Ph.D in Slavic Languages and Literatures

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Slavic Languages and Literatures are expected to fulfill the following requirements while meeting the program's deadlines in the course of their progress towards the degree:

  1. Minor or Related Fields—During the course of study, students must develop substantial expertise in a field contiguous to the area of specialization. A candidate may elect to present a full minor or, in consultation with the graduate adviser, develop a special program in a related field, preferably no later than the second quarter of enrollment.
    1. Related Field—A student is required to complete a sequence of basic courses (12 units) in a chosen discipline outside the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. The choice of patterns is one of the following:
      1. a sequence of three courses in one West European literature, selected in consultation with the adviser, or
      2. three basic courses in comparative literature chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), or
      3. a sequence of three courses in another department, selected in consultation with the DGS.
    2. Minor—Students electing a minor should take a minimum of 20 units in graduate-level courses in the minor department or fulfill the minor requirements established by that department. Students considering minors should consult with their adviser, the Director of Graduate Studies, the chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the chair of the minor department.
    3. Students who have already enrolled in the Graduate Program in the Humanities to fulfill the department's "minor or related field" requirement may continue in this program.

  2. Admission to Candidacy—The department faculty make the decision to advance students to candidacy on the basis of the student's overall progress and promise in the sixth quarter of registration. The candidate by that time must have demonstrated commitment to graduate studies by completing a minimum of 21 content courses (not counting Summer Quarter) with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or better. These must include 14 seminars in the Slavic Department. The candidate must submit a complete draft of an M.A. thesis approved by the thesis adviser and two readers selected by the candidate from among the department's faculty. The M.A. thesis represents a complete article-length research paper (6,000-9,000 words) that qualifies in both form and substance for submission to an English language professional publication in the Slavic field. The deadline for the M.A. thesis approval is the second week of the sixth quarter of registration. Failure to meet these requirements results in termination of enrollment for the Ph.D. Following such termination, the student who has fulfilled all of the M.A. requirements may be given the opportunity to take the M.A. written examination in the history of Russian literature. If successful, the student is then awarded the M.A. degree In exceptional cases, the written examination requirement may be waived at the discretion of the DGS and the chair of the department.
  3. Proficiency Test—Administered for all entering graduate students, this test determines whether the student's knowledge of Russian language and literature falls below the department's standard. Students who fail to meet the standard in this test are asked to complete appropriate courses in the first year of graduate study.
  4. Course Requirements—In consultation with the chair of graduate studies, students are expected to take 18 units of credit each quarter of their first year, 10 units each funded summer, and 10 units each quarter thereafter. They are expected to reach 135 units and attain TGR status in the winter of their fourth year. Entering graduate students must enroll in SLAVLIT 200.
  5. Foreign Languages—A candidate must demonstrate reading knowledge of French or German, plus another language useful for the student's area of concentration, by passing written examinations, or receiving a grade of 'A-' or better in a qualifying class with the consent of the DGS.
  6. Examinations—A candidate must pass the departmental general qualifying examinations, which has written and oral parts. These must be scheduled early in the seventh quarter of enrollment (preferably a day or two before the beginning of academic instruction). The written part covers the history of Russian literature from the medieval period through the twentieth century. The departmental oral qualifying examination follows no later than two weeks after completion of the written exams. The oral examination committee consists of four faculty members and may include one member representing the student's "minor or related field." (The rest must be drawn from among the Slavic Department faculty.) The student makes a 20-minute presentation, following an academic conference format, and based possibly on the student's M.A. thesis. Each examiner questions the student on the presentation and related topics in the history of Russian literature and the minor or related field. Following the departmental examinations, a candidate must pass a University oral examination, consisting of a defense of a doctoral dissertation prospectus covering content relevant to the area of study, rationale for the proposed investigation, and strategy to be employed in the dissertation research. The prospectus defense is expected to be scheduled at the end of the ninth and in any case, no later than the beginning of the tenth quarter of registration. Note: Ph.D. examinations are scheduled by the graduate student in consultation with the DGS.

Continuation—Continuation in the Ph.D. program is contingent on fulfilling the following criteria: for first-year students, a high quality of performance in course work (decided by department evaluation); for second-year students, satisfactory academic progress, including an M.A. thesis, which should be completed and approved by the second week of the sixth quarter of registration.

Course Work, Breadth Requirements, and Overall Scheduling

The principal conditions for continued registration of a graduate student are the timely and satisfactory completion of the university, department, and program requirements for the degree, and fulfillment of minimum progress requirements. Failure to meet these requirements will result in corrective measures which may include a written warning, academic probation, and/or the possible release from the program.

  1. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are free to select course work to suit their individual program of study. However, candidates must do so in consultation with their advisor (DGS or principal dissertation advisor) and are held responsible for all of the areas covered by the general examinations, regardless of whether they have registered for the department's offerings in a given field. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that before taking Ph.D. examinations, students complete seminar-level work directly related to the following broad areas:
    1. Russian poetry
    2. the Russian novel
    3. 20th-century Russian literature
    4. 19th-century Russian literature (the Age of Pushkin and after)
    5. 18th-century Russian literature (the early 1700s to the Age of Pushkin)
    6. medieval Russian literature
    7. a monograph course on a major Russian author
    8. theory of literature relevant to the major field

      The department's general qualifying examinations must be taken early in the first quarter of the third year of study; they may be taken during the second year if the student and the adviser feel this is appropriate. During the two quarters following the departmental general qualifying examinations (the departmental oral examination must be scheduled no later than two weeks after the written part of the exam), the student should be concerned primarily with preparation for the University oral examination (dissertation and prospectus defense), which should take place at the end of the third quarter of the third year or, at the latest, early in the tenth quarter of registration. The fourth and fifth years should be devoted to research, including on-site research in Russia or other relevant area, and writing leading to completion of the Ph.D. dissertation.

  2. Students possessing the equivalent of the Stanford M.A. are normally expected to adhere to the schedule for the second, third, and fourth years of work outlined under item 1 above.
  3. Students in the Ph.D. program are required to do five quarters of teaching within the funding period, including three quarters of first-year Russian and one quarter as a teaching assistant of literature for a faculty member, usually for one of the survey courses in translation: SLAVGEN 145, 146, 147, 148. Students are required to take a one quarter TA training course, DLCL 201, during their second year.

Non-Slavic Language Requirements—Credit toward either the M.A. or the Ph.D. degrees is not given for first-year courses in languages. It is assumed that, on entering the program, the student has a reading knowledge of either German or French. The reading examination in German or French must be passed by the end of the first year of study. The reading examination in the second language of choice must be passed by the end of the second year of study. Both language examinations must be passed before the candidate takes the University oral examination, that is, before the end of the third year.