MA Degree Requirements

The Department offers two M.A. tracks. Only students in the Slavic Languages and Literatures track may request to proceed to the Ph.D. program.

Slavic Languages and Literatures

Graduate courses are typically offered on a three-year cycle. Graduate students are expected to take available Slavic offerings. Requirements for the M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures include:

  • 30 semester hours of course work at or above the 5000 level (not including RUSS 5050)
  • Passing the Russian language proficiency examination (Native Speakers must pass a Russian-English translation test with excerpts from a literary critical article and the "pedagogy" portion of the Russian written exam)
  • Passing the comprehensive examination
  • Completion of RUSS 5050 each semester until the Russian language proficiency examination is passed

The 30 semester hours of course work for the M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures consist of:

  • At least six hours of nineteenth-century literature
  • At least six hours of twentieth-century literature
  • RUSS 5030 Advanced Russian I
  • A second Slavic-related linguistics course
  • RUSS 7010 Proseminar in Russian Literature
  • Six hours planned in consultation with a faculty advisor

Contemporary Russian Studies

Requirements for the M.A. in Contemporary Russian Studies include:

  • 30 semester hours of course work at or above the 5000 level (not including RUSS 5050)
  • Passing the Russian language proficiency examination (native speakers must pass a Russian-English translation test with excerpts from a scholarly article and the "pedagogy" portion of the Russian written exam
  • Completion of RUSS 5050 each semester until the student passes the Russian language proficiency examination
  • A thesis written on an independent research topic under the supervision of a faculty advisor (the advisor may be from another department).
  • Passing the oral thesis defense.

The 30 semester hours of course work for the M.A. in Contemporary Russian Studies consist of:

  • RUSS 5030 Advanced Russian I
  • A second course in Slavic Linguistics
  • Six hours of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature
  • Three hours of traditional culture
  • Nine hours of Russian history and Russian politics; course work is required in both fields
  • Six hours of RUSS 8999 Master’s Thesis work with advisor (typically, in the fall and spring semesters of their final year)

Examinations

Russian Proficiency Examination

The Russian proficiency examination is taken in the penultimate semester and consists of three components:

  • Written component (three hours)
  • Oral interview (20-30 minutes)
  • Translation component (one hour, CRS only)

Students pursuing an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures take only the written and oral components. Students pursuing an M.A. in Contemporary Russian Studies take the written, oral and translation components.

The oral component is a Russian conversation between the student and two members of the faculty. It is scheduled and administered only after the candidate has been given permission to proceed based on performance on the written component (and translation component for CRS students).

The translation component requires the student to translate a passage of scholarly prose from Russian to English. A glossary is provided if there are specialized vocabulary items.

Native Speakers pursuing an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures must pass a Russian-English translation test with excerpts from a literary critical article and the "pedagogy" portion of the Russian written exam.

The Russian proficiency examination:

  • should be taken early (no later than the end of the third semester)
  • may be taken up to three times
  • must be passed before the comprehensive examination may be taken
  • may be taken earlier in the same semester as the comprehensive examination or in a previous semester
  • should demonstrate a high level of performance in the case of students continuing on to the doctoral level

Comprehensive Examination

For students pursuing an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures the comprehensive examination consists of a written component and an oral component. The written component lasts three hours and consists of identifications and essay questions. It covers texts read in coursework and appearing on the MA reading list. After passing the written component, the student takes a one-hour oral examination. The M.A. committee will consist of the DGS and three other faculty members who have submitted questions for the exam.

For students pursuing an M.A. in Contemporary Russian Studies, the comprehensive examination is an oral defense of the thesis.

Note the following important information about the comprehensive examination:

  • The comprehensive exam is offered once per semester, usually about a month before the end of the semester
  • The comprehensive exam may be taken twice. If a third time is needed, written permission must be obtained from the Department Chair.

4 + 1 Master of Arts in Slavic Languages & Literatures or Contemporary Russian Studies

Available only to current UVa undergraduates majoring in Slavic Languages & Literatures. Applicants are required to have completed before graduating with the BA:

  • Six credit hours in Slavic Languages and Literatures at or above the 5000 level
  • Six credits beyond the number of credits required for the major [These credits must be unused toward any major, minor or general credits necessary to fulfill the university graduation requirements).
  • Students who previously enrolled in courses offered through GSAS while completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the University of Virginia may count up to six credits of such coursework towards a master’s degree as long as those credits were not used to fulfill requirements for the prior degree.
Interested students should send an e-mail requesting consideration for admission into this program to the Director of Graduate Studies along with a statement of purpose, a current transcript and a Slavic-area writing sample. They do not need to fill out a standard Graduate School application.

All SLL MA degrees are terminal Masters and Funding is not provided.

Time-to-Degree Guidelines

The following guidelines pertain to the M.A. programs in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Contemporary Russian Studies:

The M.A. is usually completed in two years (four semesters)

  • The Russian proficiency examination should be taken by the end of the third semester of graduate study
  • The Slavic Literature M.A. comprehensive examination should be taken by the end of the fourth semester of graduate study
  • The thesis (for M.A. students in Contemporary Russian Studies) should be completed by the end of the fourth semester of graduate study

The student must apply to graduate in the first month of the final semester of study.

News & Announcements

Thursday, November 14 @ 4:30 p.m. in New Cabell Hall Rm. 323

Wednesday, November 6
4:30-5:45pm in Bryan Hall 235