The Graduate Program in Slavic

The doctorate in Slavic Languages and Literatures is designed to prepare students for a career of teaching and scholarship at the university level. It provides a thorough grounding in Russian literary and cultural history as well as in the theoretical perspectives current in the field.  Elective coursework, particularly at the upper level, allows students to take advantage of the department’s expertise in such additional areas as Russian art, Russian theater, and eastern European cinema. The linguistic component of the curriculum together with the experience as a teaching assistant in Russian language courses that many students gain also serves as preparation for positions involving language teaching. Depending on departmental offerings, further study in a second Slavic language and culture may also be possible.


Admission Requirements

An undergraduate major in Russian or its equivalent is a prerequisite for graduate work.

Degree Requirements

These degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation section and the Graduate School section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.

Master of Arts in Slavic Languages and Literatures

The department does not accept applicants for a Master of Arts degree in Slavic languages and literatures. The M.A. degree is intended only as a transitional degree in the process of completing requirements for the Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures.  The M.A. portion of the program comprises 30 units.

First-year review

The program conducts a thorough review of all first-year students at the end of the second semester. To be permitted to continue doctoral work, students must receive a satisfactory evaluation in this review.

Language requirements

Non-native speakers of Russian must successfully complete 8 units (4 semesters) of SLL 500 Topics in Advanced Russian and pass a proficiency exam in the language.

Field Examination

A written exam based on a reading list, followed by an oral exam, must be successfully passed before the M.A. can be awarded.  It is normally taken at the end of the semester in which M.A. course work is completed.



Required M.A.-level courses                                                                                             Units

SLL 500, Topics in Advanced Russian                   2 (x4=8 total)

501, Proseminar in Russian Literature                  3

512, History of the Russian Language                  3

532, 18th Century Russian Literature                   3

546, The Russian Novel                                      3


Doctor of Philosophy in Slavic Languages and Literatures

Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures are required to complete a minimum of 60 units of course work beyond the baccalaureate.  In addition to the 30 units completed toward the M.A. , students are required to complete the courses listed below; to demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written Russian; to demonstrate reading knowledge of French and German (in exceptional cases a second Slavic language may substitute for either French or German; instruction in Slavic languages other than Russian is not scheduled on a regular basis); to pass the qualifying examination, which must be taken after all course work has been completed; to complete and successfully defend a dissertation.



Required Ph.D.-level courses                                                                                                          Units

516, Structure of Modern Russian: Morphology                       3

545, 19th Century Russian Poetry                                           3

550, Russian Modernism                                                        3

555, Soviet Literature I (1917-1953)                                      3


Two of:

SLL 650,Seminar in Russian Literature;

SLL 660, Seminar 3 (x2=6 total)

in a Single Author or Work; SLL 665, Seminar in Russian Culture

and the Arts


Plus electives, from SLL or relevant offerings in CSLC, COLT, ENGL, FREN, SPAN etc. as approved by the department.  At least 9 of these units must be completed in SLL.


Dissertation Defense

An oral defense of the dissertation must be satisfactorily completed before the dissertation can be filed with the Graduate School.

Awarding of Degree

The degree of Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures is conferred when all of the degree requirements have been completed satisfactorily.


What's New

James "Frank" Goodwin (USC PHD 2001) has received tenure in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Culture at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Way to go, Frank!

  • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • University of Southern California
  • College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Taper Hall 255
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353