Russian and Comparative Literature

Graduate Program HeadDaniel Purdy
Program CodeRUSCL
Campus(es)University Park (M.A.)
Degrees ConferredMaster of Arts (M.A.)
The Graduate Faculty


The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a master's degree in Slavic Studies. This M.A. program enables students to concentrate in Ukrainian and Russian literature at the graduate level while having the advantages of a comparative context. Students completing this M.A. will acquire an in-depth understanding of Russian and Ukrainian culture and will be proficient in Russian or Ukrainian and one other world language, or a related field. This program can prepare students for further graduate study in Russian, Slavic studies, or comparative literature, for service with governmental or non-governmental organizations, or for employment with an international corporation. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Students with appropriate course backgrounds and a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) will be considered for admission. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required. It is expected that students entering this degree program will have proficiency in the Russian language and will have completed a B.A. in Russian or Comparative Literature. Students in other humanistic fields such as philosophy or history who have studied some literature and are proficient in Russian are welcome to apply.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Candidates for the M.A. degree must earn a minimum of 33 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level of which at least 18 must be at the 500 level. There are 30 credits required in the following:

Required Courses
CMLIT 501Comparative Method in Literary Studies3
RUS 405Seminar in Russian Literature3
Select 12 additional credits in Comparative Literature courses12
Select 12 additional credits in Russian at the 400 or 500 level12
Select 3 credits in Russian, Comparative Literature, or another approved area3
Additional Requirements
Pass a proficiency examination in Russian
Demonstrate reading knowledge of one other foreign language
Culminating Experience
Complete an acceptable M.A. scholarly paper
Total Credits33


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

A number of teaching assistantships are available in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures for students taking advanced degrees in these disciplines. There is also a graduate assistant position for an editorial assistant.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Comparative Literature (CMLIT) Course List

Russian (RUS) Course List


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Daniel Leonhard Purdy
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Samuel Mark Frederick
Program Contact

William Whitesmith
442 Burrowes Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-3522

Program Website View