Professional Russian MA: Emphasis in Journalism

Program Requirements

Required Coursework

The Professional M.A. in Russian requires a minimum of 33 units. Only under exceptional circumstances (such as when a student is interested in a topic/area that is not addressed at all within regular course offerings), up to three credits of Independent Study (RSSS 599) may be counted toward the Professional M.A., pending faculty availability and DGS approval. Students normally proceed through the Professional M.A. in four semesters. Most often students in the Journalism Emphasis will complete their coursework by taking the courses outlined below; but in cases where these suggested classes are not available, or in instances where you and your advisors determine that a slightly different selection of courses would enhance your Plan of Study and/or better serve your academic and professional interests, substitutions may be approved. Please consult with both the DGS and your Faculty Mentor when registering for classes to ensure that the courses you have chosen will allow you to make normal and timely progress toward your degree. All Professional M.A. students taking Russian courses taught in English must do all reading and written work in Russian whenever possible.

The Plan of Study (POS)

No later than their second semester in residence students must complete a Plan of Study with the assistance of the Director of Graduate Studies. The Plan of Study, which you will find online onGradPath, should list all courses that you have taken, are taking, and plan to take as part of your Professional M.A. curriculum – for a total of at least 33 units. After completing the form online, and paying the fee, you should submit for approval by the DGS. Even if you are not completely certain which courses you will be taking during your final two semesters of the Professional M.A. program, the Graduate College requires that you submit your Plan of Study during your second semester in residence. The Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Service Coordinator for SILLC (Frank Whitehead, will revise the POS as needed in the event that your planned curriculum changes.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory progress is determined by the Department Head in consultation with the faculty, the Graduate Studies Committee, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Graduate College. To demonstrate satisfactory progress, students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA as assessed at the end of every semester and must be making normal progress toward the degree. This typically involves completing at least 6 units per semester with at least a B average.

Completing the Professional M.A.

Preparing for your Professional M.A. Written and Oral Exams

Just before the semester of the expected graduation date, the candidate and DGS should confer about the choice of MA exam committee members and proposed dates for the written and oral exams. Early in this last semester of the MA program, the candidate (not the Department) is also responsible for checking Graduate College deadlines and for completing and submitting to the Director of Graduate Studies the Master/s/Specialist Committee Appointment Form through GradPath. The DGS, together with the SILLC and Russian and Slavic Studies staff will schedule a provisional times, dates, and classrooms for the oral and written exams. All fees must be cleared with the Bursar's Office.

The Professional M.A. Written Examination

The Professional M.A. examination is typically given twice a year, in November and April, and consists of two parts, written and oral.* The Professional M.A. written examination will be based on the candidate's coursework in Russian literature, culture, and language, as well as related areas of the graduate curriculum when appropriate, as determined by the DGS and Exam Committee Chair.

The Professional M.A. Oral Examination

The candidate is not permitted to undertake the oral component of the MA Examination until s/he has performed satisfactorily on the written part. Satisfactorily is defined as a passing grade on the written part from at least two of the three committee members. A student required to retake one or more parts of the written examination (normally in the semester following the one in which the original attempt was made, but not sooner) must do so before proceeding to the oral examination. The Professional M.A. oral examination is usually scheduled within a week to ten days of the written examination.

Financing Your Studies

Students in this program are not eligible for GATships. Total tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 Academic Year*.

Curricular Emphasis in Journalism

With the help of the Director of Graduate Studies, as well as other faculty members when appropriate, Professional M.A. students have the flexibility to construct a Plan of Study that suits their own particular needs and interests. What follows is a sample Plan of Study for the Emphasis in Journalism. If one or more of the courses is not available in regular rotation when you would normally take it, or if you and your advisors determine that a different class would be better suited to your individual academic interests and professional goals, exceptions to this suggested Plan of Study may be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies on a case-by-case basis. While students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 9 units in Journalism, they are encouraged to complete 15 (in addition to the 24 units required in RSSS).

Professional M.A. in Russian (Journalism – 33 units)

Year 1
Fall Semester (9 units)

  • RSSS 515-002: Advanced Topics, Structure of Russian (3 units)
  • RSSS 5XX or 6XX: Elective (3 units)
  • JOUR 5XX: Elective (3 units)

Spring Semester (9 units)

  • RSSS 515-001: Advanced Topics, Oral Communication (3 units)
  • RSSS 515-002: Advanced Topics, Reading (3 units)
  • RSSS 5XX or 6XX: Elective (3 units)

Year 2
Fall Semester (9 units)

  • JOUR 5XX: Elective (3 units)
  • RSSS 5XX or 6XX: Elective (3 units)
  • RSSS 5XX or 6XX: Elective (3 units)

Spring Semester (6 units)

  • RSSS 5XX or 6XX: Elective (3 units)
  • Choose a JOUR 5XX: Elective (3 units):
    • JOUR 502 Media and Terrorism (3 units)
    • JOUR 504 Freedom of Expression (3 units)
    • JOUR 506 Introductory and Advanced Reporting (3 units)
    • JOUR 507 Reporting with Multimedia (3 units)
    • JOUR 509 International and US Media Law (3 units)
    • JOUR 560 International Media Systems (3 units)
    • JOUR 511 Feature Writing (3 units)
    • JOUR 558 International Opinion Writing (3 units)
    • JOUR 572 Science Journalism (3 units)
    • JOUR 596D Journalism Seminar (3 units)