Graduate Program

The Department offers the Ph.D. in Russian literature and culture and, by special arrangement, in Medieval Slavic literature and philology. The Department also offers, in conjunction with the Program in Film Studies, a combined degree Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Film Studies.  Applicants to the combined degree program must indicate on their application that they are applying both to Film Studies and to Slavic Languages and Literatures. All documentation within the application should include this information.  The Department is willing to consider other interdisciplinary degrees modeled on the combined degree in Slavic and Film (by special arrangement) once students have matriculated. Students interested in pursuing an ad hoc degree are encouraged to speak with the DGS early in the program.

Further information can be found at the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Knowledge of Russian History

Students are expected to have a basic knowledge of Russian history. Those who have had no formal course in this subject are urged to include it in their graduate program.

Familiarity with Western Literatures

Every student is encouraged to take one or two formal courses in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or comparative literature. Needless to say, any student of Slavic literature should be familiar with the outstanding works of world literature.

Competence in Russian

All entering students should have a sufficient knowledge of Russian to permit them to do satisfactory work at the graduate level, and are required to pass a departmental proficiency examination in Russian at the beginning of the first semester of study. Students who do not have adequate preparation will be required to make up the deficiency in undergraduate classes.

Competence in French or German

Students may demonstrate competence in French or German by successfully completing, at a minimum, approved reading courses at Yale—German 100 and 101, or French 109—(or their equivalents elsewhere) or by passing a reading examination in the chosen language by the beginning of the fifth term of study.  The German and French Departments conduct suitable reading examinations, but the Slavic Department will administer its own if necessary.

The student’s study of French or German should not be postponed, for books and articles in these languages are used in many graduate courses and are included in bibliographies.  Generally speaking, it is better to take language courses than to attempt to acquire the proficiency on one’s own.