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Graduate Slavic Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Doctoral Program Profile (PDF) (statistical overview of the SLL Ph.D. program)

Building on the M.A. foundational base, the KU Ph.D. degree program encourages students to develop their particular intellectual interests in collaboration with KU faculty and their areas of specialization. Ph.D. students also learn a second Slavic language and develop knowledge of a secondary field. For their second field we encourage our students to choose from philosophy, linguistics, religion, history, theatre and cinema, literary theory, comparative literature, and folklore.

Two concentrations are offered in the Ph.D. Program:

  • Russian Literature
  • Slavic Linguistics

Ph.D. students who focus their studies on Russian literature and Slavic linguistics have a full-service curriculum from which to choose their courses. Doctoral students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. concentration in another literature that the department offers, such as Polish, Ukrainian, or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, may develop an individualized program of study in consultation with faculty.

Ph.D. students interested in Russian culture, intellectual history, Slavic folklore, or interdisciplinary themes pursue their studies through the Russian literature PhD concentration.

Ph.D. students interested in working in the field of Slavic language pedagogy pursue their studies through the Slavic linguistics Ph.D. concentration.

For more information about the academic program or about any aspect of the application process, please consult with the Department's Director of Graduate Studies.

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