Graduate Studies

The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics offers a diverse and exciting MA curriculum in Russian language and historical linguistics, and Russian and Balkan literature and culture. The MA program trains students who wish to continue their studies in a PhD program in Slavic or to work in governmental or NGO fields or language pedagogy.

Our recent graduates have gone on to careers in the US State Department, the Department of Defense, and the Defense Language Institute, as well as doctoral programs in Education, English, Linguistics, and Slavic at Florida State University, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and University of Toronto. Our strong emphasis on linguistic and cultural proficiency prepares students for work in the federal or foreign service or non-governmental organizations. Career workshops with government personnel inform students of a wide range of professional opportunities.

Our students receive comprehensive pedagogical training that emphasizes experience in the classroom as well as expertise in theory and methodology for Russian language instruction. Graduate instructors are responsible for their own undergraduate language courses, which may include elementary to intermediate level Russian courses or a course in Russian Grammar and Popular Culture. After attending a two-week summer training program, graduate instructors enroll in a departmental seminar in Language Pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition.Moreover, a teaching practicum focused on Russian language pedagogy and professional issues is offered every semester.

We are committed to providing exceptional training to prepare students for PhD programs in Slavic and Comparative Literature. In addition to rigorous surveys of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature, faculty in the Slavic Program offer distinctive seminars such as:

  • Critical Approaches to Vladimir Nabokov
  • Gogol and Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Hermeneutics and Rhetoric of Old Rus' Literature
  • History of the Russian Literary Language (a content-based course)
  • Islam in Eastern Europe
  • Transnational Literature

Through the MLL departmental lecture series, the Pribic Family Lectures, and other opportunities, students also encounter some of the most prominent specialistsin the field. Recent guests have included Ronelle Alexander (UC Berkeley), Michael Henry Heim (UCLA), Tomislav Longinovic (UW-Madison), Eric Naiman (UCBerkeley) Rado Pribic (Lafayette College), and the late Ihor Ševčenko (Harvard).

Graduate students are encouraged to present their research at professional conferences. Our students have delivered papers at the Yale Graduate Student Slavic Conference, FSU's Conference on Literature and Film, and meetings of the Southeastern Medieval Association and the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.

Students may also take courses with Modern Languages faculty in other language areas(Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish) to develop expertise in comparative literary and cultural studies, sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition.


REQUIREMENTS (for general University requirements and for information on how to submit an online application, see BA in Slavic or equivalent; complete and acceptable ("good standing") academic transcripts; GPA (of last two baccalaureate years) of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale; GRE scores; departmental approval, consisting of the collective appraisal of the program faculty. The application is then submitted to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for appropriate action.


Graduate students in Slavic are eligible for departmental teaching assistantships, which help finance educational costs as valuable classroom experience is gained, as well as for other scholarships and other awards, many of them supported by the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Memorial Fund and the Nikola R. Pribic Fund. These include funding for summer study, conference, and research funds, such as the Winthrop-King Summer Graduate Scholarship in Slavic/Russian. This award is open to graduate students majoring in Russian who are seeking support for a research project or for language development in a Slavic-language country during the summer semester. Click here for more details including application deadlines. University graduate fellowships are also available on a competitive basis to a limited number of students.


Two types of master’s degree programs are available, the thesis-type and the course-type. The thesis-type program requires a minimum of thirty semester hours including at least six hours of thesis credit. At least eigtheen of these hours must be taken on a letter-grade basis. In the course-type program a minimum of thirty-two semester hours is required. At least twenty-one of these hours must be taken on a letter-grade basis.

MA Comprehensive Examination

For both thesis-type and course-type program, the comprehensive examination consists of both written and oral portions. The comprehensive examination is designed as a field examination, and the written portion will cover both the courses the student has taken and the general MA reading list required of all graduate students. The oral examination spans the fields encompassed by the written examination; for students who have written a thesis as part of their program, the oral additionally constitutes a defense of that thesis.

MA Thesis

Students who choose the thesis-type program need to take their MA Comprehensive Examination as described above. The student must constitute an MA Supervisory Committee made up of the student's Major Professor, one Minor Professor (if any), and two other faculty members. The student must submit a thesis to the Supervisory Committee that reveals independent investigation and knowledge of the methods of scholarship within the major field.

For specific questions about Slavic Program course offerings and academic advising, contact Prof. Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya, the Slavic Graduate Program Adviser, at

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