Studying a Postgrad Program in Arizona

Arizona is sometimes known as The Grand Canyon State or Cooper State, and is located in the south west of the USA. It is the sixth largest state in America in terms of size, and the 14th largest in terms of population size. Arizona borders Utah, where Monument Valley with its sandstone buttes provided the backdrop for so many of the film director, John Ford’s westerns. New Mexico, California and Mexico also have borders with Arizona. The size of the state is such that it has several climates ranging from a desert climate with very hot summers and mild winters in southern Arizona; whilst northern Arizona with its mountains and canyons has more moderate summer weather and heavy snowfalls in winter, meaning there are ski resorts around Tucson, Flagstaff. Northern Arizona is also home to the Grand Canyon National Park. Approximately a quarter of the state land is taken up by Native American reservations with 27 tribes recognised, the largest being the Navajo Nation, America’s largest. Phoenix, in Maricopa County is the state capital and largest city with a metropolitan population of 4.3 million people around the settlements of Scottsdale, Glendale and Peoria. The state is well served for transport links by Greyhound buses, Amtrak and Southwest Chief trains, and there are numerous airports including international airports at Phoenix Sky Harbour and Tucson.

Where can you study a postgrad program in Arizona?

Arizona is well-served by education establishments. These include:

The University of Arizona is in Tucson and is the state’s largest public employer. It has around 7,500 postgraduate students and 1,500 doctrinal students. The University of Arizona incorporates two esteemed medical schools, one of which is in Phoenix; the James E Rogers College of Law, and an agricultural centre in Yuma. The University of Arizona offers a wide range of postgraduate courses.

Arizona State University (ASU) can be found on five sites in the Phoenix area, it is the largest public university in the USA in terms of the numbers of students, with almost 16,000 graduate students. ASU offers graduates over 100 programs leading to higher degrees and PhDs across a wide range of academic subjects. It's also known for research, and being a centre of sporting excellence.

Northern Arizona University is in Flagstaff, although it has 36 campuses all over the state it houses a number of colleges, including The College of Art and Letters; The College of Education; The College of Health and Human Services and The Graduate College which offers more than 50 higher and doctoral degrees across a range of subjects.

Tuition Fees and Living Costs in Arizona

Tuition fees for postgraduate degrees in America are expensive, and students should understand the commitment they are taking on, particularly if they choose to study a PhD. A system of grants and scholarships operates for postgraduate students who qualify so it is worth doing some research to find out if there is any funding suitable for you. Both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University quote the cost of study for graduates at between $11,000 and $12,000 per academic year depending on whether a room rental cost is included. For example, a graduate in state student, studying Liberal Arts and Science at UA would currently expect to pay $11,776 (rent not included). The costs for non-state residents and international students can be considerably higher. A postgraduate who is considering studying in Arizona will need to make enquiries about the cost of specific postgraduate courses with their preferred universities. More information can be found here about studying abroad.

Once you have the costs of your tuition fees covered you will also need to sort out your living expenses. Comparison of the cost of living in Phoenix and Tucson produce very similar figures. The average monthly rent for a small studio flat in Tucson is $562, add to that $99 in gas and electric charges and $58 for internet and you arrive at $719. On top of that is food, travel clothing and entertainment. Meanwhile the monthly cost of renting and living in Phoenix is estimated at being around $800.

Admissions information for postgrad students in Arizona

Postgraduate students wishing to study at any further education establishments in Arizona will need to make specific enquiries regarding admission. Usually, the applicant will be expected to have reached a particular grade and maintained a certain average score for their first degree. Most courses begin in the autumn/fall so applications need to be submitted the previous spring, usually online. However, prospective students should check the admissions process with the university of their choice well before they intend to study there. January start dates are becoming increasingly common so if this is an option that suits you, check with your preferred university to see if they offer January start dates.

Interesting Arizona Alumni

Many interesting alumni have graduated from the universities of Arizona. The University of Arizona has welcomed and educated Joan Ganz who created the TV series Sesame Street; Brian Schmidt who won the Nobel Prize in Physics and singer Linda Ronstadt. Arizona State University has alumni including the actor, Nick Nolte and US Senator Carl Hayden. Former Northern Arizona University students include former Governor of Arizona Raul Castro and Congressman Rick Renzi.

Student Case Study

Dawn Merritt Garrison is a student at the University of Arizona.

She says, “It’s good for you and for all the students who made/make the wise decision to study there.”

What can you do in Arizona when you aren’t studying?

Arizona is a great US state with lots to offer, meaning the postgraduate student need never be bored. To begin with, the universities have very active student bodies, with hundreds of clubs and societies covering every sporting activity, hobby and leisure interest it is possible to imagine, and joining these is a great way to meet people.

Outside of university organised activities and events, other popular activities in Arizona include visiting The Grand Canyon. Historic Tombstone, the scene of The Gunfight at the OK Corral is also a popular attraction. Arizona is not short on culture either with many museums, galleries and concert venues throughout the state, such as, The Mohave Museum of History and Arts in Kingsman, or the Superstitious Mountain Museum at Apache Junction. Students who want to try their hand at skiing can visit the mountains resorts in the north, like Sun Ski Park. To put it simply, students that choose to study their postgraduate degree in Arizona need never be bored.

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