M.A. in Russian Culture

This program is currently not admitting students.


Students typically enter the Master of Arts Degree in Russian Culture with the equivalent of at least three years of undergraduate courses in Russian or, if possible, another Eurasian language to enable them to do research in the original language. Candidates must achieve language proficiency the equivalent of five years of Russian language instruction. Master's candidates who are in residence should complete all requirements within two calendar years of their first registration. We require that all M.A. candidates complete and defend a master's thesis by the end of their studies (typically, the fourth semester).


  • 10 courses (30 graduate units)
    • 8 courses (24 graduate units) must be graded courses with 2 courses below 200-level, to include:
      • At least 6 courses in Russian culture chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. These courses may be in art history, cultural anthropology, cultural studies, film, gender studies, history, legal studies, linguistics, literature, markets and mass media, religion, theater studies, translation, and visual and information literacy.
      • A two-semester sequence of a non-Russian Slavic and Eurasian language or courses in a non- Russian area of Slavic and Eurasian Studies
  • Master's Thesis
    • Two semesters of master’s thesis hours and completion of M.A. thesis. This thesis, supervised by an advisor and two other members of a thesis committee, should undertake an original research topic and result in a substantial research paper.
  • Final examination

Transfer Credits

A maximum of six units of graduate credit may be transferred from an accredited school, although such a transfer will not reduce the minimum number of units taken at Duke. A minimum grad of "G" or "B" (or their equivalent) must have been earned on any work proposed for transfer credit. 

Graduate Student Advising

During the first year of the M.A. program, graduate students are advised by the Director of Graduate Studies. We urge students to start thinking about a specialization as well as a possible master's thesis topic during this year. In the second year, students should meet each semester with the DGS to be sure they are meeting requirements; they also may designate a separate thesis advisor with whom they will work throughout the year.