University of Nevada, Reno

Basque Studies Tutorial Ph.D.
at the University of Nevada, Reno

General Information


The Tutorial Ph.D. program in Basque Studies is intended to provide students in the humanities and social sciences with an opportunity to pursue doctoral studies emphasizing Basque-related courses and dissertation research. The successful student will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Basque Studies with an emphasis in one of the following disciplines at the University of Nevada, Reno: anthropology, foreign languages and literatures, geography, political science or history. The degree is in Basque Studies but entails specialization in one of these subject areas and involves close collaboration with participating departments at UNR.


The Tutorial Ph.D. program represents a unique opportunity for the right student. However, given that it lacks the structure of a traditional doctoral program, the Tutorial Ph.D. only suits those students who have clear goals and who are willing to assume responsibility for formulating, presenting, and justifying a program of study and a dissertation topic. The Center highly recommends that potential applicants contact either the Director of the Center for Basque Studies (Dr. Joseba Zulaika, or its Director of Graduate Studies (Dr. Sandra Ott, to discuss their proposed research and to verify that a mentor will be available for their topic.


Admission to the Tutorial Ph.D. program:


The tutorial nature of the program gives it several unique features. Emphasis is upon directed dissertation research rather than classroom instruction. Students do, however, take appropriate independent study and graduate-level courses, while working directly under the guidance of a faculty mentor.


1. Admission is limited to one or two students annually.


2. Applicants must have an M.A. or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution, in a relevant discipline such as anthropology, geography, history, language, linguistics, literature or political science. Students with an M.A. in another humanity or social science may be admitted, but they will be expected to take supplementary coursework in the UNR department participating in their program of study.


3. Admission to graduate standing requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate and graduate work. (These two grade point averages are computed separately.)


4. The Graduate School requires international students to achieve a score of at least 500 on the paper version of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in order to gain admission to UNR. Students whose scores fall below 600 on the TOEFL must report to the Intensive English Language Center at UNR for evaluation and appropriate placement in English language courses.


5. Given the nature of Basque Studies, applicants must demonstrate a reading proficiency in Spanish, French, or Basque (in addition to English) for admission. Competence is defined as completion of the equivalent of four semesters of college level work in one of the three languages, with a grade of B or better in the final semester. Depending upon the program of study and dissertation topic, reading proficiency in the three languages may be required.


6. Since the student-mentor relationship is critical to the tutorial concept, admission to the program is contingent upon the availability of a faculty member who is qualified, willing, and able to supervise the applicant.


The Pre-Application Process:Applicants should prepare a written statement (approximately 1,500 words) addressing the following points:


1) Describe your personal background (academic and otherwise) and explain why you wish to enroll in the Basque Studies Tutorial Ph.D. program at the University of Nevada, Reno.


2) Provide a detailed overview of your current research interests and possible dissertation topic.


3) Indicate any considerations that may affect your ability to complete the program, such as a need for financial aid, family or health considerations that might preclude your studying abroad (in the case of international students) for at least a three-year period.


4) Discuss your future career plans and what role the Ph.D. would play.


5) Provide the names, postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers of two referees who are familiar with your previous academic work.


6) Include a copy of your most recent university transcripts. Return this pre-application statement by February 1st to:


Director, Center for Basque Studies / 2322

University of Nevada, Reno

1664 N. Virginia St.

Reno, NV 89557-2322


The Admissions and Policy Board of the Center for Basque Studies may then request an interview with you, in person or by telephone. Applicants approved by the Board must then apply for admission to the UNR Graduate School. [Note that the Graduate School application deadline may differ from the February 1st deadline set by Basque Studies.] International student should check the University of Nevada Reno’s Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) web site for instructions on how to apply online. International students utilize the OISS as an important source of information about matters such as visas and U.S. government employment regulations. (To next page → )



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