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Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Undergraduate Study

The Slavic Department has no special admissions procedures for undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to declare a major in Slavic Languages and literatures.  Our BA and minor programs are open to any student in the good standing in the College.  To be successful in upper-level coursework, prospective majors should complete the first two years of language study with strong grades.


Graduate Study

The KU Slavic Department offers the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLL). The Department's graduate programs prepare students for a variety of professional positions. While most KU SLL students choose to remain in the academic sector, others have successfully pursued careers in government service, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), other public-sector positions, administration, high-school and community-college teaching, and professional-education support, among other career paths. Our graduate faculty and affiliated humanities colleagues mentor students to succeed on whatever path they choose to pursue.

Submit a graduate program inquiry form!

Prerequisites to Admission to Graduate Study | Application for Slavic Graduate Study

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Work toward the M.A. degree in Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Kansas consists of a traditional curriculum that provides students with important foundational knowledge. Our curriculum includes historical surveys of the major literary periods and genres, understanding of the structure and function of Slavic languages, knowledge of disciplinary methodologies employed in our field, development of appropriate language capacity, and control of writing and research strategies.

Students pursuing the M.A. in Slavic Languages & Literatures may choose as their primary language and culture Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, or Polish.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctoral Program Profile (statistical overview of the SLL Ph.D. program)

Building on the M.A. foundational base, the KU Ph.D. degree program encourages students to develop their particular intellectual interests in collaboration with KU faculty and their areas of specialization. Ph.D. students also learn a second Slavic language and develop knowledge of a secondary field. For the second field, we encourage our students to choose from philosophy, linguistics, religion, history, theatre and cinema, literary theory, comparative literature, or folklore.

Two concentrations are offered in the Ph.D. Program:

  • Russian Literature
  • Slavic Linguistics

Ph.D. students who pursue the traditional study of Russian literature and Slavic linguistics have a full-service curriculum from which to choose. Doctoral students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. concentration in another literature that the department offers, such as Polish, Ukrainian, or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, may develop an individualized program of study in consultation with faculty.

Ph.D. students interested in Russian culture, intellectual history, Slavic folklore, or interdisciplinary themes track through the Russian literature Ph.D. option.

Ph.D. students interested in working in the field of Slavic language pedagogy track through the Slavic linguistics Ph.D. option.

For more information about the academic program or about any aspect of the application process, consult with the Department's Director of Graduate Studies.

Prerequisites to Admission to Graduate Study

Students interested in pursuing graduate study in Slavic Languages & Literatures should meet the following prerequisites:

Meet all requirements set by the Graduate School for admission to graduate study as outlined in the KU Graduate Catalog; including a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution;

Complete the equivalent of 30 credit hours in Russian language and literature at the college level, 10-12 credits of which must be completed at the junior-senior level (or be able to test out at that level). In some cases, 30 credit hours of Polish, B/C/S, or Slovene may also be considered for work toward a graduate degree in those languages.

Be prepared to submit GRE scores no older than five years (for applicants from American institutions);

Be prepared to submit recent TOEFL scores (for applicants from foreign institutions; see KU's Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

For students who do not meet prerequisites:

Students who have studied in appropriate fields and/or gained appropriate in-country experience with language skills, but who lack sufficient prerequisites, may consider applying to KU Graduate Studies and the Department as non-degree-seeking (NDS) students in order to make up any gaps in academic study. After meeting the prerequisites with a 3.0 GPA or better, NDS students may apply for admission to SLL graduate degree programs.

Consult with the Department's Director of Graduate Studies before beginning any remedial work.

Application for Slavic Graduate Study

KU SLL accepts applications for graduate study year-round. Students may begin the graduate program in either the fall or spring semester. Applicants seeking financial support, however, have a January 5th deadline for August matriculation. Our Graduate Faculty finalizes GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistantship) decisions by March 1st or shortly thereafter. Please indicate in your letter of intent or in the on-line application form that you wish to be considered for a GTA position.

Apply online through the Office of Graduate Studies online application system. The system takes you step by step through the entire institutional application process.

Prior to applying, please be aware that in order to complete your online application to KU SLL, you will need to prepare the following supplemental documents for upload:

  1. A. GRE scores, if you are a North American applicant. While you may enter your scores on the general data sheet, confirmation of scores will need to come from GRE: KU's GRE institutional code is 6871. International applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. B. English Language Proficiency exam scores.  If you are a non-native speaker of English, see the English Proficiency Requirements. Applicants must meet the minimum requirement for Regular admission. KU's TOEFL institutional code is 6871. Native English speakers do not need to submit TOEFL scores;
  2. Statement of Academic Objectives (500 words): Your response might address (but is not limited to) questions such as: Why do you wish to pursue graduate study in Slavic Languages & Literatures? Do you plan to pursue the M.A. as a terminal degree for professional goals? What are your professional goals? Do you plan to complete the Ph.D.? If so, what kind of educational institution do you see yourself employed at after finishing the Ph.D.? At this time, have you developed specific interests in the field? What are they? What do "teaching and research" mean to you? What has attracted you to our graduate program and what are your expectations of this program? How will graduate education help you meet and shape your personal and professional goals;
  3. a short biographical essay (1-2 pages) in the target language you intend to study (Russian, Polish, or Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian);
  4. Writing Sample (5,000-7,000 words): This writing sample should represent your best work. A research paper from an upper level course is suitable. It may be in the field of Russian literature or language, or in another, related field, but it should demonstrate your ability to pose a research question, present evidence and argumentation, and defend your conclusion.
  5. the names and contact information of three references (who will be contacted for letters of recommendation directly by KU). Please alert your references in advance;
  6. general information about your applications for funding;
  7. transcripts from all institutions from which a degree was obtained, or that were attended post-bachelor's.  These may be uploaded to the online application or official copies may be sent by mail.  If unofficial copies are used for admission purposes, official copies must be sent by the end of the first semester of study.  Mail official copies to:

Graduate Admissions
313 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045-7535



We encourage you to look at the faculty page and see which faculty members do research or teach in your areas of interest.

The Department will not consider a recommendation of admission until all materials are submitted through the institutional application to the Office of Graduate Studies.

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KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad