Major Requirements

Normally, majors must complete second-year Russian, RUSS 0122, RUSS 0151, four other courses, including at least one mainstream course in Russia, and a senior seminar (HIST 0247 and HIST 0248 may be substituted for RUSS 0122). 

Each student’s program is planned individually with the department chair. Students planning careers in government, business, or law are advised to consider a major in the Russian and East European studies track of the International and Global Studies program. 

Russian majors also frequently combine their language study with a minor in economics, geography, history, or political science, or do a joint or double major with one of these subjects. Majors planning teaching careers should study a second language, preferably through at least the third-year level, and should consult members of the education studies faculty regarding certification.

Minor Requirements 

The Russian department offers two minor programs: 

The Russian language minor (RULN) includes RUSS 0101, RUSS 0103, RUSS 0201, RUSS 0202, RUSS 0311 and RUSS 0312.

The Russian literature and culture minor (RULC) includes any two of RUSS 0122, RUSS 0151, RUSS 0152, and three additional content courses in the Russian department (RUSS/FMMC0245, RUSS0217, RUSS0241, RUSS 0351, RUSS 0352, RUSS 0354, RUSS 0355, and RUSS/ENAM 0359, or other appropriate courses pending approval of the chair). A first-year seminar may, on occasion, be substituted for one of these courses.     

Departmental Honors

Majors with a B+ average in Russian courses and a B average overall are encouraged to prepare an honors thesis, the final copy of which is due April 20 of the year of graduation. Departmental honors are determined by a combination of thesis grade and grade point average in courses taken in the Russian Department, the Russian School and Middlebury’s programs in Russia. Highest honors will be awarded for a GPA of 3.75 plus A on the thesis; high honors will be awarded for a GPA of 3.5 and A- or better on the thesis, and honors will be awarded for a GPA of 3.35 and a grade of B+ or better on the thesis.

Junior Year in Russia

All majors and language minors are encouraged to study for a year in Russia. Middlebury’s programs at Irkutsk State University, Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, and Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University are open to juniors who have completed 0300-level Russian. Students in Moscow may also enroll in courses at the Shchukin Theater Institute and the Higher School of Economics. Students are strongly encouraged to spend a summer in the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian on the Middlebury College campus before studying abroad in Russia. Students who have completed only 0200-level Russian must spend the fall semester at Yaroslavl. In their first semester, all students will take conversation, composition, and culture/civilization courses organized exclusively for our students; students who have completed third-year-level Russian will also take one mainstream course with Russian students, selected from the full university curriculum. In the second semester, students who have not yet taken a mainstream course will take one, and students who have already taken one will take two or more, in addition to the courses organized for Middlebury. Majors are expected to take at least one mainstream course while in Russia. Students unable to attend for a full year may study in Russia for one semester, preferably in the fall. The following courses are among those offered at our programs in Russia in recent years. While we cannot guarantee that each of these courses will be available on a regular basis, they are representative of the kinds of offerings students may expect:

In Irkutsk

  • Russian Literature of the Nineteenth Century
  • Language of the Mass Media
  • Scientific Texts
  • History of Russia 1917-1970 Through Film
  • Siberian Culture and Ethnic Groups

In Moscow

  • Russian Folklore
  • History of Economics
  • Nationalities and Contemporary Political Problems
  • The Language of Russian Business
  • Russian Civilization and Culture: Art, Architecture, and Music
  • Stage Speech (at the Shchukin Theater Institute)
  • Strategies against Corruption (at the Higher School of Economics)

In Yaroslavl

  • History of Russia, Tenth - Seventeenth Centuries
  • Modern Russian History and Contemporary Politics
  • Readings in Russian Literature
  • Russian Prose Translation
  • Russian Civilization and Culture: Art, Architecture, and Music