Transborder Studies PhD

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2020.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in transborder studies develops the next generation of superior research, scholarship, and application in transborder and transnational contexts. As the only doctoral program in transborder studies in the nation, candidates will 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 Chicanx and Latinx populations. Our proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, and our faculty’s expertise in this field, make it 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.

5-6 years to degree
12 faculty members
29 faculty affiliates

Degree Overview

The 84-hour program of study includes a foreign language requirement, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus, and a dissertation. Prospective doctoral candidates should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related area and a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in the last 60 hours of a student’s first bachelor’s degree.


How to apply

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2020. 

Prospective students must submit the admission application form along with the fee, official transcripts, GRE scores, three reference letters (from academicians), statement of purpose, and resume/CV. Students must also complete supplemental short answer questions through the online application.

The application process is completed through the ASU Graduate College online portal:


“I try to get students to understand how to work with data, how to understand patterns, to become more quantitatively sophisticated, and be rigorous in everything that they do.”

- Eileen Diaz McConnell, PhD


Training in the doctoral degree in transborder studies is highly individualized and students work closely with their faculty advisor to create a unique plan of study. Students entering the program must complete a minimum of 54 hours in residence at ASU. Elective credits are dependent on approved hours from a previously awarded master’s degree (up to 30 hours).


Requirements and electives


Core Courses








Total hours required:


Courses and electives

This doctoral program allows students to work with faculty across disciplines and across the university. Students will develop a strong theoretical foundation in transborder studies and may select courses within and outside of the unit, to complement their plan of study.

Core courses (6 hours)

  • TSS 502 Foundations in Transborder Studies
  • TSS 503 Epistemologies and Transborder Thought OR TSS 504 Tools for Transborder Research




Electives (54 hours)

  • Any approved master’s coursework (up to 30 hours)
  • TSS coursework
  • Coursework at ASU relevant to the student’s plan of study. Prefixes include, but are not limited to: APL, ASB, COE, CRJ, GCU, EDP, ENG, EPA, HST, JUS, SOC, SOS, THE, WST


Research (12 hours)

  • Students must pass their written and oral examinations one semester before they work on their research prospectus. Once the research prospectus is approved, students will enroll in TSS 792 – 6 credit hours for two semesters.

Dissertation: TSS 799 Dissertation (12 hours)

  • In the last year, students are expected to finish their dissertation, and enroll in TSS 799 – 6 credit hours for two semesters.

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