Grad Program: Graduate study in Slavic (University of Washington, Seattle)

December 15, 2019

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington invites applications to its M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Literature or in Slavic Linguistics, for entry in Autumn 2020.

Our department teaches a rich variety of Slavic languages, including Russian, Polish, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian, and occasionally Bulgarian, Czech, and Romanian. A selective list of our faculty’s concentrations includes Russian, Czech, and former and post-Yugoslav literature and film; comparative literature; post-Soviet, Russian-Jewish, and general cultural studies (including studies in visual arts, gender, ethnicity, and nationalism; animal and environmental studies; disability studies; as well as death studies); and diachronic and synchronic linguistics (including syntax, semantics and pragmatics in a cross-cultural perspective).

We invite you to consult for a list of our faculty and their research interests. We also pride ourselves on our close ties with the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies, as well as with other departments and programs, such as Comparative Literature, Linguistics, History, Political Science, Jewish Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Disability Studies, Anthropology, Near Eastern Literatures and Cultures, Scandinavian Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities.  These relationships enhance our ability to carry out research and teaching missions in the broad area of Slavic, Eurasian, post-Soviet and Post-Socialist Studies, and provide our graduate students with an in-depth, comprehensive education in their chosen area of study. 

The University of Washington is consistently ranked among the top four or five public universities in the country. While it is known internationally for its excellence in science research and education, its humanities programs are very highly ranked as well. We are one of the top places in the country in the number of languages we offer, including a commonly lesser taught Central Asian and South-East European languages. The University of Washington, for example, is one of the very few places in the country where a student can pursue advanced training in Slovenian language and literature. Seattle, the home of the UW’s Seattle campus, is a vibrant and increasingly popular city, and a site of Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. It is commonly ranked as one of the most well-read cities in the US. Seattle is located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and surrounded by stunning outdoor sites: a gorgeous view of Mount Rainier opens from the University of Washington’s main square. 

The UW Libraries is home to one of the nation’s outstanding Slavic studies research collections, which numbers over a half million items and supports advanced work in Russian, Czech, Polish, BCMS, Slovene, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian languages, literatures and cultures.  Each year we acquire over 6,000 newly published books, media materials, and other items from and about the Slavic and Eastern European world.  Items from our collection of more than 1,600 Slavic and Eastern European feature films are available to students on one-week loan.  Libraries staff work closely with both faculty and graduate students in the Slavic Department to ensure that UW is acquiring material that supports their research and teaching. 

We invite students who have undergraduate training in Slavic Studies or in a related area. Students wishing to focus on Russian should have at least four years of Russian language training and other related coursework, although those with less will be considered as well. Students wishing to focus on another Slavic language and literature will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We also welcome applicants who have completed an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures or in related fields. Please note we require a Skype interview, conducted partly in the relevant language, as part of the application process.

We offer our top applicant a three-year initial funding package (1 year of tuition/fee waiver and a generous stipend, plus two years of TAships/RAships that also provide a tuition/fee waiver), as well as a considerable signing bonus. The UW Slavic Department offers a warm and collegial setting for graduate students to grow and develop their skills. Through mentorship, opportunities for professional development, and coursework, we equip our graduate students with the skills and training they need to excel in their chosen field. Not only do students have a chance to share their research and practice conference talks at our monthly Graduate Student Colloquia, but they may also present their work at the annual Slavic Symposia and REECAS Northwest Conferences. In addition, Ph.D. students pursue a graduate certificate in a field of their choice, such as Second and Foreign Language Teaching or Public Scholarship, to enhance their professional development. Our recent Ph.D.s and MAs have found employment in academia (e.g., Harvard University, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, and Ohio State University), in government, in education, and in private sector, such as in Seattle-based Amazon.

To learn more about the opportunities and resources at the University of Washington, please visit

Please consult our fact sheet (attached) or visit our website for more details.  Interested students are invited to contact Professor Gordana Crnković, Graduate Program Coordinator, at, with any potential questions and inquiries.

To apply, visit  The application deadline is December 15, 2019.