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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Master of Arts in Slavic Languages and Literatures

University requirements for the M.A. degree are discussed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Admission—The requirements for admission to the master's degree program in Russian are:

  1. A B.A. (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university.
  2. A command of the Russian language sufficient to permit the student to do satisfactory graduate work in an area of specialization.
  3. A familiarity with Russian literature sufficient to permit the student to perform adequately in courses at the graduate level.

The applicant's previous academic training in Russian language and literature normally serves as an indication of competence. Accordingly, the department does not ordinarily consider applications from students who have not had at least three years of college Russian and some undergraduate training in Russian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Before registering for the first quarter's work in the department, entering graduate students are required to take placement examinations in Russian. Students who fail to perform satisfactorily on such examinations must register for remedial courses in the areas in which they are deficient. Course work in third-year Russian and below carries no credit toward either the M.A. or the Ph.D. degree.

Course Requirements—Candidates for the M.A. who are not also candidates for the Ph.D. should plan course work that ensures adequate preparation for the M.A. final examination at the end of the third quarter of work. Ph.D. candidates should attempt to include as many of the department's basic course offerings as possible in the first-year program to ensure sufficient time to complete the M.A. thesis during the fifth quarter of registration. In any case, course work should be planned in consultation with the graduate adviser, whose approval of the overall course load is required.

Candidates for the M.A. must complete a program of 45 units, of which 36 units must be selected from courses given by the department. The other 9 units may, with approval of the candidate's adviser, be selected from courses in related fields. Of the 36 units in the department, a minimum of 9 may be in language and a minimum of 9 in literature. The remaining 18 units may be distributed in accordance with the needs and interests of the student, and with the advice and approval of the department adviser.

No credit toward the M.A. degree is allowed for first- or second-year courses in non-Slavic languages required for the Ph.D. degree.

The M.A. Thesis—A requirement for candidates for a Ph.D., the M.A. thesis represents a complete article-length research paper (6-9,000 words) that, in both form and substance, qualifies for submission to English-language professional publications in the Slavic field. The M.A. thesis must be submitted to the thesis adviser no later than the fifth quarter and approved no later than the sixth quarter of registration.

Final Examination—Students not enrolled in the Ph.D. program may either submit an M.A. thesis or take a final examination. In the latter case, regardless of the area of specialization, the student must demonstrate in a written examination: (1) command of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicology of contemporary Standard Russian sufficient to teach beginning and intermediate courses at the college level; (2) an ability to read contemporary Standard Russian sufficient to assist students studying contemporary Russian poetry or literary prose; and (3) sufficient familiarity with Russian literature of either the 19th or 20th century to successfully handle survey courses dealing with the chosen period of specialization. The examination should be taken at the end of the final quarter of required course work.

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