BA in Russian Language & Literature

Maggie McCool presenting to a group of students in a classroom with the slide "Soviet Roots in the GDR"

The Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature teaches students to speak, read and write in Russian at an advanced level, all while exploring Russian poetry, prose, history and film. Students in the major choose either the speaking or reading proficiency track in consultation with their advisor.

Core Components

In addition to the Columbian College’s general requirements, Russian majors must complete courses from five core areas:

  1. Fourth-Year Language Proficiency
  2. Survey of 19th Century Russian Literature (6 credit hours)
  3. Russian Culture (6 credit hours)
  4. 20th Century Russian Literature and/or Cinema in English (6 credit hours)
  5. Russian Literature in Russian (6 credit hours)

See Course Requirements for details.

Departmental Honors in Russian

Students interested in earning special honors in Russian Language and Literature to be noted on their transcript must meet all requirements:

  • Meet GW’s general special honors requirements.
  • Graduate with a GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.3 in classes for the major.
  • Apply for honors candidacy no later than the end of the first semester of junior year.
  • Attain speaking proficiency at the advanced level, as measured by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview.
  • Successfully complete an honors thesis during the courses SLAV 4597: Senior Honors Thesis I and SLAV 4598: Senior Honors Thesis II.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

All courses in one of the following options:
Option A:
SLAV 1012Intensive Basic Russian I
SLAV 1034Intensive Basic Russian II
Option B:
SLAV 1001First-Year Russian I
SLAV 1002First-Year Russian II
SLAV 1003Second-Year Russian I
SLAV 1004Second-Year Russian II
Required in the major
SLAV 1391Introduction to Russian Literature I
SLAV 1392Introduction to Russian Literature II
SLAV 2005Intermediate Russian I
SLAV 2006Intermediate Russian II
SLAV 2007Russia Today: Topics in Advanced Russian I
SLAV 2008Russia Today: Topics in Advanced Russian II
SLAV 2361Russian Culture
SLAV 2362Russian Culture
Two of the following:
SLAV 2471Nineteenth-Century Russian Prose
SLAV 2472Nineteenth-Century Russian Poetry
SLAV 247320th-Century Russian Prose
SLAV 2474Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry
Two of the following:
SLAV 2365Twentieth-Century Russian Literature to World War II
SLAV 2366Russian Literature from World War II to the Present
SLAV 2785Introduction to Russian Cinema I
SLAV 2786Introduction to Russian Cinema II
SLAV 4595WSpecial Topics

Proficiency requirements for the Russian major

After completing SLAV 2006, students should consult their advisor to choose one of the following proficiency tracks:

  1. Emphasis on proficiency in speaking—students choosing this track must attain speaking proficiency at the intermediate high level, as measured by the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview. A semester of intensive language study in Russia on an approved program is required unless waived by the department.
  2. Emphasis on proficiency in reading—students choosing this track must attain reading proficiency at the advanced level on the ACTFL scale, as measured by a departmental examination. Students should consult their advisor and use the Russian reading resource site.