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 among other Slavic cultures 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 requiring knowledge of Russian, 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 comprehensive.

Required Courses for the A.B. in Russian

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

  • RUSS-1012 Intensive First Level Russian II 
  • RUSS-1511 Intensive Second Level Russian I 
  • RUSS-1512 Intensive Second Level Russian II
  • RUSS-1115 Russia A–Z*
  • RUSS-1116 Russia A–Z II
  • RUSS-3001 Third Level Russian**
  • RUSS-3002 Russia(n) in Context I
  • RUSS-3003 Russia(n) in Context II
  • 4 Russian Electives numbered 3000 or above
    • 2 taught in Russian
    • 2 taught in English

Students who start in 1511 will take an extra course at the 3000+ level taught in Russian. Students who start in 1512 will take 2 extra courses at 3000+ taught in Russian. 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. 

*RUSS-1115 & 1116 should be taken in either the first of second year at Georgetown. Exceptions will be made for majors who declare during their sophomore year or later and for transfer students.

**At least one of either RUSS-3001 or RUSS-4005 must be taken at Georgetown (or RUSS-4006 instead of RUSS-4005, at the Department’s discretion).

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-1011 & 1012 Intensive First Level Russian I & II
  • RUSS-1511 & 1512 Intensive Second Level Russian I & II
  • Plus 2 of the following courses:
    • RUSS-3001, 3002 and/or 3003 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.

Study abroad credit should always be applied to the lowest numbered course still required. Students should select their Russian electives in consultation with their advisor from 3000-4000 level courses in Russian language, linguistics, literature and culture and from coursework completed in approved programs abroad. See the Study Abroad section of this Bulletin.

(For course listings for Russian see Schedule of Classes)