595a Arid Lands Current Research 1 X 4**

ARL 641 Natural & Human Impacts on Arid Lands 3

ARL 642 Use and Management of Arid Lands 3

**1 (one) unit per semester for a minimum of 4 (four) semesters.


Registration for the 18 (eighteen) required dissertation units (ARL 920) should be spread over the period actual research is being conducted. The oral and written comprehensive examinations must be successfully completed prior to registration of ARL 920 units unless prior approval has been granted by the major advisor and/or the Program Chair. Failure to successfully complete the comprehensive examinations may cause a lapse in eligibility for registration of dissertation units. Each credit of dissertation unit equal to 4 (four) hours of research work. ***

***Only ARL 920 is valid for dissertation units. For those students who have completed all course requirements including the maximum 18 (eighteen) dissertation units, supplementary registration (ARL 930) can be used. Any research NOT related to the dissertation can receive credit under ARL 900.


ALRS students are required to take at least one research methodology course relevant to the student’s research. An appropriate research methodology course should be identified during the student’s Qualifying Exam.


To ensure fundamental grounding in more than one discipline, students in the ALRS program are required to complete a doctoral minor program in an area that is outside the discipline of their masters’ degree.

Each department has its own unique minor requirements and students are responsible for understanding and obtaining approval for their planned minor coursework from the minor department chair. 

Last updated 29 Jun 2015