Exam Committee

The MA final exam committee consists of an advisor from the Russian faculty and two additional faculty members, one of whom may be from an outside discipline (with permission of the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, two members may be from an outside department).   The committee chair should be a tenured/tenure-track faculty member in the Russian program (program can petition the graduate school to have an instructor serve as the committee chair).  All committees must be approved in advance by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.

Reading List

Students will create a list of 12 to 15 works for their reading list.  This list should be assembled in close consultation with their committee members.  The reading list could include articles or books from the courses that they have taken at CU or during a study abroad program.  This list should be approved by the student’s committee no later than the beginning of their final semester.  If you choose to designate an outside area, the list should be larger, up to 20 works, and one third of the list should include works from your second area.

Your reading list should reflect your individual intellectual interests and can focus on any area of Russian Studies. You determine the focus of the list and assemble the list in close consultation with the faculty in the Russian Studies program and, if you choose to designate an outside area, with the faculty in your second area. Your list should include primary texts and secondary literature that address these texts' critical and historical contexts. 

Your reading list must be approved by the three members of your committee and by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies no later than the beginning of your final semester.

Exam Format

The exam is based the student’s reading list, and consists of a take-home written comprehensive exam followed by an hour-long oral examination that concentrates on the written exam but may also address texts and topics on your reading list that are not covered in the written exam. 

You will be given three groups of two or three questions each, and you will choose one question from each group. Your responses should be about 4 double-spaced pages each. The exam will be emailed to you by the Graduate Program Assistant or your committee chair by 2:00 pm the day your exam begins.  You should return your responses to the Graduate Program Assistant by 2:00 PM exactly one week later. You can consult any materials you wish while writing your exam. You should plan to take your final written exam by the 11th week of the final semester.   A one hour oral final exam defense will follow one week after you have submitted your responses for the written final exam (follow graduate school deadlines for final exam/thesis defense).  You should schedule your final exam defense with your committee members early in your final semester (exam defenses are generally held in the committee chair’s office).