M.A. Program Overview

The Master of Arts degree in Slavic Languages & Literatures provides students with foundational knowledge of the language, literature, culture, and linguistics of a region of study (Russian, Polish, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian). Working in a collegial and supportive environment, M.A. students learn the general contours and common ground of the field; read key works embedded in their historical, cultural, stylistic, and genre contexts; learn various methodological and theoretical frameworks and strategies; improve their language capacity, and develop research, writing, interpretive, and technological skills.

The M.A. prepares students for several career pathways. While completion of the M.A. is most often the gateway to Ph.D. work in the field, many students use the M.A. to build skills for a professional career. KU Slavic M.A. students go on to satisfying work in the public and private sectors, in the U.S. and abroad.

Departmental Funding

The department does its best to provide funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointments to all incoming graduate students.  GTA appointments are awarded for the academic year; .50 full-time equivalent (FTE) appointments come with:

  • a competitive academic year (9 month) salary
  • a 100% tuition waiver for all courses at KU
  • payment of up to 3 hours of student fees
  • optional University-subsidized group health insurance 

The appointments are guaranteed based on performance for up to 3 years for M.A. students, and 6 years for students who receive both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at The University of Kansas.  GTAs receive thorough training in language instruction, close mentoring, and the opportunity to teach at a variety of levels, which provides a strong base of teaching experience upon entering the job market.

Additional Funding

There are also university fellowships for truly outstanding students. Visit the Graduate Studies website for information about funding opportunities for KU graduate students.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Apply to the graduate program via the Graduate Studies online application system.

For additional information regarding departmental admissions requirements, deadlines and the application process, please visit the graduate page of the Slavic Languages and Literatures website.

M.A. Degree Requirements

Prerequisites for Admission

  • 30 semester hours of credit in an appropriate Slavic language and literature (of which 12 hours must have been taken on the junior/senior level), or the equivalent of such study.

Non-thesis Degree

  1. At least 30 hours of graduate work in Slavic languages and literatures including SLAV 710 and SLAV 740, 3 courses in Slavic literature, 3 courses in Slavic linguistics, and 2 courses in either Slavic literature or linguistics. At least 1 of the literature or linguistics courses must be a graduate seminar.
  2. A written and oral examination.

Thesis Degree

  1. At least 24 hours of graduate work in Slavic languages and literatures, including SLAV 710 and SLAV 740, 3 courses in Slavic literature, and 3 courses in Slavic linguistics.
  2. A thesis for which 6 credit hours may be allowed (not to be included in the 24-hour minimum).
  3. A written and oral examination.

For students who plan to continue in the graduate program, the M.A. written and oral examination serves as a qualifying examination for advancement to Ph.D. work. For students who seek only the M.A. degree, successful completion of the M.A. written and oral examination signals the end of the program.

Students planning to work toward the Ph.D. may begin study of a second Slavic language during their M.A. work. Such study does not count toward M.A. degree requirements.

Students completing the M.A. degree without intent to continue to Ph.D. work have the opportunity, in consultation with the graduate advisor, to adjust their program to meet specific career goals.

Study Abroad

The department offers summer and semester options at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, and in conjunction with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, conducts summer institutes at universities in

  • L’viv, Ukraine; and
  • Zadar, Croatia.
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan (internship program)

Some scholarship support is available.

Consult the Slavic department office or the Office of Study Abroad. Credit for non-KU programs is not automatic and is evaluated in consultation with the Slavic department undergraduate director.

Undergraduate and graduate students at KU are encouraged to spend a summer, semester, and/or year studying and conducting research in their country of interest.

Slavic Language Programs in Russia and Eastern Europe

KU students may take intermediate or advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian at a 6-week summer institute in Croatia or attend a summer language program in Poland.

Graduate students at KU are encouraged to spend a summer, semester, and/or year studying and conducting research in their country of interest.