College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Requirements for the M.A. Degree

The MA degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures requires a minimum of 30 hours of course work. The University of Kansas operates on the semester system; most graduate courses are thus 15 weeks long and provide three credit hours toward degree. See prerequisites for admission to graduate study.

In Slavic Languages and Literatures, the MA degree is the gateway to PhD work; it can also serve as a stand-alone MA degree. Students may decide to pursue a thesis or non-thesis option. Most students select the non-thesis option; if the thesis option is of interest to you, you may negotiate it with your advisor.


MA students successfully complete the following set of courses for 30 credit hours:

  • SLAV 710: Introduction to Slavic Languages and Linguistics;
  • SLAV 740: Bibliography and Methods;
  • Three course electives in Slavic literature;
  • Three course electives in Slavic linguistics;
  • Two additional course electives in either Slavic literature or linguistics or six hours of thesis credit;
  • At least one elective must be a graduate seminar.

Download the MA curriculum (PDF).



After completing the minimum 30 hours, students in the more popular non-thesis option undertake either:

  1. terminal MA written and oral exams, after which they conclude their graduate studies and move on to their chosen professional fields, or
  2. MA/PhD Qualifying written and oral exams that will allow them to continue on to PhD work in either the Russian Literature or the Slavic Linguistics track.

Students who have chosen the thesis option undergo an oral defense of their thesis for a terminal degree in place of 6 course hours, followed by an MA examination. If the thesis option student wishes to continue on to PhD work, he or she will take take the MA/PhD Qualifying exam, which is required for admission to PhD study.

Students who enter the KU graduate program with an MA degree from another institution must take the MA/PhD Qualifying exam as soon as they feel ready, but no later than the second semester of their enrollment.

Students completing the MA degree without intent to continue to PhD work have the opportunity, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, to adjust their program to meet specific career goals.

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