What will I learn?

The Ph.D. in Russian and Slavic Studies consists of coursework, multiple examinations, language requirements, and a dissertation. It offers graduate instruction (seminar and guided independent reading courses) as well as research and thesis supervision in the fields of Russian culture and literature. Students also take graduate courses offered in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in literary theory, film, and media that allow for broader transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives in their research.

Students are encouraged and helped to participate in conferences and to publish the results of their ongoing research. Particular emphasis is laid on working with the original language. Doctoral dissertation topics are developed in consultation with the faculty. Graduates from the program have gone on to careers in teaching in Canadian and international universities and institutions, as well as exploring other related fields.


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses

RUSS 700 Ph.D. Tutorial
RUSS 701 Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination
RUSS 702 Ph.D. Thesis Proposal

Depending on their individual background, students may be asked to take additional coursework as approved by the Department Graduate Committee.

Students must complete two of the following:

RUSS 750 History of Russian Language
RUSS 760 Pre-Petrine Foundation
RUSS 77018th Century Foundation

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$16,750.76 (US$ 13,328) per year
CAN $558.36 per credit hour. This fee is for 2021-2022 year, and it may be subject to change in the coming year.
Application deadline

14 August 2022, 6 January 2023

Start date

31 August 2022, 4 January 2023, 30 August 2023


McGill University

Downtown Campus,

845 Sherbrooke Street West,


Quebec (QC),

H3A 0G4, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Entry into the doctoral program is limited to applicants who have earned an academic master's degree in Religious Studies or Theology in a recognized graduate program, or those who have finished the course requirements of such a program with a minimum CGPA of 3.5/4.0.

For international students

The minimum academic requirement is normally a high standing in an undergraduate degree with Honours Russian (or an equivalent specialization). Further, the Admissions Committee must be convinced that the candidate for admission has an aptitude for research work and will be able to make an original contribution to knowledge.

A working knowledge of French is recommended for the Ph.D. program.

English Language Scores:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum acceptable scores are: The CBT is no longer being offered. CBT results will no longer be accepted as ETS no longer reports these results. N.B. an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. IBT (Internet-Based Test): 86 overall, no less than 20 in each of the four component scores.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module).

Application Deadlines: For Fall Term: Jan. 6 and for Winter Term: Aug. 14.


*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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