Navigation: Accessibility Menu

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Go to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign homepage



Master of Arts

The degree program is designed for students who wish to continue to the Ph.D. in Slavic; however, the program’s concentration on Russian language, literature, and culture makes it possible for students to pursue an M.A. degree only. Other concentrations and individualized programs may be arranged in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and relevant faculty.

Degree Requirements (detailed further in the Slavic MA Program of Study):

1. Coursework

Completion of a minimum 32 hours of graduate course work as required by the Graduate College. At least 20 hours must be for courses in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Required courses must include:

2. M.A. Exams

Successful completion of the M.A. written examinations.

Students who plan to continue on to the Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to satisfy one of the two language requirements (a second Slavic-area language or a research language) at the M.A. level. These requirements can be fulfilled through coursework or a translation examination.

M.A. Committee

The M.A. Committee, which is generally the same as the department's Graduate Studies Committee, consists of three faculty members, including the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), who serves as the Committee Chair. The DGS is responsible for collecting questions from members of the department, and the Committee will grade the exam. If necessary, the Committee may call for an oral exam to further test the material covered by the written examination.

M.A. Written Examination

The series of written examinations for the M.A. degree, generally scheduled in the fourth semester, consists of three examinations of four hours each, designed to test the student’s ability to synthesize the knowledge gained through course work and independent reading. The three examinations include nineteenth-century Russian literature, twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian literature, and a third area of examination to be selected in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. This third area may focus on Russian literature pre-1800, critical theory, Russian cinema, a Slavic literature other than Russian, or linguistics; in some cases the third exam may cover another area chosen by the student in consultation with the DGS. The Master’s reading list serves as a guide for preparation for the exams and may be individually amended in consultation with the DGS. For concentrations other than Russian language, literature, and culture, early consultation and planning of a reading list and exam topics with the DGS and relevant faculty is necessary.

The student is responsible for scheduling each exam at least 3 weeks in advance of the date of the exam using a scheduling form available through Graduate Services.

The grading of examinations for the degree is on a high pass/pass/low pass/fail basis. The exam will be graded by the end of two weeks following the exam. In case of a failure of any part of the examination, the committee will determine whether the student shall be allowed to repeat a part of the exam, or if an oral examination is necessary.

M.A. Oral Examination

A Master’s oral examination may be scheduled if the written examination is not up to the standard expected by the Slavic department, and in lieu of a repeat of the written exam.