Russian Studies

About Russian

Why Study Russian?

Spanning both Europe and Asia, Russia is one of the world's dominant political entities. Its rich cultural traditions have enhanced world literature, theater, art, and dance. As the world's first socialist state, it became a major political rival of the United States after the Second World War. In the past decade, Russians have abandoned their socialist system and are now in the process of making a rocky transition to capitalism and a multi-party system. Although Russia lost sizeable amounts of territory in this transition, the Russian language now serves as the lingua franca throughout many areas formerly controlled by the Soviet Union.

While the demand for specialists in various sectors of government has eased, relationships between our countries at other levels of society are growing more active and business opportunities are exciting and rewarding. Other areas in which the need for Russian language competence is evident in right now include trade, environmental protection, social services, law, medicine and technology.

All students in Russian language courses are encouraged to take part in the University's Education Abroad Program and spend a portion of their junior or senior year studying in Russia. Additional information is available in the Center for International Education section of the General Catalogue.

The Russian Studies minor is a multi-disciplinary concentration combining the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Ecology. It is designed to introduce students to the rich history and culture of Russia and provide them the intellectual and linguistic tools necessary for sustained engagement with this area of the world.

Important facts about Russia:

  • Russia is by far the largest country in the world and has the largest new sources of natural gas and petroleum.
  • Russia has one of the world’s most educated populations and has some of the most advanced skills in computing, new media and space exploration.
  • The Russian economy is booming: expect increased trade with the US and investment from US firms in the Russian economy.