Russian Major (B.A.)

The Russian program provides students with an opportunity to study one of the world's most important languages, its literature and its culture. In addition to the intrinsic value of Russian language, literature and culture as a liberal arts experience, majoring in Russian leads to a number of careers, such as teaching, translation and interpreting, government and the Foreign Service. The knowledge of the language and cultural proficiency is also a valuable asset in preparing you for careers in law, economics and international trade. All Russian majors are strongly encouraged to double major or include a relevant minor in their studies.

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New students will be assigned to the proper language level course after consultation with the Russian faculty. 

All students must complete at least 10 classes (40 credits). The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0. Specific course requirements are: 

Language Courses 1
Students entering major at a higher language level will replace the language courses with additional electives
Elementary Russian I
Elementary Russian II
Intermediate Russian I
Intermediate Russian II
Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition
Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition
Electives 2
Select a minimum of three courses from the following Culture, Linguistics, and Literature category:
Topics in Russian Culture and Society in Moscow
Devils, Deities, and Madness in Russian Literature
Russia: Mythology and Propaganda
Russia:Mythology and Propaganda in Moscow
Study Abroad
Readings in Russian Literature
Topics in Russian Culture and Society in Moscow
History of Slavic Languages and Culture
Advanced Language and Style
Special Studies in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture
Special Studies in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture
Film History
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature I
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature II
Language Practicum
Methods of Foreign Language Teaching
Capstone 3
World Languages Capstone
Study Abroad
Study abroad is a requirement for the Russian major, although an approved equivalent high-impact experience may be substituted for study abroad with a compelling justification.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Russian majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements. In addition, Russian majors may take RUSS 521W Devils, Deities, and Madness in Russian Literature to satisfy both a Discovery Inquiry requirement and a major requirement.

Transfer students must earn a minimum of 12 major credits at the Durham campus.

  • Upon completion of a Russian major, students are able to express themselves orally and in writing on a variety of topics with accuracy, and they are able to support their opinions with evidence found in the media and scholarly reading. Students are able to articulate their ideas and defend their opinions.
  • Throughout the language sequence students are expected to give oral presentations on a variety of topics, related to their interest, second major or minor.
  • Students have spent at least 8 weeks-semester/year in Russia on a study abroad program, which strengthens their language skills, improves their proficiency, both in language and culturally, and which allows them to interact with native speakers. The major includes at least two courses on Russian literature (one in English and one in Russian), and students are familiar with the works of major Russian authors (i.e. Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Zoshchenko, Bulgakov, among others.) Students are able to understand the texts in the historical and literary movements of Russia, as well as analyze the works in and of themselves. Students study the cultural history of Russia/Soviet Union/Russia to understand the Russian perspective of itself and the world.