The M.A. Committee, which is generally the same as the department's Graduate Studies Committee, consists of three faculty members, including the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), who serves as the Committee Chair. The DGS is responsible for collecting questions from members of the department, while the exam is graded by the three members of the Committee.
M.A. Written Examination
The series of written examinations for the M.A. degree, generally scheduled in the fourth semester, consists of two examinations of four hours each, designed to test the student’s ability to synthesize the knowledge gained through course work and independent reading. The first examina-tion covers nineteenth-century Russian literature, and the second examination covers twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian literature. The Master’s reading list serves as a guide for preparation for the exams and may be individually amended in consultation with the DGS. For concentrations other than Russian language, literature, and culture, early consultation and planning of a reading list and exam topics with the DGS and relevant faculty is necessary.
The reading lists, as well as sample exam questions and a guide to approaching exams, are available here on the departmental website.
The student is responsible for scheduling each exam at least 4 weeks in advance of the exam date using a scheduling form available through Graduate Services. Whenever possible, exams should be scheduled during the Fall or Spring semesters; Summer exams will be scheduled only for exceptional circumstances.
The grading of examinations for the degree is on a high pass/pass/low pass/fail basis. The exam will be graded by the end of two weeks following the exam. In case of a failure of any part of the examination, the committee will determine whether the student shall be allowed to repeat a part or the whole of the exam.
Continuation towards the Ph.D. is determined by a combination of the following factors: the results of the exams, the student’s overall academic performance, including performance in graduate seminars, good standing in the program, progress to a degree, language proficiency, and teaching effectiveness.
If a student fails one or both the M.A. examinations, the student is given one more chance to take the examination(s) in question. A second failure results in no degree being granted and dis-missal from the Program.
Terminal M.A. Degree
A student may elect to receive a terminal M.A. Otherwise, it is assumed that the student wishes to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. Program.