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Slavic Languages and Literatures

In this interdisciplinary program, which is traditionally centered on literary studies, you will explore film studies, cultural studies, the visual arts, urban studies, material history, and much more.

This program offers you the opportunity to study a broad range of Slavic traditions, including Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Polish, Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. This wide breadth of study allows you to choose the path that most interests you.

Examples of student dissertations include “Life Laid Bare: The Lives and Deaths of Animals in Soviet Cinema,” “The Reemergence of the Epic and Its Use in Mythmaking among Members of the Eastern European Yiddish Avant-Garde from 1914-27,” and “Ivan the Terrible’s Queer Legacy in Art.”

Graduates of the program have gone on to secure faculty positions at prestigious institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, and Yale University. Others have gone into careers at organizations such as Harvard University Press and positions in libraries, museums, translation, and film direction.

If you are interested in a terminal master’s degree, please review information on the master’s degree in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA) offered by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies.

Areas of Study

Linguistics | Literature

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Academic Background

Applicants with traditional and non-traditional preparation in the field are welcome to apply, as long as their foreign-language, linguistic, and literary-studies skills are strong. Formal training in literature or linguistics is highly desirable for admission.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be a recent and extensive sample of the student’s written work in English and between 20 to 25 pages.


Applicants should show knowledge of Russian (or the language of the student's major field) equivalent to the Slavic courses Russian 113 and Russian 114 (fourth-year level Russian). Applicants should also have a reading knowledge of French or German, although this is not a prerequisite.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional


The department ordinarily interviews finalists for admission in late January and early February.

Campus Visits

We welcome potential candidates who wish to come to Cambridge for informational interviews during the spring or fall before submitting an application. Contact the director of graduate studies for more information.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Slavic Languages and Literatures


See list of Slavic Languages and Literatures faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?

Julie Buckler
Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature