Russian Program Courses and Requirements

Mission Statement

The objective of a major in Russian is to provide a thorough foundation in the Russian language and develop a sophisticated understanding of the culture and history of Russia in its European and global contexts. To further an awareness of Russia's rich cultural tradition and the country's continuing role as a major player on the world stage, departmental courses are often interdisciplinary in approach, encouraging students to explore literature, film, politics, history, art, music, and cultural studies. Associated courses in a range of disciplines at The Claremont Colleges complement the department's offerings.

Goals in the Study of Russian Language and Culture

Majors should be able to:

  • with the aid of a dictionary read and understand unadapted literary, journalistic, and colloquial Russian texts;
  • converse with native speakers on a variety of non-technical topics;
  • communicate in writing with native speakers;
  • navigate the Russian Internet;
  • function independently in a Russian-speaking environment;
  • have a broad understanding of the people, movements and events that have shaped Russian cultural history;
  • be familiar with representative works of Russian literature, fine arts, music, cinema, and architecture;
  • acquire cultural competency understood as historical and political awareness, social sensibility, and aesthetic perception.

Assessment Tools

Russian Language

  • Course assignments and written and oral examinations embedded in sequenced language courses;
  • Same placement test is given to track Russian language progress at the end of Elementary Russian and Advanced Russian;
  • Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest (all of our students are required to participate);
  • Study Abroad (providing an outside perspective for Russian language and culture evaluation); interview after Study Abroad;
  • Russian Language Table.

Majors on the Russian Literature Track

  • Senior Exercise option 1: Senior Exercise consisting of three parts:

a) Essay in English based on the course work in Russian literature and culture;
b) Essay in Russian to test the student's ability to read and analyze an original literary or critical text;
c) Oral exam to discuss the results of a) and b).

  • Senior Exercise option 2: Senior Thesis

Russian Linguistics Track

Senior Thesis

Majors on the Russian and East European Studies:

  • Senior Exercise option 1: Senior Thesis

• Senior Exercise option 2: A series of papers on some aspect of Russian and East European Studies