PHD Transborder Studies

Are you interested in border issues? Gain foundational knowledge in transborder, transnational and border issues from interdisciplinary scholars in anthropology, history, literature, political science, public policy, sociology, urban planning, and women and gender studies.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Transborder Studies

The PhD program in transborder studies develops the next generation of superior research, scholarship and application in transborder and transnational contexts.

In the only doctoral program in transborder studies in the nation, students conduct innovative and multidisciplinary research tailored to their unique interests. Depending on the plan of study, students may focus on a trajectory in academia with career options as faculty or in research positions. Students who wish to pursue career options outside of academia may focus the plan of study on a more professional and applied track with potential interest in local, state, national or international agencies.

Faculty in the program approach transborder studies in a way that has been historically grounded in and inspired by the geographical specificity of the U.S.-Mexico border and the Chicano, Chicana, Latino and Latina populations. Arizona State University's proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and the faculty's expertise make the university the ideal place of study. Given the massive scale of globalization in the 21st century and its influence on local, regional, national and transnational environments, the program is expanding to examine other transborder regions and populations.

At a Glance: program details

Application Deadlines

Session Modality Deadline Type
Session A/C In Person 01/01/23 Priority
Session A/C In Person Rolling
Session A/C In Person 04/01/23 Final

Complete applications will continue to be reviewed after the priority deadline, every two weeks until April 1. Incomplete applications after April 1 will not be considered. Complete applications by the priority deadline will have priority consideration for any funding that may be available.

Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a foreign language exam, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (6 credit hours)
TSS 502 Foundations of Transborder Studies (3)
TSS 503 Epistemologies and Transborder Thought (3) or TSS 504 Theories and Methods for Transborder Research (3)

Electives and Research (36 credit hours)

Dissertation (12 credit hours)
TSS 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curricular Information
When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. If students do not already have a master's degree in a related field, then the remaining 30 credit hours are made up of electives and research that equal the 84 credit hours required for the doctoral program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field such as anthropology, economics, education, sociology, literature or psychology from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in another discipline must align their scholarly interests with the program's mission.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. writing sample
  5. resume or curriculum vitae
  6. three letters of recommendation (from academicians)
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. For more information, students should visit

The personal statement should include an explanation of past experiences and current scholarly interests but concentrate on potential areas of research that draw upon the specific resources of the department and faculty.

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Program Contact Information

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