skip to content

Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

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

Doctor of Philosophy in Slavic Languages and Literatures

University requirements for the Ph.D. are discussed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Slavic Languages and Literatures are expected to fulfill the following requirements while meeting the program's deadlines in the course of their progress toward the degree:

  1. Course Work, Breadth Requirements, and Overall Scheduling—In consultation with the Chair of Graduate Studies, students are expected to take 18 units of credit each quarter of their first year, 10 units each funded summer, and 10 units each quarter thereafter. They are expected to reach 135 units and attain TGR status in the winter of their fourth year. Entering graduate students must enroll in SLAVLIT 200. For the Ph.D. degree students are free to select course work to suit their individual program of study. However, candidates must do so in consultation with their adviser (Chair of Graduate Studies or principal dissertation adviser) and are held responsible for all of the areas covered by the general examinations, regardless of whether they have registered for the department's offerings in a given field. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that before taking Ph.D. examinations, students complete seminar-level work directly related to the following broad areas:
    1. Russian Poetry
    2. the Russian novel
    3. 20th-century Russian literature
    4. 19th-century Russian literature (the Age of Pushkin and after)
    5. 18th-century Russian literature (the early 1700's to the Age of Pushkin)
    6. medieval Russian literature
    7. a monograph course on a major Russian author
    8. theory of literature relevant to the major field
  2. Minor or Related Fields—During the course of study, students must develop substantial expertise in a field contiguous to the area of specialization. A candidate may elect to present a full minor or, in consultation with the graduate adviser, develop a special program in a related field, preferably no later than the second quarter of enrollment.
    1. Related Field—A student is required to complete a sequence of basic courses (12 units) in a chosen discipline outside the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. The choice of patterns is one of the following:
      1. a sequence of three courses in one West European literature, selected in consultation with the adviser, or
      2. three basic courses in comparative literature chosen in consultation with the Chair of Graduate Studies (CGS), or
      3. a sequence of three courses in another department selected in consultation with the CGS.
    2. Minor—Students electing a minor should take a minimum of 20 units in graduate-level courses in the minor department or fulfill the Ph.D. minor requirements established by that department. Students considering minors should consult with their adviser, the CGS, the Chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Chair of the minor department.
  3. Admission to Candidacy—Candidates should read carefully the general regulations governing the degree, as described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Department faculty make the decision to advance students to candidacy on the basis of the student's overall progress and promise in the sixth quarter of registration. The candidate by that time must have demonstrated commitment to graduate studies by completing a minimum of 21 content courses (not counting Summer Quarter) with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or better. These must include 14 seminars in the Slavic Department.
  4. M.A. Thesis—The candidate must submit a complete draft of an M.A. thesis approved by the thesis adviser. The M.A. thesis represents a compete article-length research paper (6,000-9,000 words) that qualifies in both form and substance for submission to an English language professional publication in the Slavic field. The deadline for the M.A. thesis approval is the eighth week of the sixth quarter of registration. Failure to meet these requirements results in termination of enrollment from the Ph.D. program. Following such termination, the student who has fulfilled all of the M.A. requirements may be given the opportunity to take the M.A. written examination in the history of Russian literature. If successful, the student is then awarded the terminal M.A. degree. In exceptional cases, the written examination requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Chair of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the department.
  5. Proficiency Test—Administered to all entering graduate students, this test determines whether the student's knowledge of Russian language and literature falls below the department's standard (Advanced Low on the OPI test). Students who fail are required to compete appropriate courses in the first year of graduate study. Courses required to meet the language proficiency are not counted towards the Course Work requirement of the Ph.D. degree.
  6. Foreign Languages—A candidate must demonstrate reading knowledge of French or German, plus another language useful for the student's area of concentration, by passing written examinations, or receiving a grade of 'A-' or better in a qualifying class with consent of the CGS. The reading examination in German or French must be passed by the end of the first year of study. The reading examination in the second language of choice must be passed by the end of the second year of study.
  7. Examinations—A candidate must pass the departmental general qualifying examinations, which have written and oral parts. These must be scheduled early in the seventh quarter of enrollment (preferably a day or two before the beginning of academic instruction). The written part covers the history of Russian literature from the medieval period through the twentieth century. The departmental oral qualifying examination follows no later than two weeks after completion of the written exams. The oral examination committee consists of four faculty members and may include one member representing the student's minor or related field; the rest must be drawn from among the Slavic Department faculty. The student makes a 20-minute presentation, following an academic conference format, and based possibly on the student's M.A. thesis. Each examiner questions the student on the presentation and related topics in the history of Russian literature and the minor related field. Following the departmental examinations, a candidate must pass a University Oral examination, consisting of a defense of a doctoral dissertation prospectus and covering content relevant to the area of study, rationale for the proposed investigation, and strategy to be employed in the dissertation research. The prospectus defense is expected to be scheduled at the end of the ninth and. in any case, no later than the beginning of the tenth quarter of registration. Note: Ph.D. examinations are scheduled by the graduate student in consultation with the CGS.
  8. Teaching—Students are required to complete five quarters of teaching within the funding period, including three quarters of first-year Russian and one quarter as a teaching assistant of literature for a faculty member, usually for one of the survey courses in translation: SLAVGEN 145, 146, 147, 148. Students are required to take DLCL 201 in preparation for teaching.
  9. Continuation—Continuation in the Ph.D. program is contingent on fulfilling the following criteria: for first-year students, a high quality of performance in course work (decided by department evaluation); for second-year students, satisfactory academic progress, including an M.A. thesis, which should be completed and approved by the eighth week of the sixth quarter of registration. The principal conditions for continued registration of a graduate student are the timely and satisfactory completion of the university, department, and program requirements for the degree, and fulfillment of minimum progress requirements. Failure to meet these requirements will result in corrective measures, which may include a written warning, academic probation, and/or release from the program.

Overseas Studies Courses in Slavic Languages and Literatures

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site ( or the Bing Overseas Studies web site ( Students should consult their department or program's student services office for applicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.

Autumn Quarter


OSPMOSC 12. 20th Century Russian Literature: Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. 3 units, Lazar Fleishman

OSPMOSC 18. Poetry, Painting and Music of the Russian Avant-garde. 3 units, Lazar Fleishman

OSPMOSC 62. Economic Reform and Economic Policy in Modern Russia. 5 units, Vladimir Mau, DB:SocSci, EC:GlobalCom

OSPMOSC 72. Space, Politics and Modernity in Russia. 5 units, Sergei Medvedev, DB:SocSci, EC:GlobalCom

OSPMOSC 74. Post-Soviet Eurasia and SCO: Society, Politics, Integration. 5 units, Maxim Bratersky, Sergey Kortunov, DB:SocSci, EC:GlobalCom

OSPMOSC 78. Russian-American Relations: from the War of Independence to the War on Terror. 5 units, Edward A. Ivanian, DB:SocSci

© Stanford University - Office of the Registrar. Archive of the Stanford Bulletin 2011-12. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints