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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 25, 2024
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Russian, BA

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Major Requirements

The Russian major requires at least 33 distributed as follows.


Additional courses at the 1000 level in Russian literature are strongly recommended. Prospective majors are encouraged to take RUSS 0800 - MASTERPIECES 19TH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE  and RUSS 0810 - MASTERPIECES 20TH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE  as early as possible as an introduction to Russian literature.

The following rules and requirements apply to Russian majors.

  • Advanced placement assessment and credit by examination may be arranged through consent of the instructor and the department chair.
  • RUSS 0800 - MASTERPIECES 19TH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE  and RUSS 0810 - MASTERPIECES 20TH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE  are offered regularly as W courses and will satisfy the departmental W-course requirement.
  • A grade of C or better is required in each course that counts toward the major. A grade of B- or better in language courses is required to advance to the next level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in departmental courses is required for graduation.
  • No course that counts toward the major may be taken on an S/NC basis.

Honors in the major

Honors in Russian is granted if, in addition to fulfilling all requirements for the major, the student meets the following conditions.

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.75 or higher in RUSS courses.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  • Complete at least one additional RUSS 1000-level course.
  • Complete a 20-page paper involving Russian primary-source research and a two-page summary in Russian, under the supervision of an appointed faculty committee.
  • Consulted with the undergraduate advisor in their junior year.

Study abroad

Students are encouraged to participate in an approved study-abroad program for a semester or the summer term. The department will adjust the course requirements in individual cases to accommodate this participation without delaying the student’s graduation. Majors often apply for Nationality Rooms Program Scholarships for summer study abroad. The Summer Language Institute (SLI) offers generous scholarships as well. The following represents a partial list of study abroad opportunities available to students.

  • Summer study in Moscow: The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures currently sponsors a ten-credit summer-study program as part of the SLI in Pittsburgh (5 weeks) and Moscow (5 weeks) at the Moscow State University. Students may study first through fourth year Russian, covering one full year language study in ten weeks. Similar programs exist for study in Poland and Bulgaria. The Slavic department can be reached at 412-624-5096 or via e-mail at
  • The University of Pittsburgh is affiliated with a number of organizations holding both summer and semester, or year-long study in Russia. The Study Abroad Office, located in 802 William Pitt Union, can be reached at 412-647-7413.
  • The Russian and East European Study Center regularly organizes summer study abroad programs in languages and social sciences in locations from the Czech Republic to Slovakia. REES makes scholarships available for many of these programs. Nadia Kirkov, the REES undergraduate advisor, can be reached at 412-648-7418.
  • The Nationality Rooms Program offers a wide variety of competitive scholarships for summer study abroad in many parts of the world, including Central and Eastern Europe. Applications are due in January. The NRP, located in 1209 CL, can be reached at 412-624-6510.

For more information, see

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