Application for Admission to the Graduate Program

The application for our programs are made on line through the ApplyYourself Application Network.   Applications for Fall admission are due January 10. General information about applications for graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh can be found at .

We require the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript copies UPLOADED online. Undergraduate transcripts are required.
  • Three letters of recommendation (online submissions)
  • Writing Sample (in English); a Russian sample can also be submitted (optional)
  • GRE scores
  • Non-US Citizens:  TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • International Applicants: Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS). At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation. More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found HERE. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.

If you have questions about the application process, write to

Here is a copy of the Slavic Languages and Literatures Graduate Student Handbook.

Literature MA

  • 36 graduate credits, including Proseminar I and II.
  • One course in Slavic historical linguistics or one course in descriptive Russian linguistics.
  • A reading knowledge of either French or German.
  • The Comprehensive Examination

Literature PhD

  • 72 graduate credits (36 beyond the M.A.), of which 12 may be dissertation credits; at least 60 credits must be completed by the end of the semester in which the examination is to be taken.
  • One course in Slavic historical linguistics and one course in descriptive Russian Linguistics.
  • 9-15 graduate credits (but in the 72-credit total) in an approved second area (e.g. Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, European Literature, Area Studies, a second Slavic language/literature/culture).
  • A reading knowledge of French and German
  • The Qualifying Examination

PhD in Film Studies with a Concentration in Slavic (as the Associated Department): 

The PhD in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree that stresses the history, theory, and aesthetics of international cinema, video, television, and new media. While the student will earn a PhD in Film Studies (granted by the Film Studies Program), he or she will also be a full member of the Slavic Department, fulfilling its requirements (many of which will overlap with those in Film Studies). The name of the Associated Department will appear as an Area of Concentration on the student’s transcript. Thus, we do not anticipate that there will be any significant delay in time-to-degree.  The name of the Associated Department will appear as an Area of Concentration on the student's transcript.  Thus, the student graduating with a PhD in Film Studies will be doubly qualified: in film studies as well as in a secondary area. See the Film Studies Web site for more information about the PhD in Film Studies with a Concentration in Slavic. Applicants interested in this program should apply through Film Studies.

Film Studies Student Funding:  Funding (for fellowships and /or TA-shps) wil come in the form of that department's existing funding. 

The comprehensive exam for the Film PhD student consists of examinations in three areas chosen by the advisor and the faculty:

  • Film Genre(s) or medium/media
  • Film Author(s) or producer(s)
  • Historical Period(s)

Film PhD students who concentrates in Slavic should take the Department's four graduate offerings in Film Studies:

          RUSS 2648 Lumiere to Lenin

          RUSS 2639 Stalin at the Movies

          RUSS 2640 Cinema of Thaw and Stagnation

          RUSS 2642 Perestroika and Beyond


Most graduate students earn Certificates in Cultural Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and Film Studies in addition to their degrees.


Recent literature seminars have included the following topics:

  • Russian Journals
  • Folklore
  • Silver Age
  • Symbolist Prose
  • Formalism and Structuralism
  • 20th Century Drama
  • Literature and Society in the 19th Century
  • Autobiography and Memoirs
  • Russian Women's Culture
  • Solzhenitsyn
  • Pushkin
  • Russian Narrative Poem
  • Bakhtin and the Novel

The M.A. degree may be awarded only after one of the required research language requirements has been satisfied and the Ph.D. degree may be awarded only after both requirements have been satisfied. Entering students should be prepared to a) pass a reading examination in French or German; or b) enroll in a French or German language class until the research language requirement has been satisfied in one of the following three ways:

  • A grade of at least B+ in the final (fourth) semester of study of the language;
  • The regular research-competence exam;
  • A graduate level course in the chosen language including a) foreign-language research for a paper and b) a letter from the instructor (3-4 sentences maximum) to the effect that the student is competent to conduct research in the language.

Students may apply to replace the French and/or German examinations with examinations in other languages. Any such application must be submitted in writing to the student's advisor, and must be based on an argument that the proposed substitute language is more important for the student's research than the language it would replace. Applications will then be evaluated by the advisor and two other members of the faculty to be selected by the advisor.