Masters Program Requirements

Master’s Degree


Students must meet with the graduate adviser at the beginning of each quarter for consultation about their programs and progress toward the degree. Students who wish to enroll in Slavic 596 and 597 must obtain prior permission from the instructor with whom they plan to work before the graduate adviser can include the course on the study list. Only after the graduate adviser and the student agree on a program of study for the quarter may the student enroll through MyUCLA.

All graduate students in the department receive a written evaluation of their progress each year.

Areas of Study

Candidates for the M.A. follow a foundational program in Russian language and literature.

Foreign Language Requirement

Demonstrated proficiency in two foreign languages is required for the M.A. degree: (1) Students must pass a departmental Russian language proficiency examination which tests ability to translate from Russian to English and vice versa. This examination may be retaken each quarter until a pass grade is achieved, within the time limits for completion of the M.A. degree, and must be passed before the M.A. comprehensive examination; (2) Students must demonstrate an ability to read scholarly literature in either French or German by one of the following methods: (a) passing the departmental reading examination, or (b) completing course 5 at UCLA in one of the languages with a grade of B or better (equivalent university-level course work in French or German taken within two years of admission may satisfy this requirement at the discretion of the graduate adviser). Either the French or the German requirement should be satisfied no later than the sixth quarter. The Russian, French, and German examinations are offered at the beginning of each quarter. Another language can be substituted for French or German with the consent of the graduate adviser.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 40 units is required for the degree. The following courses are obligatory:

Slavic 200A, Slavic 201,  Russian 211A-211B, 212A-212B, 213A-213B, Russian 220A and an additional four units of 200-level course work in Russian language and literature.

Students may be required to take one or more courses from Russian 201A-201B-201C if it is determined that their level of competence in Russian requires remedial work in order to handle other courses in the program.

Courses in the 500 series may not be applied toward the M.A. course requirements.

Students with M.A. degrees from other institutions must pass the M.A. comprehensive examination in order to be admitted to the doctoral program. Students whose degree is in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages and Cultures and who are continuing in the same area of specialization (literature or linguistics) should take the examination within three quarters following matriculation. Courses should be selected to fill in lacunae as determined by the requirements of the M.A. program of this department. All lacunae must be filled before admission to the doctoral examinations.

Students with M.A. degrees in disciplines other than that of their planned specialization, or students who do not have a M.A. degree but who have taken graduate-level courses equivalent to those required at UCLA for a M.A. degree, must complete the required number of course units. Course substitutions may be made with the permission of the graduate adviser. Independent study courses (500-level) may not be used as substitutes.

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Field Experience

Not required.

Capstone Plan

Advancement to candidacy for the M.A. requires a cumulative “high pass” assessment of a research paper and of performance on a written and oral exam.

Applications for advancement to candidacy must be submitted no later than the second week of the quarter in which the M.A. examinations are to be taken and are accepted only if students have passed the Russian Language Proficiency Examination.

The research paper is a work of original scholarship approximately 7000 words in length. It should be written and formatted with a view to potential submission to a scholarly journal in the field (Slavic Review, Slavic and East European Journal, Russian Review, etc.). It may originate in a class paper or be an independent work, but the research topic should in any case have the sanction of a faculty mentor. It is due  by the end of the sixth week of the quarter  in which the student wishes to take the M.A. examinations (this will normally be week 6 of the spring quarter in the second year of instruction).

M.A. examinations are offered at the end of each quarter. They consist of a single three-hour examination and a ninety-minute oral examination covering course work and the departmental M.A. reading list. The oral part may be conducted partly in Russian. A committee consisting of three members is appointed by the chair to assess the research paper, conduct the oral exam and assess the overall results.

The student’s cumulative performance on the research paper and in the written and oral examinations is graded “high pass,” “pass,” or “fail.” A grade of high pass or pass is necessary to receive the M.A. degree; the grade of high pass is necessary to enter the Ph.D. program. Students who have received a cumulative “pass” may, at the discretion of the examining committee, be permitted to resubmit a new or revised research paper and/or  retake all or part of the oral and written within no more than one calendar year from the time of the initial examinations.  Students who have received a cumulative failing grade may not continue in the graduate program.

Thesis Plan



From admission to conferral of the degree should not exceed six quarters.

M.A. 6 6 9

Please note that the department does not offer a terminal masters degree.


MA Worksheet

MA Reading List