Grad Program: Contemporary Russian Studies; Slavic Languages and Literatures (University of Virginia)

Deadline: January 15, 2020

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia welcomes applications for three graduate programs, the MA in Contemporary Russian Studies, the MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures. The MA in Contemporary Russian Studies offers courses in Russian literature, language, culture, history, politics, art history, religious studies, and sociology, as well as further study in advanced Russian language. The MA and PhD programs in Slavic Languages and Literatures train graduate students primarily in Russian literature, culture, and help students to advance their language skills toward professional-level proficiency. At the PhD level students take secondary offerings in Polish language and Polish, Czech, and Central European literature and film. Other Slavic languages are offered through summer study. Students may also take courses in related areas in other language departments, English, History, Politics, Sociology, and Religious Studies, among many others. 

Among the distinctive aspects of UVA’s graduate programs in Slavic is rigorous training to a high level of proficiency in Russian language. Students have Oral Proficiency Interviews at each level of study. Students may participate in meals and events at the 24/7 Russian-language Russian House, attend regular Russian teas, take a role in the Russian play, and take part in language-oriented talks, workshops, and conferences. Our students compete successfully for DOS Critical Language Scholarships. The University has ample funds for graduate students to organize events related to Slavic cultures and to support foreign-language study and dissertation research. 

Other strengths of the UVA Slavic program include the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty. Areas of faculty expertise include museum studies, prison-camp literature and gulag studies, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, intellectual history, Russian philosophy and religion, digital humanities, and literary cartography. Students enjoy an effective faculty-student mentorship program and an excellent library collection with highly responsive acquisition services.  

UVA’s Slavic graduate students form an active, energetic community. They run a speaker series, host professionalization workshops, organize an annual conference, publish a newsletter, and enjoy convivial social gatherings.   

UVA offers generous five-year funding packages for PhD students. The Department occasionally has partial funding and work opportunities for MA students. Depending on their language proficiency, UVA PhD students typically gain experience teaching language at various levels, assisting in teaching undergraduate literature and folklore courses, and even designing and teaching their own literature or culture course. Other opportunities for support are available through related departments and programs. 

The deadline for on-line applications is January 15, 2021. 

For information about Slavic programs and the application process, please visit the Slavic Department website at:, or contact Director of Graduate Studies Edith W. Clowes at: or