Graduate Admissions

The application deadline for admission in Autumn Quarter 2024 is December 15, 2023.


Information for Applicants

M.A. Program Applicants:  The department accepts applications from students who have or will complete a Bachelor’s degree prior to beginning graduate study. A degree in Russian or Slavic Studies is preferred, but not required for admission. Applicants with degrees in other fields should already have completed significant coursework in their desired area of study. Four years of Slavic language study is advisable, or whatever is the maximum number of years of study for a given Slavic language available at one’s university. Students with equivalent experience and study of Slavic literatures, cultures, and history will be considered, but may be required to take additional courses to make up deficiencies. Our chief criteria for acceptance are a record of academic achievement and the promise of future success and competence in academic or non-academic pursuits.

Ph.D. Program ApplicantsApplicants to the doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures must possess an M.A. or equivalent degree by the time they begin graduate studies. Ph.D. students are admitted by vote of the graduate faculty on the basis of their language skills in both their target Slavic language and English, general background in Slavic cultures, previous academic performance, research interests, and alignment of these interests with available departmental and university resources. It is essential that Ph.D. candidates review the faculty research and teaching concentrations and consider potential advisors and committee members.

How To Apply

Applications and required materials are submitted directly to the UW Graduate School.  In addition to creating an applicant profile, you will be required to include the following materials as part of your online application: 

      • Statement of Purpose: A 1-3 page essay, in English, describing your educational and/or employment background, your reasons for wanting to study in the Slavic Department, your proposed focus of study, and your career goals.


      • Scholarly Writing Sample (in English): A minimum of 10 pages of an academic essay you have previously written.


      • Three Letters of Recommendation:  Academic references that evaluate work done in your major subjects are preferable.  In addition, one reference specifically addressing language proficiency may be helpful.  References from employers may be substituted, though more than one may put you at a disadvantage.


      • Proof of English Proficiency: Non-native speakers of English are required to demonstrate English proficiency in one of the ways outlined in UW Graduate School Policy 3.2.  If you need to send TOEFL scores to the UW, the Institution Code is: 4854 and the Department Code is 99 (any department).

If you are not a native speaker of the Slavic language that will be your primary language of focus, you are also required to take a written test in that language to prove proficiency.  Email the Graduate Program Adviser to arrange to take the test before the application deadline.  At the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, an oral interview may also be required. 

PLEASE NOTECurrent departmental M.A. students interested in continuing with the Ph.D program should submit a petition to the Graduate Program Adviser no later than the end of the quarter after which they graduate.  The petition should include a statement of purpose outlining your projected course of study, a timeline, and the work you have already done towards the degree.  Successful completion of the department's M.A. program does not automatically guarantee you admission to the Ph.D. program.


If you are interested in applying for a fellowship or assistantship position (R.A. or T.A.) during your first year as a graduate student, you must email a completed Funding Application for Prospective Graduate Students, including the supplemental materials listed on the form, to the Graduate Program Adviser by the December 15th deadline.  Due to the limited funding available, we recommend that you also look into and apply for outside funding, which may need to be done before you are officially accepted into the program.  Additional funding resources can be found on our Financial Support page.  

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who are not native speakers of English must be able to demonstrate English proficiency as outlined in UW Graduate School Policy 5.2 in order to hold a T.A. position at the University of Washington.