The Russian Program at UC Irvine offers courses in Russian language, literature, and culture. There are over 600,000 Russian speakers in Southern California, and this Russian-speaking community includes over 150 ethnic minorities from the 15 republics of the former Soviet Union. Russian classes are small and students receive a great deal of personalized attention from highly motivated instructors.
We are acutely aware of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. As instructors we pledge to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance in all of our Russian language and literature courses.
The Russian Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the rich history and culture of Russia and provide them with the intellectual and linguistic tools necessary for sustained engagement with this area of the world. Students can select courses in Political Science, History and Russian Literature and Culture. Most classes are taught in English.
Students who minor in Russian begin with an in-depth study of the Russian language. Most students start their study with Russian 1A and complete the Russian 1A-1B-1C and 2A-2B-2C sequences. Russian is the most widespread of the Slavic languages and the largest native language in Europe. Russian is the official language of Russia, and one of the official languages in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Russian is also considered an unofficial lingua franca in many former Soviet countries including Georgia, Latvia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Our lower division Russian culture courses taught in English examine the rich cultural tradition of world-renowned art, literature, film, and music, but also strive to teach diverse perspectives and expose inherent imperialist currents that have been part of Russia’s history.
Upper-division courses, also taught in English, focus more in depth on one author, time period or movement. Russian literature contains mechanisms of patriarchy, expansionism, and the logic of imperialism, but also fundamentals of universal truths, experiences and qualities that transcend politics. We are also committed to teaching Russian literature in its historical context.
Requirements for the Minor
- Completion of Intermediate Russian (RUS 2C)
- Three Russian Culture courses on different topics (RUS 50)
- Four upper diversion courses on Russian literature (RUS 150), history, political science.
- A maximum of four units can be used for courses that are devoted in part to Russian themes.
If you have any questions about the Russian Minor, please contact Lora Mjolsness at firstname.lastname@example.org
The new European Studies – Russian Major allows students to study the language, literature, history and culture of Russia while learning about how Russia fits into the European community. Since Europe is both a geographical space and an idea that changes throughout history, the study of Russia within Europe encourages an open, pluralistic and interdisciplinary approach. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad.
There are many ways to complete this major. Here is one example for European Studies - Russian Majors.
Students who want to declare the European Studies Russian Major begin with an in-depth study of the Russian language. Most students start their study with Russian 1A and complete the Russian 1A-1B-1C and 2A-2B-2C sequences.
Lower Division Courses for Russian Concentration
Select two courses from Euro Studies 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Select two different Russian 50 courses
Upper Division Courses for Russian Concentration
Select two courses from Euro Studies 100A, 100B, 100C
Select three different Russian 150 courses
Upper Division Writing Course
Complete Russian 139W
Lecturer of Russian
Interests: 19th century, 20th century and Contemporary Children's Literature; Soviet and Russian Animation; Russian Folklore
Lecturer of Russian
Interests: Medieval humor; parodic societies; Dovlatov; dissident literature; contemporary literature
- Russian has been designated a critical language by the United States government. Critical languages are those that are considered crucial for national security but are not spoken by enough Americans.
- Russia is waging a war against Ukraine. We need more people who study and understand the country, the language, and culture in order to help end the war.
- Russia is one of the greatest cyber threats to the United States. The Russia government engages in malicious cyber activities.
- Russian language will help you understand and enjoy Russian literature, which is crucial for understanding Russian society and communicating with its people. Russian literature has a profound effect on the structure of Russian society and it influences the daily lives of ordinary people and of its leaders.
- Russian literature engages in political, social, religious, ethical, and moral debates, but also touches on mundane everyday events. It encourages readers to think critically about what makes us human.
- Russia is the largest country of the world and has the largest new sources of natural gas and petroleum.
- Russian and the United States continue to work together on the International Space Station (ISS).
- Russian is the most widespread of the Slavic languages and the largest native language in Europe. Russian is the official language of Russia, and one of the official languages in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Russian is also considered an unofficial lingua franca in many former Soviet countries including Georgia, Latvia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Our language courses are designed both for students with no previous knowledge and for those who speak Russian at home (heritage speakers). Students in our language courses can achieve a high level of linguistic competence in speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing.
Many European languages have been languages of oppression. Russia, too, has a long imperialist history of language politics which continued into the Soviet period and remains today. We teach Russian to understand more deeply the past and present cultural, linguistical and political arcs.
- Students interested in beginning their study of Russian should enroll in the RUS 1A-1B-1C series, which is offered each year, starting in the Fall only. We offer both online and in person options. Occasionally, heritage speakers may place into first year Russian. If you have some formal instruction in Russian it is possible to place into the Winter or Spring Quarter courses.
- Students ready for the second year Russian (intermediate level), or who come to UC Irvine with a full year's worth of college level Russian language, should enroll in the RUS 2A-2B-2C sequence. Second year will typically include heritage speakers of Russian who may have extensive knowledge of the spoken language, but either little experience with the written language or want to improve their written language.
- There is a placement exam and an exemption exam at the UCI Academic Testing Center for UCI students. Please contact the Center email@example.com or 949-824-6207 to request an exam.
- Questions about placement should be addressed to Dr. Lora Mjolsness at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lower division Russian culture courses taught in English discuss the rich cultural tradition of world-renowned art, literature, film, and music, but also strive to teach diverse perspectives and expose inherent imperialist currents. Upper division courses, also taught in English, focus more in depth on one author, time period or movement.
Russia literature captures everyday real life while also striving to define national identity. As instructors, we are also committed to teaching Russian literature in its historical context while also acknowledging its mechanisms of patriarchy, patriarchy, expansionism, and imperialism. At the same time, we also examine how Russian literature also grapples with the fundamentals of universal truths, experiences, and qualities that transcend politics, which makes it part of world culture.
- Students who are able to do the reading in Russian are encouraged to do so, and the Russian texts can be used in final papers. Please contact your instructor if you plan to do this.
- Here are some of the lower division courses frequently taught at UC Irvine.
- Russian Dissent
- Russian Travel
- Soviet Animation
- Russian and East European Folklore
- Russian Demons
- Eastern European Utopian Worlds
- Here are some of the upper division courses frequently taught at UC Irvine.
- 19th Century Russian Literature
- 20th Century Russian Literature
- 20th Century Soviet Cinema
The European Language and Studies Department and the Russian Program encourage our students to study abroad. UC Educational Abroad Program (UCEAP) does not currently have a program in the Russian language.
The U.S. government wants Americans to study and to master critical and strategic foreign languages, like Russian. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Critical Language Scholarships provide fully funded intensive language instruction for U.S. citizens. https://clscholarship.org/
In addition, students can choose to study abroad in Russian speaking countries, for example, in Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, and Uzbekistan.
Russian Table – This weekly event is aimed at students who want to practice their Russian language skills. Times vary each quarter. For more information please contact Lora Mjolsness: email@example.com
Russian Film Series – This quarterly series presents Russian speaking films to help students with their language skills. Times vary each quarter. For more information please contact Zlatina Sandalska: Zlatina@uci.edu
Russian Club – The Russian Club is a student-run organization. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lora Mjolsness: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dobro Slovo – This national honor society recognizes academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages, literature, history, and culture. We accept applications each Winter quarter and hold inductions in Spring Quarter. For more information please contact Lora Mjolsness: email@example.com
Job and Educational Opportunities
**Please note that all students must be U.S. citizens and able to obtain a Top Secret security clearance.
- Summer Language Program Internship: Spend 12 weeks this summer working as a language analyst at NSA. The summer 2024 program is hiring students with proficiency in Chinese, Russian, and Farsi, but other languages are considered on a case-by-case basis. The application is open September 1st through October 15th. Students graduating Spring 2024 are encouraged to apply to the internship as well as LADP ad listed below.
- Cooperative Education Program (Co-Op) for Language: Students in this program will alternate semesters between college and working at NSA as a Chinese or Russian language analyst. Students can apply for the Co-Op Program starting their second semester Freshman year or during their Sophomore year. Application period is open from September 1st to October 31st and from February 1st to March 31st.
- Language Analysis Development Program (LADP): The LADP is a full-time development program for new-hires and involves rotational tours in a variety of offices, coursework to build foundational knowledge, and quality mentoring. There is also the potential to be hired to enhance current language proficiency or cross-train into a new language (Chinese). The LADP application goes up and down every few weeks. The current ad is open until October 31st. It is recommended that students apply 9-12 months prior to graduation.
- Intelligence Analysis Development Program (IADP): The IADP is designed to provide an intensive, accelerated opportunity to acquire the unique technical skills and experience needed to successfully apply knowledge and analytic ability to the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mission and help analysts achieve core analytic. The application will be posted on intelligencecareers.gov/nsa for two weeks starting either late September or early October (exact date TBD).
- NSA Codebreaker Challenge: The NSA Codebreaker Challenge provides students with a hands-on opportunity to develop their reverse-engineering / low-level code analysis skills while working on a realistic problem set centered around the NSA's mission. The challenge opens September 28th and will run through early December.
The National Security Agency is hosting multiple virtual events, where we will share information regarding the Security Clearance process, Student Programs, among other topics. Students can find more information and register here: https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/NSA/nsaevents.html
- https://slavic.berkeley.edu/ - Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at University of California Berkeley
- https://slavic.ucla.edu/ Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at University of California Los Angeles
- https://guides.library.ucsb.edu/slavic/home Interesting collection of Russian comics, graphic novels and much more
- https://3ears.com/ Interactive Russian Films, Songs, Lessons
- https://mezhdunami.org/ Our First Year Russian Textbook
- https://www.multitran.com/ Online dictionary
- https://www.youtube.com/@EasyRussianVideos Easy Russian videos
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2125ED0AB56954F2 Beginner’s Russian videos
Newspapers and Magazines
- http://english.pravda.ru/ - Russian News and Analysis in English
- http://www.gazeta.ru/ - Daily Internet newspaper in Russian.
- https://ves.lv/ Russian language newspaper in Latvia.
- https://www.golosarmenii.am/ Russian language newspaper in Armenia.
- https://www.metronews.ru/ Russian Newspaper in Moscow, Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Kazan.