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Russian Language, Literature, and Culture

Degrees Offered: Minor, B.A.

Congratulations to our National Award-Winning Majors & Minors:

Molly Bolan – Critical Language Scholarship (Russia), 2018;
Jade M. Rhoads – Critical Language Scholarship (Russia), 2018; Udall Scholarship, 2017;
Farrell Greenwald Brenner – Syracuse University Scholar, 2017; Fulbright Scholar Award, semi-finalist (Poland), 2017;
Bryce Davis – Peace Corp (Macedonia), 2015;
Tyler E. Berry – Gilman Scholarship (Russia), 2014;
Samantha T. Costello – Fulbright ET Award (Azerbaijan), 2013;
Stephen A. Barton – Fulbright ET Award (Russia), 2012;
Anna Shwedel – Fulbright ET Award (Kazakhstan), 2010;

Why Study Russian?

With an area of roughly 6.5 million square miles, the Russian Federation is the world’s largest country, nearly twice the size of China and more than 1.5 times the size of the United States. Russian is the first language of nearly 140 million citizens of Russia and remains the lingua franca of the former Soviet Republics, including much of Central Asia. It is one of the six offical languages of the United Nations. Think you know Russia? Check out this list of common myths about one of the most enigmatic countries in the world.

Known around the world for its literature, ballet, opera, theater, classical music and visual art, Russia's rich and compelling culture has long fascinated Americans, but today the knowledge of Russian also offers myriad employment opportunities both in the U.S. and in Russia.

Our students have found careers in non-governmental organizations, publishing houses, internet start-ups, law, finance, and advertising firms, as well as other businesses both here and in Russia. They go on to work as analysts, researchers, or consultants in fields such as media, marketing, chemistry, aerospace and computer engineering. Others have gone into government service, including positions in the Intelligence community, Department of State, Defense, Homeland Security and USAID. Moreover, the break up of the Soviet Union produced a large wave of immigrants to this country who require health care professionals, lawyers, social workers, teachers, and other professionals who know Russian.

There has never been a better time to pursue a degree in Russian. If you're already studying Russian, consider these great funding/learning opportunities:
Fulbright ETA / Fulbright Research or Open Study Awards / Gilman International Scholarships / Critical Language Scholarship Program / Boren Scholarships

For SU Russian study abroad opportunities, check out SRAS and the Bard-Smolny Program.

Russian Placement Exam

If you have studied Russian either formally or informally, lived in a Russian-speaking country, or grown up in a Russian-speaking household, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any RUS course. The exam is administered in person the last Thursday and Friday before classes begin in the fall semester. For admittance into RUS courses in the spring, please contact Professor Erika Haber to schedule an exam prior to the beginning of the semester. If you register for classes without taking the exam and you have prior Russian experience, you will be asked to take the exam and re-register for the correct level of Russian class. Admittance into LIT courses that are cross-listed with RUS courses does not require a placement exam but you cannot use LIT courses towards the Russian major or minor; instead, you must register for the RUS side of the course. You must present your student ID to take all language placement tests.