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Slavic Languages and Literature, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #6 (WUR) Princeton, NJ, United States
The aim of our graduate Slavic Languages and Literatures program offered by Princeton University is to further interest, knowledge, and scholarship relating to Russia and Slavic Central Europe, primarily through the cultural humanities.
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  •  The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Slavic Languages and Literatures program normally lasts five years. The student studies full time in residence during the first two years, selecting courses both from within the department and outside of it. The general examinations are usually taken during the first term of the third year. After general examinations, individual programs vary. Most students combine dissertation research with teaching. (Stipends are not contingent on teaching, but students are expected to teach first-year Russian at some point in their career and are strongly encouraged to teach precepts in literature courses.) Some students spend a term or a year doing dissertation research abroad. Ideally, this research is funded by outside fellowships, but if such funding is unavailable and the faculty deems the research essential, university fellowship stipends can be used to cover these expenses.
  • In the early years of graduate study, students use the summer to prepare for generals or to do additional language study abroad (usually in Russia or Eastern Europe). After generals, most use the time to continue researching and writing their dissertation.
  • Because we aim to admit only two students into the program each year, we are able to help them design a program of study and develop a research trajectory that accords with individual scholarly needs and interests. Choosing from a wide range of courses, entering students arrange their programs in consultation with the director of graduate studies and faculty advisers.
  • Graduate seminars in the department cover historical periods (e.g., Russian Realism, Symbolism, Acmeism, Futurism, Soviet and Post-Soviet Literature and Culture), specific authors (e.g., Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tsvetaeva, Pasternak), theoretical approaches to literature and culture (e.g., the Russian critical tradition from Belinsky to the Tartu school and Bakhtin), and core courses in the development of literary genres and film (the evolution of Russian poetic form; the evolution of Russian prose; Russian film theory).

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Every student develops and pursues a course of study that provides a comprehensive background and branches into specific areas of interest.  Until they pass the general exam, students are required to take at least one graduate seminar within the department each semester.  They are encouraged to take additional courses designed to master the basic grammar and to read original texts in Slavic languages other than Russian (e.g. Czech, Polish, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). 

Courses include:

  • Critical Approaches to Literature: Russian Contributions
  • Pushkin
  • Worlds of Form: Russian Formalism and Constructivism
  • Russian Classics On (and Off) The Soviet-Stalinist Stage
  • Methods of Teaching Russian
  • The Poetics of Space
  • Mimesis: Narrative and Image
  • Slavic Dissertation Colloquium

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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Academic Requirements

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Application Requirements:

  • Statement of Academic Purpose
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Transcripts
  • Fall Semester Grades
  • Prerequisite Tests
  • English Language Tests
  • GRE : General test
Additional Departmental Requirements:
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Sample of written work 20 pages maximum.
  • Optional: Applicants may submit a statement with their application, briefly describing how their academic interests, background, or life experiences would advance Princeton’s commitment to diversity within the Graduate School and to training individuals in an increasingly diverse society.  Please submit a succinct statement of no more than 500 words.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    49450 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 49450 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • National

    49450 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 49450 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

For Ph.D. candidates, tuition and fees are provided in the form of tuition support from fellowships, assistantships, or external sources.

Living costs for Princeton

  • 2022 - 4980 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Sources of Funding

  • Fellowships
  • Assistantships
  • External Funding
  • Veteran's Benefits
  • Travel Grants
  • Education Loans and Work Study
  • Assistance Programs

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