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Graduate Slavic Degrees

Requirements for the M.A. Degree

The M.A. degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures requires a minimum of 30 hours of course work. The University of Kansas operates on the semester system; most graduate courses are thus 15 weeks long and provide three credit hours toward degree. See prerequisites for admission to graduate study.

In Slavic Languages and Literatures, the M.A. degree may either serve as a gateway to Ph.D. work or as a stand-alone terminal degree. Students may decide to pursue a thesis or non-thesis option. Most students select the non-thesis option; if the thesis option is of interest to you, you may negotiate it with your advisor.


M.A. students successfully complete the following set of courses for 30 credit hours:

  • SLAV 710: Introduction to Slavic Languages and Linguistics;
  • SLAV 740: Bibliography and Methods;
  • Three course electives in Slavic literature;
  • Three course electives in Slavic linguistics;
  • Two additional course electives in either Slavic literature or linguistics or six hours of thesis credit;
  • At least one elective must be a graduate seminar.

Download the MA curriculum (PDF).



After completing the minimum 30 hours, students in the more popular non-thesis option undertake either:

  1. terminal M.A. written and oral exams, after which they conclude their graduate studies and move on to their chosen professional fields, or
  2. M.A./Ph.D. Qualifying written and oral exams that will allow them to continue on to Ph.D. work in either the Russian Literature or the Slavic Linguistics track.

Students who have chosen the thesis option undergo an oral defense of their thesis for a terminal degree in place of 6 course hours, followed by an M.A. examination. If the thesis option student wishes to continue on to Ph.D. work, he or she will take the M.A./Ph.D. Qualifying exam, which is required for admission to Ph.D. study.

Students who enter the KU graduate program with an M.A. degree from another institution must take the M.A./Ph.D. Qualifying exam as soon as they feel ready, but no later than the second semester of their enrollment.

Students completing the M.A. degree without intent to continue to Ph.D. work have the opportunity, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, to adjust their program to meet specific career goals.

In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time


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KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad