The Slavic PhD program typically requires three years of coursework, including an introduction to literary theory and a methods course in the teaching of Slavic languages, as well as linguistics courses and the full range of Russian literary and cultural history. An MA is conferred after three or four semesters, when all master’s requirements are fulfilled. Students accepted to the PhD program with an MA in Russian literature may choose to fulfill their master’s requirements through the passing of a special MA exam. All PhD students are also expected to choose a secondary speciality (minor) in addition to the major in Russian literature. Many choose to minor in a non-Russian Slavic language. Other popular minors include English, History, Communication Arts, Second Language Acquisition, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy, Folklore, Religious Studies, etc. The Department also requires evidence of reading knowledge of a non-Russian Slavic language, as well as of French or German before attaining dissertator status.
Students complete all requirements for dissertator status (major coursework, minor, language exams, prelims — foundational exams, capstone portfolio, defense of dissertation proposal) by the end of their seventh semester. We have recently revised our graduate program, including the dissertation process, to allow for graduation with the PhD in six years from the BA. Students who choose to take a leave of absence for language study may require a somewhat longer tenure.
Most students in our program plan to become professors of Russian or Slavic language and literature at leading colleges and universities and enter the program with an intention to complete a PhD. However, some of our students decide upon completing their master’s requirements or at another time to pursue careers in the public and private sectors, for which our program’s emphasis on teaching, analysis, written and oral intercultural communication skills have trained them. We, together with the Graduate School, provide ample professional development opportunities, regardless of the eventual career choice.
Prospective students who are interested in a terminal master’s degree are encouraged to consider the interdisciplinary master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS) through the Center for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CREECA).