Courses in Russia


The graduate curriculum at RGGU is composed of:

Middlebury спецкурсы, which are taught only to School in Russia graduate students;
Mainstream courses taken with Russian students in the regular university departments; and
An original, independent research project which is pursued in addition to formal class work.

A normal graduate student course load in a single semester is three classes of one credit each.  At least half of these credits must be earned in mainstream courses, and students may earn no more than six total credits toward their degree, while in Russia.  The independent research project is not credited as a "fourth class" each semester, but is expected to require the equivalent time commitment of a regular course.

Middlebury спецкурсы:  Two спецкурсы are taught exclusively to Middlebury graduate students each semester, assuming a minimum enrollment of two students in each class.  Fall semester courses are offered in the areas of Russian Literature and Russian History, while spring semester classes focus on Russian Politics and Russian Culture.  Exact course offerings are determined each semester, in consultation with RGGU and with the Director of the Russian School.  Past courses have included such topics as Silver Age Literature, Contemporary Russian Political Parties, Russian Popular Culture and 19th Century Russian Literature.

Mainstream courses: Middlebury students may attend mainstream classes in all of RGGU's regular departments, with the exception of the Department of Information Protection (Зашита Информации), which is closed to foreigners.  In order to qualify for credit toward the Middlebury degree, all mainstream classes must be classifiable as Russian Area Studies Courses, with 50% or more "Russian" content.

Prospective students should also note that due to the structure of the Russian higher educational system, mainstream classes cannot be selected before the semester begins.  Formal class registration for mainstream classes takes place only at the end of the first month of the term.

Research project:  An essential part of the graduate student's program in Russia is the research for, and early-stage writing of, a major research project.  This project is completed during the final summer at Middlebury and qualifies the candidate for the MA degree.

The research paper is written in Russian and must be 25-40 pages long, not including the bibliography and endnotes.  Topics are chosen in consultation with the Director of the Russian School and with the assistance of advisors from RGGU, and must be narrow enough to be thoroughly discussed within the bounds of 25-40 pages.

Sample topics, from previous participants:
Роль советского спецназа в партизанском движении времен Великой Отечественной Войны
Сквозные мотивы в работе А.В. Вампилова
Типы реминисценций в лирике Каролины Павловой
Совет по развитию предпринимательства при Мэрии г. Новосибирск: его влияние на муниципальное регулирование бизнеса 1996-2000г.

A thorough "Guide to the Research Project" will be distributed to students during the Moscow orientation.  However, students should begin to discuss potential research topics with the Director of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian during the early weeks of the summer program.

The following list is representative of the courses that Middlebury graduate students have taken at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow in recent years. Some may not be offered every year.

Graduate students are allowed to take a maximum of three courses specially designed for Middlebury graduate students, into which only those students are admitted. The rest of the courses must be “mainstream” courses, in which Middlebury graduate students are in class with Russian students regularly enrolled at RGGU.

Mainstream Classes


Silver Age Literature

History of Russian Literature 1870–1890

Russian Folklore

Theory and History of Russian Verse

Russian Émigré Literature


History of the USSR & Russian Federation

Political History 10th C-1800

Russian Political History, 1861–1991

20th-Century Russian History

History of Moscow

Russian Political Culture

Political Management

Russian Civil Law

Regional History of Russia

Economic History of Russia


History of Russian Film

Russian Art History, 1000–1700

Russian Film 1930–WWII

Russian Film 1970–present

History of Russian Culture

History of Russian Philosophy

History of Russian Psychology

Middlebury Courses (“spetskursy”)


Works of Chekhov

Russian Literature, 1920–30s

Silver Age Literature


Russian History to 1700

19th-Century Russian History

History of Russia, 15th–18th Centuries

Communicative History of Russia


Russian Cultural History, 20th Century

Russian Mass (Pop) Culture

Davis School of Russian

Oliver Carling, Coordinator
P: 802.443.2006

Mailing address
Russian School
Middlebury College
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753