Russian Studies Major | Russian Studies Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the Russian Studies department count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities except for elementary and intermediate language courses, RUSS 246 (counts for social science distribution) and RUSS 250 (counts for fine arts distribution).

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The Russian department participates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Topics Courses

RUSS 194, RUSS 294, RUSS 394, RUSS 494 

The subject matter of these courses will vary: departmental and interdisciplinary topics such as "Terrorism and Art," "The Cold War Gets Hot: Sex and Gender in First and Second World Literatures," and "Slavic Critical Theory."  Most topics courses are taught in English. Every year. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Russian Studies Major

Major Requirements

NOTE: Changes to the Russian Studies major have been approved and will appear in the 2019-2020 catalog, which will be published around April 1, 2019. Inquiries about these changes should be addressed directly to the department.

The Russian Studies major prepares students for meaningful personal and professional interactions with Russian speakers all over the globe. Russian majors achieve advanced fluency in one of the world's most widely spoken languages, and gain a profound understanding of Russian culture as well as the historical and political contexts in which it has developed.

A major in Russian Studies consists of 44 credits, distributed as follows:

  1. Russian department courses: 36 credits, to include:
    1. Basic language sequence beyond RUSS 101 - Elementary Russian I and RUSS 102 - Elementary Russian II, 16 credits: RUSS 203 - Intermediate Russian I and RUSS 204 - Intermediate Russian II, 8 credits, and another 8 credits of Russian language abroad in the third year, or equivalent. Russian Studies majors are expected to complete the equivalent of three years of Russian language in a combination of courses taken on campus and abroad. Students with significant language background when they come to Macalester may substitute courses listed below.
    2. Literature, culture, special language courses, 16 credits: RUSS 151 - "Things Don't Like Me": The Material World and Why It Matters, RUSS 250 - Terrorism and Art: The Spectacle of Destruction, RUSS 251 - 19th Century Russian Literature, RUSS 252 - Experiments in Living: 20th Century Russian Literature and Culture, RUSS 255 - Fierce and Beautiful World: Russian Culture Before the Revolution, RUSS 256 - Mass Culture Under Communism, RUSS 257 - Tolstoy's War and Peace, RUSS 261 - Making History: Russian Cinema as Testimony, Propaganda, and Art, RUSS 265 - Translation as Cross-Cultural Communication, RUSS 270 - Wrongdoing in Russian Literature, RUSS 363 - Orientalism and Empire: Russia's Literary South, RUSS 245 - Nabokov, RUSS 367 - Dostoevsky in Translation, and topics courses offered as RUSS 194, RUSS 294 or RUSS 394. Majors should strive for a combination of courses that provides coverage of both the 19th and the 20th century.
    3. RUSS 488 - Senior Seminar, 4 credits, designed as the integrative capstone experience. May be taken upon completion of RUSS 204. Since the topic changes from year to year, students may repeat RUSS 488 for credit under b), with the consent of the instructor.
  2. Study abroad
    A semester study abroad program as approved by the department and the Macalester Study Abroad Committee. We recommend that students study away in the spring semester after completion of RUSS 204 and Advanced Russian, which is offered only in the fall semester. Courses taken abroad may count for up to 8 credits in the language sequence, as well as four credits under sections I.b. or III.
  3. Supporting courses (8 credits)
    Two supporting courses, as approved by the department. Such courses are significantly devoted to the area of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Preapproved courses include: RUSS 250 - Terrorism and Art: The Spectacle of Destruction, RUSS 272 - The Post-Soviet Sphere, RUSS 364 - Culture and Revolution, HIST 260 - Rise/Fall of Tsarist Russia, HIST 262 - Soviet Union and Successors, INTL 225 - Comparative Economic Systems, INTL 325 - China, Russia and Central Europe in Transition, INTL 285 - Ethnicity and Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe, INTL 317 - Writers and Power: The European East in the 20th Century. SOCI 280 - Indigenous Peoples' Movements in Global Context may count toward the major if the final project concerns an indigenous group in Russia/the former Soviet Union. Appropriate topics courses include HIST 294 - Vikings, Tatars, Slavs - and MUSI 394 - Shostakovich.

Russian Studies Minor

Minor Requirements

A minor in Russian Studies consists of any five courses beyond RUSS 102 - Elementary Russian II, to include RUSS 203 - Intermediate Russian I and RUSS 204 - Intermediate Russian II.