This master’s program is offered for work leading to the Ph.D. Students may not apply directly for the master’s, and should instead see the admissions information for the Ph.D.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Most students receive funding for multiple years in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships or project assistantships. These positions include a stipend as well as tuition remission and a generous health plan. Additional hourly employment is also often available. See the program website and the Graduate School's funding information page for more information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 66% of degree coursework (20 credits out of 30 total credits) must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.6 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all core curriculum coursework.
Assessments and Examinations Passing grades (no lower than AB) on three of the program’s six written Foundation examinations in the history of Russian literature (linked to courses SLAVIC 701 Survey of Old Russian Literature, SLAVIC 702 Eighteenth-Century Russian Literature, SLAVIC 703 Foundations in Russian Romanticism, SLAVIC 707 Foundations in Russian Realism (~1840-1890s), SLAVIC 708 Foundation in Russian Modernism (~1890s-1930s), SLAVIC 709 Foundation in Soviet, Emigre, and Post-Soviet Literature (~1930-present)); exams may be taken irrespective of enrollment in the courses.

Passing at least three out of five Russian language proficiency examinations in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar. Passing level for the first four exams: Advanced Low on ACTFL scale; passing score for grammar test: 80%.

A Gateway exercise: the full faculty review of student’s progress to date and assessment of potential to succeed in the Ph.D. track is conducted upon the award of the M.A. At least one senior faculty member must express willingness ultimately to serve as dissertation advisor. Students who do not pass Gateway exercise may not continue for Ph.D.
Language Requirements For Russian language proficiency requirements see "Assessments and Examinations."

Required COURSES

SLAVIC 800 Proseminar-Slavic Literature and Culture1
Select at least two of the following:
Slavic Critical Theory and Practice
The Structure of Russian
Introduction to Old Church Slavonic and the History of Russian Literary Language
Two SLAVIC 900 3-credit courses (topics seminars)

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Students are not allowed to count graduate coursework from other institution to fulfill degree requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 7 credits numbered 700 and above taken in the Slavic program while pursuing a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


A semester GPA below 3.25 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.25 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment (or 12 credits of enrollment if enrolled part-time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for 1 additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.


All students meet with graduate advisor once a semester (in November and April) to discuss their progress and to plan their coursework for the subsequent semester.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.


Students are typically admitted with four- to five-year funding guarantees contingent on satisfactory progress and ability to perform assigned responsibilities well. Funding packages combine fellowships, teaching assistantships and project assistantships at the level of at least 33.3%. All such positions include a stipend as well as tuition remission and a generous health plan. Funding beyond the initial guarantee period is often available for one or two years.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. (Critical Thinking and Writing Skills) Demonstrate: analytic, interpretive, and critical thinking skills; knowledge of research protocols; and understanding of the specificity of the literary object as well as its historical and cultural context.
  2. Develop broad knowledge of Russian literary history, the major writers and movements, from the origins to the present day. Demonstrate this knowledge in relation to periods and movements, courses in which are offered during their time in the program. These include: Old Russian Literature; 18th-Century Russian Literature; Romanticism (ca. 1790s to 1840s); Realism (ca. 1840s to 1890s); Modernism (ca. 1890s to 1920s); Soviet, Emigre, and Post-Soviet Periods (ca. 1930s to the present).
  3. (Language proficiency) Demonstrate Advanced Russian language proficiency on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale across three modalities (speaking, listening, reading, or writing). Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the structure of contemporary Russian.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct in the context of Slavic studies.

Faculty: Professors Danaher, Evans-Romaine, Shevelenko, and van de Water; Associate Professor Reynolds; Assistant Professors Hanukai, Ospovat, Wodzynski, and Zilbergerts; Faculty Associates Tishler and Tumarkin