Learning Objectives

Both the major and the certificate in Russian strive to spark students’ curiosity about and lifelong engagement with Russia and Eurasia more broadly. To this end, we urge students pursuing either the major or the certificate to travel and to study abroad where Russian is spoken at some point during their undergraduate career.

The objective of the Russian major is to provide a solid foundation in the Russian language and to impart an understanding of the cultural history of Russia in its European, Eurasian, and global contexts. The department offers courses that provide knowledge of Russia’s rich cultural tradition and the country’s enduring role as a major player on the world stage. Our courses explore Russian literature, music, performance, politics, history, and cultural studies, as well as the interrelationships between these. Associated courses taught in other departments, such as History and Sociology, complement the department’s offerings.

The objective of the certificate in Russian is to enhance students’ educational and professional profiles by demonstrating their ability to use the Russian language in a variety of disciplines and contexts. The sequence of required language and culture courses that comprise the certificate supplements students’ majors and enables them to expand study in their major field through the use of Russian and authentic materials in Russian.

Students should be able:

  • to read and to understand unabridged literary, journalistic, and colloquial Russian texts with the aid of a dictionary and to comprehend a wide range of audio-visual texts;
  • to converse and to communicate in writing with Russian speakers on a variety of non-technical topics;
  • to navigate and to negotiate the Russian Internet, as well as journalism and media in Russian;
  • to function independently in a Russian-speaking environment;
  • to demonstrate a broad understanding of the people, movements, and events shaping Russian cultural history;
  • to demonstrate familiarity with representative works of Russian literature, fine arts, music, and performance;
  • to demonstrate cultural competence in Russian, including historical, political, social, and aesthetic awareness.