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Slavic Languages and Literatures

Department Overview

M253 Smith

Slavic languages and literatures include the principal East European languages and literatures as well as Slavic linguistics. Languages include Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, Georgian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovene, and Ukrainian.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
M253A Smith, Box 353580
(206) 543-6848
slavicll@uw.edu

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers the following programs of study

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Slavic languages and literatures with options in Russian language, literature, and culture; and Eastern European languages, literatures, and culture
  • Minors in Russian language, Russian literature/Slavic literatures, and Slavic languages.

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: First- and second-year Russian. Courses that develop writing skills.

Department Admission Requirements

Students in good academic standing may declare this major at any time.

Major Requirements

Russian Language, Literature, and Culture Option (Minimum 50 credits):

  1. RUSS 322, RUSS 323
  2. RUSS 403
  3. RUSS 451
  4. Courses from the following list of electives to reach the required 50-credit minimum: RUSS 210, RUSS 221, RUSS 223, RUSS 230, RUSS 240, RUSS 313, RUSS 324, RUSS 420, RUSS 421, RUSS 422, RUSS 423, RUSS 424, RUSS 425, RUSS 426, RUSS 430, RUSS 481, RUSS 482, RUSS 483, RUSS 486, RUSS 490, SLAV 110, SLAV 210, SLAV 223, SLAV 320, SLAV 323, SLAV 351, SLAV 401, SLAV 423, SLAV 425, SLAV 426, SLAV 470, SLAV 490, SLAVIC 498; HSTEU 444/SISRE 444, HSTEU 445/SISRE 448. No more than 15 credits from the following may apply: RUSS 303, RUSS 350 (only 5 credits of RUSS 350 may apply), RUSS 401, or RUSS 402. No more than 5 credits from the following units may apply: RUSS 110, RUSS 120.
  5. Minimum 2.0 grade for each course and minimum 2.50 GPA for all UW and transfer courses presented for this option
  6. Minimum 15 graded credits presented for this option must be completed at the UW

Eastern European Languages, Literature, and Culture Option (Minimum 50 credits):

  1. One of the following: BCS 406, BCS 410, BULGR 406, CZECH 406, POLSH 406, ROMN 406, SLVN 406, UKR 406
  2. SLAV 351 (5 credits)
  3. Courses from the list below to reach the required 50-credit minimum. Up to 25 credits from the principal Eastern European language (item 1, above) may also be counted toward the 50-credit minimum requirement. Minimum 20 credits from BCS 420, CZECH 420, POLSH 320, POLSH 420, SLAV 110, SLAV 210, SLAV 223, SLAV 320, SLAV 323, SLAV 401, SLAV 423, SLAV 425, SLAV 426, SLAV 470, SLAV 481, SLAV 482, SLAV 483, SLAV 486, SLAV 490, SLAVIC 498, UKR 420
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course and minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all UW and transfer courses presented for this option.
  5. Minimum 15 graded credits presented for this option must be completed at the UW.

Minor

Minor Requirements:

Russian Language: Minimum 25 credits to include one of the following: RUSS 303, RUSS 350, RUSS 401, RUSS 402, RUSS 403. Courses from item 4 for the Russian major, above, or from the following list of electives to reach the required 25-credit minimum: RUSS 301, RUSS 302, RUSS 313, RUSS 451, RUSS 461, RUSS 481, SLAV 110, SLAV 210, SLAV 351, SLAV 425, SLAV 426, SLAV 470. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course presented for the minor. Minimum 15 graded credits presented for the minor must be completed at the UW.

Russian Literature/Slavic Literatures: Minimum 25 credits to include RUSS 322, RUSS 323, and 15 credits from the following electives list: BCS 420, CZECH 420, POLSH 320, POLSH 420, RUSS 210, RUSS 221, RUSS 223, RUSS 230, RUSS 240, RUSS 324, RUSS 420, RUSS 421, RUSS 422, RUSS 423, RUSS 424, RUSS 425, RUSS 426, RUSS 430, RUSS 490, SLAV 223, SLAV 320, SLAV 323, SLAV 423, SLAV 490, UKR 420. No more than 5 credits from the following may also apply: RUSS 110, RUSS 120. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course presented for the minor. Minimum 15 graded credits presented for the minor must be completed at the UW.

Slavic Languages: Minimum 25 credits to include one of the following as a principal Eastern European language: BCS 406, BCS 410 (10 credits), BULGR 406, CZECH 406, POLSH 406, ROMN 406, SLVN 406, UKR 406. Also required: SLAV 351. Courses from the following list of electives to reach the required 25-credit minimum: SLAV 110, SLAV 210, SLAV 425, SLAV 426, SLAV 470, SLAV 481. Up to 25 credits from the principal Eastern European language above may also be counted toward the 25-credit minimum requirement. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course presented for the minor. Minimum 15 graded credits presented for the minor must be completed at the UW.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Graduating majors in Slavic languages and literatures have a solid command of the Slavic language of focus, with speaking, listening, reading, writing, and translation skills at the intermediate high or advanced level. They have a broad knowledge of the history of the relevant country, and of its modern culture. Students have a general knowledge of major periods and literature and detailed knowledge of two or three particular authors or genres. Students have a good understanding of Slavic languages in general and the language of their specialization in particular, as well as knowledge of major issues in contemporary phonology, morphology, and syntax. All students develop good general analytical skills and the ability to explore and understand another culture through mastery of its language.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: UW Language Learning Center
  • Honors Options Available: Dobro Slovo membership is available to qualifying students (see adviser for requirements). With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Undergraduates may present their current research at the annual Slavic Student Symposium each spring. Suzzallo Library holdings include some 400,000 titles in Slavic languages and in other languages on Slavic subjects. The library subscribes to all important periodicals and newspapers in Russian and other languages and has exceptionally strong holdings in rare and antiquarian Slavic titles on microfilm and microfiche.
  • Department Scholarships: Vadim Pahn Scholarship for continued study of Russian in an intensive summer language program; Asante Outstanding Paper Prize for the best undergraduate paper written in a Slavic Department course; Polish Studies Scholarship awarded for study in Poland of the Polish language and culture.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Rodnoi Ugolok, the Russian student society; Ukrainian Students United, the Ukrainian student society.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
M268 Smith, Box 353580
(206) 543-6848

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a complete program of courses and seminars leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Russian and East European languages, literatures, and cultures. Languages taught in the department include Czech, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.

The graduate program is organized to permit completion of the master's degree in four to six quarters and the doctoral degree in three additional years. The duration of each program, however, will depend on the extent of the student's preparation upon entrance into the program.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

A student seeking admission to the MA program should have a bachelor's degree in Russian or Slavic Studies which includes four years of Slavic language study. Applicants with equivalent experience and basic coursework in Slavic literatures, cultures and history are considered. A student not meeting these requirements may be given conditional admission but is expected to make up any deficiencies. Consideration is given to those with three years of language who enroll in fourth-year summer intensive Russian the quarter before entry.

All students entering the program take a diagnostic language test to establish their level of proficiency and determine what further instruction may be necessary.

Degree Requirements

45 credits minimum, as follows:

Slavic core courses, 10 credits: RUSS 501, RUSS 502, SLAV 501, SLAV 519, Slavic linguistics courses, 10 credits from the following: SLAV 550, SLAV 551, SLAV 570

  • Slavic literature courses, 10 credits: RUSS 542, RUSS 543
  • Second Slavic language, (5 credits): one of the following: BCS 403, BULGR 403, CZECH 403 or POLSH 403 (implies completion of 401 and 402 in the relevant language)
  • Elective courses, 10 credits from above or from the following: BCS 406, BCS 420, CZECH 406, CZECH 420, POLSH 406, POLSH 420, RUSS 420, RUSS 421, RUSS 422, RUSS 423, RUSS 425, RUSS 426, RUSS 430, RUSS 512, RUSS 520, RUSS 521, RUSS 522, RUSS 523, RUSS 526, RUSS 570, RUSS 577, SLAV 420, SLAV 423, SLAV 425, SLAV 426, SLAV 470, SLAV 490, SLAV 520, SLAV 561, SLAV 562, SLAV 563, SLAV 565, SLAV 566, UKR 420

Examinations

  • Russian Language: Based on texts given to the student the day before the examination. Clean copies of texts are supplied and the student has three hours to translate specified passages and write an essay. After the examination, the student discusses (in Russian) the content and language of the texts with two examiners. The examination is graded High Pass, Pass, and Fail. Students failing must repeat RUSS 501 and/or RUSS 502 before taking the examination again. A High Pass is normally required for admission to the doctoral program.
  • Other Slavic Languages: Students whose program centers around a Slavic language other than Russian make special arrangements for further study and eventual testing in their target language.
  • MA Comprehensive Examinations: Normally in three fieldsand taken within a period of two weeks, the examinations are four hours long, taken in situ. With permission of the adviser, students may request three-day take-home essays (usually from Friday morning to Monday morning).

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures, who are expected to possess an MA or equivalent degree, are admitted by vote of the graduate faculty on the basis of their language skills (Slavic and English), general background in Slavic cultures, and a comprehensive statement of purpose.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits, to include:

  • Coursework: At least 90 credits, including graduate course credits taken toward the MA degree, and at least one full year of residence at the UW
  • Readings: Many post-MA credits are satisfied with individually arranged readings courses. Courses are mutually agreed upon by the student and the committee chair and are organized with an eye to the comprehensive examinations. Students whose emphasis is Slavic linguistics may include a third Slavic language as a field. PhDstudents with a literature focus should take one year of a second Slavic language (401-403 sequence) or test out of 403. PhD students with a linguistics focus should take two years of one language (401-406 sequence) or at least one year of two different second Slavic languages. The student may also satisfy this requirement by demonstrating appropriate proficiency in the language(s). Students majoring in language pedagogy follow the linguistics guidelines.
  • Comprehensive Examinations: Students schedule their PhD examinations no later than the end of the sixth quarter of full residency after receiving their MA. As a prerequisite for scheduling the general examination, the candidate must demonstrate reading ability in a language appropriate for research purposes. This requirement may be fulfilled either by taking a standardized examination in the appropriate language or by an in-house examination given by a member of the graduate faculty of the Slavic Department. The two-hour examnation consists of a journal article (5-7 pages), which the student summarizes and a portion of which s/he translates. The particular language may be negotiated by the student with his or her adviser on the basis of the research interests of the student.

The student takes four written field examinations, followed two weeks later by the general (oral comprehensive) examination. One of the field examinations may be in a third Slavic language or in a field from another department at the university. At the discretion of the examiner, the examinations may be either four-hour examinations in situ or three-day take-home essays. A student may be excused from one field examination if the committee accepts a paper published in a reviewed journal in lieu of that examination.

The student discusses each potential examination with the examiner for that field, presenting, where required, a personal reading list for the field.

Upon completion of the written examinations, the examinations and the comments prepared by each examiner are made available to all members of the Committee as well as to the student. The examinations are kept in the student's permanent file in the departmental office.

The general (oral comprehensive) examination must be set up with the Graduate School at least three weeks before the examination is scheduled. The procedure is described in the Graduate Student Services' how-to instructions on the web.

Part of the oral comprehensive examination is usually a presentation of the dissertation proposal.

  • Dissertation and Defense: After the successful completion of the general examination, the candidate submits a detailed dissertation prospectus to be approved by the Supervisory Committee. The candidate must register for a minimum of three quarters of SLAVIC 800 at a maximum of 10 credits per quarter before submitting a dissertation for defense. With the approval of the dissertation reading committee (usually a subset of the Supervisory Committee), the candidate defends the dissertation in a final examination open to the graduate faculty of the university and invited guests.

Research Facilities

The Suzzallo Library holdings include some 400,000 titles in Slavic languages and in other languages on Slavic subjects. It subscribes to all important periodicals and newspapers in Russian and other languages and has exceptionally strong holdings in rare and antiquarian Slavic titles on microfilm and microfiche.

Assistantship Opportunities

The department regularly offers a number of teaching assistantships. In conjunction with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, students in the department are eligible for several other types of fellowships.