The Russian program offers four years of instruction in language, literature, culture, and film. Students may minor or major in Russian. We offer three different tracks of study to declaring Russian as a major: a one-language track; a two-language track involving Russian plus another MLL language; and an interdisciplinary track involving Russian and another discipline outside MLL. 

Students in our yearlong course for beginners, Intensive Introductory Russian, meet five times a week with the professor and three times a week with an Apprentice Teacher (AT) for practice sessions. ATs are fellow students, usually juniors or seniors, who are either native speakers or advanced students of Russian.

Students in the yearlong Intermediate Russian course meet with the professor three times a week and an AT twice per week. In this course students continue to study and practice the language while engaging with culture through readings as well as film and other media assignments.

The final courses in which students study language specifically in the Russian curriculum are Russian 321 and 322. In these courses students practice their analytical and creative writing in Russian and engage with authentic cultural artifacts while honing their grammatical and stylistic knowledge. Emphasis in our advanced courses is placed on student language production through writing assignments and class presentations, and less formal conversation is typically practiced with visiting Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) from Russia.

We offer one advanced hybrid course on Russian poetry, Russian 325, in which students read poems in the original Russian and discuss them in English, learning about the evolution of poetic form from the 18th to the 20th century. In addition, we offer several courses on Russian literature, culture, and film in translation (i.e. entirely in English). Some of these are chronological surveys (e.g. 19th and 20th-century Russian literature) while others are thematically organized: “Rejecting the Crystal Palace” addresses irrationality and obsession in Russian culture, “Until it Was No More” covers the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, and “Laughter through Tears” examines the comic tradition. All these course offerings in English have no prerequisites and are perfect for non-majors or prospective majors who wish to explore Russian literature and culture.

A number of our current and former students have been awarded prestigious scholarships and fellowships, including Fulbright grants, and a few have received PhDs from top graduate programs. Our alumni have used their Russian studies to forge rewarding careers in teaching, medicine, non-profit work, government, foreign relations, and other fields.

Recent Courses

This is a sample list of recent and upcoming courses.

RUSS 111–112Y: Intensive Introductory Russian

RUSS 213–214Y: Intermediate Russian

RUSS 321: Advanced Russian

RUSS 322: Advanced Russian Language and Literature

RUSS 325: Russian Poetry and Poetics

RUSS 250: Russian Culture through Film

RUSS 223: Rejecting the Crystal Palace: Obsession and Irrationality in Russian Literature

RUSS 225: Until it Was No More: The Cold War and the Fall of USSR in Literature and Film

 RUSS 221: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Russian Literature in Translation 

RUSS 222: 20th-Century Russian Literature