The Russian Language & Area Studies program offers a number of courses in Russian language, literature, culture, politics, and history. We offer an interdisciplinary major in Russian Language and Area Studies as well as an RLAS minor and a minor in Russian. The program is intended to prepare students for various types of professional work that require knowledge of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States and to prepare motivated students for further study. Students are encouraged to take advantage of a number of study abroad opportunities with affiliated programs.
Why Study Russian?
There is a misconception that studying Russian is no longer necessary in post-Cold War America. While the Soviet Union no longer exists, the Russian Federation remains a political force and is developing into an economic one, as well. Here are some reasons a student should consider studying Russian:
- Russian has been identified by the State Department as a critical language necessary to the vital interests of our country. Government organizations such as the CIA, NSA, FBI and others have need of Russian specialists.
- Russia is rich in natural resources, the most significant of which is oil. Oil and mineral companies and related businesses are interested in hiring scientists, engineers, and other professionals with Russian language skills.
- The US space program has strong ties with Russia. Knowledge of Russian will increase one's likelihood of a career in NASA.
- Russian is a great resume enhancer. National research has shown that undergraduates who study Russian have a much higher acceptance rate into graduate and professional programs of study.
- Russia has produced some of the greatest writers and artists in world history.