Russian Studies

Russian Studies Requirements

The Russian Studies program offers a broad range of instruction that combines language training with courses (taught in English) that provide exposure to Russian literature and culture. Language instruction extends from the beginning through the advanced level. Instruction stresses the basic skills—comprehension, speaking, reading and writing—and aims primarily to develop practical competency in two semesters. For heritage speakers of Russian, the course sequence Russian for Russians makes it possible to gain basic reading and writing competency. Russia’s literature and culture are introduced in a permanent sequence of lower- and upper-level courses. Interested students can pursue a major or a minor in Russian Studies.

To declare a Russian major, double major, or minor, simply click the button below. (Note that you must be logged in to your Binghamton University email for the form to be visible.)


Major in Russian Studies

  • Requirements
    • 40 credits
    • Minimum of 24 upper-division credits
    • Minimum of 24 credits at Binghamton University
    • Minimum grade of "C" for a course to count towards the major
    • Maximum of four credits of independent study or RUSS 491/492 will count towards major requirements
    • Maximum of 16 language-study credits for non-heritage speakers
    • Credit towards the major is given for language courses above the 100-level
    • Maximum of eight language-study credits for heritage speakers
    • Language Placement: All students entering the program with advanced language proficiency will take a placement exam.
  • Curriculum

    The BA in Russian studies is available in two tracks:

    Track 1: Literary and Cultural Studies:

    • Linguistic proficiency to the level of RUSS 306 or the equivalent for non-heritage learners; or to the level of RUSS 312 or the equivalent for heritage learners
    • RUSS 110. Russian Culture and Civilization
    • RUSS 210. Introduction to Russian Literature
    • Additional courses selected from current course offerings in Russian Cultural Studies. Courses recently offered at Binghamton include:
      • RUSS 215. Slavic Folklore
      • RUSS 261. Russian Popular Culture
      • RUSS 321. 19th Century Russian Literature
      • RUSS 325. Demons, Fools, and Madmen
      • RUSS 331. Moscow and St. Petersburg
      • RUSS 339. Seagull’s Flight: Russian Drama
      • RUSS 341. 20th Century Russian Literature
      • RUSS 351. Women in Russian Literature
      • RUSS 371. Russia and the World
      • RUSS 380. Literature and Revolution
      • RUSS 380. Germans and Russians in New York
      • RUSS 380. Russian Cinema
      • RUSS 380. Stalingrad
      • RUSS 380. Theater as Language
      • RUSS 471. Activism in Russia
      • RUSS 472. Great Russian Novels
    • RUSS 498. Capstone Course

    Track 2: Area Studies:

    • Linguistic proficiency to the level of RUSS 306 or the equivalent for non-heritage learners; or to the level of RUSS 312 or the equivalent for heritage learners
    • RUSS 110. Russian Culture and Civilization
    • RUSS 210. Introduction to Russian Literature and/or HIST 225 Imperial Russia
    • Minimum of at least one course in each of the following three areas:
      • Russian Literary and Cultural Studies
      • Russian, Eurasian and East European History
      • Russian, Eurasian and East European Political Science
    • RUSS 498. Capstone Course

    Recent courses in Russian Cultural Studies are listed above.

    Recent courses in Russian, Eurasian and East European History have included:

    • HIST 325. Red Phoenix: Revolution and USSR
    • HIST 426. Soviet Russia

    Recent courses in Russian, Eurasian and East European Political Science have included:

    • PLSC 358. Russian and Post-Soviet Politics

For more information on degree requirements please visit the University Bulletin.

Honors Program

The Director of Undergraduate Studies administers the Russian honors program. Students interested in honors must consult with the director to determine eligibility, and eligible students must submit a proposal no later than September of the senior year. To be eligible to earn honors, a Russian major must have a GPA of 3.60 in Russian studies courses, not counting courses taken Pass/Fail. The student must write an honors thesis and the thesis must be judged worthy (of honors, high honors, or highest honors) by the faculty supervisor and one other member of the department (or a faculty member outside the department approved by the undergraduate director). In case of disagreement between the two readers, a third is designated by the undergraduate director. This work may be completed during the student’s last semester. Students writing an honors thesis will register for RUSS 499 Honors Thesis. However, this course may not be used to satisfy the major requirement. For more information, the student should refer to the “Rules Governing the Preparation of Undergraduate Honors Theses,” available from the undergraduate director.

Minor in Russian Studies

A minimum of six courses is required for the minor in Russian studies with a language and literature concentration. All students are required to gain language proficiency to the level of RUSS 204 or equivalent; in addition, all students must take RUSS 321 or 341, RUSS 110 or 374. A Russian Studies minor with an Area Studies concentration is also available. For details, see the Russian and East European Program description or check with the REEP director, Prof. Nancy Tittler.


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