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How to Apply

Requirements for admission to the graduate program in Slavic Languages and Literatures:

  • B.A. in Russian or a related field
  • An Oral Proficiency Interview rating in Russian Language of Intermediate or better (finalists for admission are typically interviewed in Russian by phone.)

Applications are made through the Admissions Office of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Materials to be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences include:

1) Graduate School application
Applications must be submitted online.  Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time, January 15th.

Pay special attention to the choice of program and degree, choosing one of three options: Contemporary Russian Studies MA, Slavic Languages and Literatures MA, or Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD. Choose the Slavic Languages and Literatures MA degree only if you plan to stop at the MA. For more on the distinctions between tracks, see "Financial Information" below and the separate "Overview of Graduate Programs" page.

2) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
The Graduate School requires that candidates take the verbal and quantitative aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination. Superior scores are required for admission to the Graduate School. Applicants with GRE scores more than five years old should take the test again. Receipt of recent GRE scores is necessary before applications can be reviewed and fellowships awarded. Consequently applicants are urged to take the tests as early as possible in the fall semester before the application deadline.

3) Letters of recommendation
Ideally, applicants should request letters of recommendation from at least three instructors in Russian (or other Slavic) language and literature. Letters from instructors in other academic fields are also suitable. Letters from non-academic sources are unlikely to be useful. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online with the application packet.

4) Writing sample
Applicants should submit a recent sample of academic writing in English. For the Languages and Literatures program, most useful are papers on literary topics, ideally on Russian or Slavic material, though other national traditions are acceptable.

5) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if applicable

6) Transcripts
All transcripts from international institutions where the primary language is not English must be submitted to the online application with an English translation.

Notification of Decision

Applicants are urged to complete their files as soon as possible. Applications completed in the fall semester may be processed early. However, most decisions on admission and financial aid will be made after March 15. Notification of decisions follows shortly after March 15.

Visit the University

All applicants are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the University of Virginia and the graduate programs in Slavic Languages and Literatures. A visit to the University is the best way to evaluate our programs. Applicants are encouraged to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies and faculty in appropriate fields during a visit to Grounds.

Financial Information

For general financial information about graduate study at the University of Virginia, see the following:

The Slavic Department offers competitive financial aid packages for graduate study. Outstanding applicants are eligible for 5-year support packages at a minimum annual stipend of about $18,000, $4000 for summer support, plus health insurance and tuition.  For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Edith Clowes, at .

Financial support for graduate students is usually limited to five years (two years of support at the M.A. level and three years of support at the Ph.D. level). It is possible to apply for a sixth-year dissertation completion grant.

Graduate awards are reviewed annually. To continue receiving them, students must demonstrate adequate progress towards the degree. In this review, the following factors are considered:

  • Grades in completed courses
  • Performance in current courses
  • Course loads
  • Adherence to sequence guidelines
  • Record of incompletes (if applicable)
  • Teaching effectiveness (if applicable)

Teaching Assistantships are awarded by the Department based on staffing needs and the qualifications of graduate students considered for TA positions. The Department tries to ensure that capable students have the opportunity to teach at some point in their graduate career. Teaching Assistantships are awarded in Russian language; Russian literature; linguistics; folklore; and culture. TAs may run discussion sections, conduct drills, develop exercises and examinations and assist with grading.

Grader positions are awarded by the Department based on the needs of faculty and available funding. Graders evaluate written work such as examinations, papers and problem sets.