Graduate Program Overview

The 6-week graduate session is open to applicants pursuing an MA degree as well as non-degree applicants. Candidates for the MA in Russian may earn their degrees over four 6-week sessions on the Vermont campus or by completing an initial summer in Vermont, an academic year in Russia, and a final summer in Vermont.  Applicants who plan to attend for one summer only, or who will not receive a BA or the equivalent before the summer, must apply as non-degree students.

All graduate applicants must demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in Russian. Applicants who do not meet graduate proficiency requirements are generally referred to the 8-week session.

The graduate program differs in structure and focus from the 8-week session. 6-week students register for graduate content courses, taught exclusively in Russian by distinguished faculty with expertise in the discipline and topic. It is expected that students have the ability to engage with sophisticated Russian-language readings in the course area and produce in-language work (essays, presentations, etc.) at the graduate level. The 8-week session, by contrast, is primarily a language program, designed to improve Russian language proficiency as rapidly and efficiently as possible. 8-week students are assigned to level of study based on language proficiency.

Your choice of program should be based on your language proficiency and goals of study, not your college major, or your completion of a prior degree, such as a BA. Either program may be suitable for a recent BA or graduate student at another institution. Neither session requires a BA for admission, although you must hold a BA or the equivalent in order to pursue an MA at the Language Schools. If you are primarily interested in working on your language proficiency, rather than taking graduate content courses, you should consider the 8-week session.

Applicants who already hold an MA in Russian (or a closely related field) and are interested in pursuing graduate work in two languages at Middlebury may be eligible to apply to the Doctor of Modern Languages (DML) program.

Graduate Admission Requirements
  • Applicants must submit a complete application for admission to the 6-week graduate session, either as an MA student or as a non-degree student. Please read the application instructions, taking note of additional requirements for graduate applicants, before starting the online application.
  • All applicants must demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in Russian. Language proficiency is assessed on the basis of a writing sample, online grammar test, and interview. Successful applicants to the graduate session have generally studied Russian for 4-5 years (coursework equivalent to a college major in the language) and spent at least a summer or semester in Russia or another part of the former Soviet Union.
  • Applicants who plan to pursue an MA degree must hold a BA or the equivalent prior to the start of the summer session. All MA students must complete an initial summer (3 course units) at the Davis School of Russian on the Vermont campus in order to qualify for degree candidacy.
  • If you will not receive a BA or the equivalent before the summer, or if you will attend for one summer only, then you should apply as a 6-week non-degree student. Up to three graduate units, earned at the Russian School on a non-degree basis, may be applied toward the MA degree, once the student has received her BA or the equivalent.
  • DML applicants and candidates planning to enroll in L1 or L2 coursework at the Russian School should select the appropriate program option, when completing the online application.
  • The GRE is not required for admission.
MA Degree Requirements
  • Successful completion of 12 course units. Middlebury awards one unit of graduate credit (equivalent to three semester hours) for each graduate course. The normal course load is 3 course units per summer or semester abroad.
  • The MA program offers two options (two routes to the degree):
  1. Four summers (6-week graduate sessions) in Vermont.
  2. A summer in Vermont, an academic year in Russia (Moscow, Yaroslavl, or Irkutsk), followed by a final summer in Vermont.
  • Candidates for the MA in Russian are expected to take a balanced program including at least two courses in each of the following areas: language and linguistics, literature, and civilization (history, politics, art, film, music, popular culture, and so on).
  • An MA thesis is required. As one of the required 12 units, during the final summer in Vermont, candidates register for an independent study course (RUSS 6888), representing the thesis.  Research for this paper is normally started during the candidate's year abroad in Russia, or during the second or third summer at Middlebury.
  • Graduate summer sessions and semesters abroad need not be consecutive.  All credits toward a Middlebury MA are valid for a maximum of 10 years; e.g., courses taken during the summer of 2019 expire as of August 2029.
  • Davis School of Russian

    Oliver Carling, Coordinator
    P: 802.443.2006

    Mailing address
    Russian School
    Middlebury College
    14 Old Chapel Road
    Middlebury, VT 05753