The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD graduate program is designed to train future scholars and teachers of Slavic languages and literatures. Students specialize either in literature or linguistics, combining a core curriculum with independent research early in their graduate career.

Students are admitted to the PhD or MA/PhD program only; the department will not consider applicants for the MA only.

Program in Literature and Culture

The program in literature and culture provides a thorough knowledge of the evolving literary canon along with attendant historical contexts while encouraging students to acquire expertise in literary and cultural theory.

Berkeley welcomes students with interdisciplinary interests. Slavic students may pursue official designated emphases in Film, Folklore, Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, Critical Theory, or Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, as well as individually designed areas of specialization. The Slavic Department works in collaboration with the departments of Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Anthropology, History, Theater, Music, Art History, and with the Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, which houses the Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies and The Caucasus and Central Asia Program.

The majority of students at Berkeley choose Russian as their major language. We encourage students who wish to explore the diverse literary and cultural traditions of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. We accept a small number of students who choose Polish, Bulgarian or BCS (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian) language and literature as their major field; in such cases, special programs are established and students do much of their graduate work independently. These students normally take Russian as a minor field. Berkeley does not administer a PhD Program in Czech, but Czech can be chosen as the second Slavic language.

Program in Linguistics

The Slavic linguistics concentration of our program has been considerably reduced in recent years. Because students of Slavic linguistics have to do most of the graduate work in individual meetings with faculty, we aim to admit students who already have advanced preparation in the field and who are able and willing to pursue an independent course of professional training.