The Department of Slavic Languages offers an A.B. Degree in Russian, a minor in Russian, and a minor in Russian Literature and Culture (in Translation).

Major in Russian

The program of studies leading to a Russian major educates students to recognize the complexity inherent in all cultures, including their own. A rigorous curriculum focusing on Russia, Russian, and Russians empowers students to see from the Other’s point of view. The Department of Slavic Languages recognizes four interrelated curricular foci and has identified discrete goals within each of them: communication; culture; academic and professional applications; and de-Othering the Other. Upon completion of the Russian major, students should be able to:

  1. Communication
    • Understand extended speech and follow complex lines of argument.
    • Read technical, scholarly, and literary prose; appreciate and understand an author’s attitudes or viewpoints; recognize markers of genre and style.
    • Interact spontaneously with native speakers on a wide range of subjects and express and sustain a personal viewpoint.
    • Write detailed texts relaying information and supporting a particular point of view.
    • Access and use the new media in Russian.
  2. Culture
    • Understand the place of Russian within the context of world languages.
    • Identify major religious, artistic, and social currents that inform Russia’s past and present.
    • Recognize major periods and currents in Russia’s cultural and literary development.
    • Demonstrate familiarity with the norms of contemporary Russian life (e.g., family interactions; popular entertainment; media, including internet; etc.).
  3. Academic and Professional Applications
    • Apply Russian as a research tool to a particular academic discipline (e.g., literature, linguistics, history, political science, theology, etc.).
    • Use Russian in the professional arena (e.g., in working for the U.S. government, an NGO, a private company or firm conducting business with Russia, etc.).
  4. De-Othering the Other
    • Participate appropriately and meaningfully in a broad range of social interactions with Russians, whether inside or outside of Russia (e.g., professional and political exchanges, cultural and sports events, educational dialogue, religious services, etc.)
    • Share their own perspectives on Russia in a manner that is well informed and respectful.

Required Courses for the A.B. in Russian

12 courses (unless lower placement requires additional language study) consisting of

  • RUSS-012 Intensive First Level Russian II 
  • RUSS-111 Intensive Second Level Russian I 
  • RUSS-112 Intensive Second Level Russian II
  • RUSS-115 Russia A–Z 
  • RUSS-116 Russia A–Z II
  • RUSS-211 Third Level Russian *
  • RUSS-213 Russia(n) in Context
  • RUSS-214 Russia(n) in Context II
  • 4 Russian Electives numbered 300 or above
    • 2 taught in Russian
    • 2 taught in English

*Students who receive credit for RUSS-211 from study abroad must take RUSS-355 at Georgetown.

Students should select their Russian electives in consultation with their advisor from 300-400 level courses in Russian language, linguistics, literature and culture and from coursework completed in approved programs in the Russian Federation. 

Students who begin at a higher level must take 12 courses (a sequence of 10 six-credit and three-credit courses, plus the 1-credit courses Russia A-Z I and II) in consultation with their advisor and/or the Department Chair. All graduating seniors are required to take an OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) exit exam in the last semester of their senior year.

Transfer students with previous college coursework in Russian will be awarded Russian credit based on performance on the departmental placement examination upon entrance.

Integrated Writing in the Russian Major

Writing for Russian majors is vertically embedded into a sequence of required courses stretching across all four years of the undergraduate curriculum. For a full description of the role and place of writing in the above-cited learning goals and the level-by-level progression of skills, see the Integrated Writing Statement on the department website:

Five-Year Joint Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Russian and East European Studies

See the CERES webpage:

Minors Slavic Languages Department

Students from other departments and schools are invited to minor in Russian.

Requirements for the Minor in Russian

The minor includes the following 6 courses:

  • RUSS-011 & 012 Intensive First Level Russian I & II
  • RUSS-111 & 112 Intensive Second Level Russian I & II
  • Plus 2 of the following courses:
    • RUSS-211, 213 and/or 214 or
    • 2 courses from department-approved overseas programs

Students who begin at a higher level must take a sequence of six courses in consultation with the Department Chair.

Minor in Russian Literature and Culture (in Translation)

The minor consists of six courses in Russian literature and culture, all taught in English. No knowledge of the Russian language will be required. At least two courses must be taken in the Department of Slavic Languages and at least two in the History Department. The remaining two may be from any humanities class with a preponderance of Russian subject matter. They must be approved in advance by the Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages.

Russian and East European Studies Certificate

See the Russian and East European Studies Certificate section in the Bulletin.

Study Russian Abroad

All Russian majors and other interested students are encouraged to study in the in the countries where Russian is widely spoken. For approved summer programs the Department awards three credits toward the Russian major and the remaining three credits as elective coursework. Semester and academic year program credit will be determined by the Department. See the Study Abroad section of this Bulletin.

(For course listings for Russian see Schedule of Classes)