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Study in Arizona, United States

State overview

Think of Arizona, and you’ll probably immediately think of wide open spaces, magnificent sunsets – and of course, the Grand Canyon. The beauty of Arizona is undeniable, but there is much more to this southwestern US state than its breathtaking landscape.
With many Hollywood films, particularly Westerns, being filmed in Arizona, the area has a rich cultural legacy. Its history includes that of the Navajo Indians, and to the northeast of the state lies the world famous Monument Valley.

Arizona has borders with Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and California, which are all easily accessible, as well as a 390-mile border with Mexico. This variety means that Arizona’s culture is diverse and fascinating – the perfect location in which to take up a graduate program.

Education profile

There are a wide variety of graduate programs on offer in Arizona, across a wide selection of public and private universities.

If you are looking to study on a postgraduate course in Arizona, you may first want to consider the three public universities that call the state home. They are:

Academic masters at these institutions are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study, and last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees (also called PhDs) are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

There are more than twenty private universities in the state. These institutions may offer a wide selection of graduate programs, or may focus on more specific areas – for example Grand Canyon University, which specialises in Education, Liberal Arts, Business and Healthcare, or Ottawa University, a faith based liberal arts college.

Immigration and visas

Before travelling to the USA to study in Arizona, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Arizona, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in Arizona

Life in Arizona has a very ‘outdoors’ style. From hiking, horse riding and mountain biking to winter sports and the US institution of baseball, life here is active and healthy – largely due to the warm climate and vast open spaces.

Arizona’s history is defined by the Navajo Indians and the tradition of the ‘Old West’, and this is reflected by the numerous galleries that are found in the state’s major cities – many of which reflect the region’s diverse history. The Phoenix Art Museum contains the largest collection of visual art in the southwest. In the 21st Century, its long history is still a strong pull for those looking to spent time in Arizona.
There are numerous Interstates running through Arizona, offering easy ways to reach other areas of the United States. Greyhound Lines (coaches) offer services throughout the state and further afield, whilst on a local scale the major cities have their own bus services.

Working in Arizona

Top industries in Arizona include the financial services (Well Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co.), and sectors that employ large numbers of people include healthcare, manufacturing and food services. The tourism industry, due to the state being home to such iconic spots as Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, is also booming.

Phoenix is the main centre of the state’s economy, providing almost three quarters of its domestic product.


Most international postgraduates coming to study in Arizona stay in university accommodation, which allows you to meet fellow students and settle into campus life. Many halls of residence include gym facilities and recreational areas.

In order to sustain their independence, however, many students choose to live in private accommodation. This means you will rent from a landlord and will probably be responsible for paying for utilities such as water and electricity. Your chosen university should be able to advise you on how to rent a private flat. 

Weather and climate

Arizona’s climate is localised, due to its large size. Generally though, the state experiences mild weather during winter and spring, and has hot, dry summers. There will be little rainfall throughout the year, but monsoon season, when heavy rain is likely to occur, falls in July or August. 

Although in general the risk of earthquakes in Arizona is low, certain areas, including the southwest and parts of the north, are at moderate risk.

What to do next

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