Russian Studies

Russian is one of the most widely used languages in the world today. About one-third of all scientific articles are published in Russian. Russian writers such as Pushkin, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy have produced some of the world's greatest literature. Politically, Russia and the former Soviet Union continue to influence world affairs. Knowledge of Russian will provide students with a better understanding of one of the world's important and influential countries.

The Russian program at SDSU offers a range of courses in language, literature, and culture. Majoring in Russian opens up significant opportunities for careers in the private and public sectors, such as Foreign Service, international relations and business, etc. This major is useful preparation for graduate programs in international trade, international law, public administration, political science, geography and economics. Russian majors and other students of Russian are encouraged to study in Russia through the California State University program in Moscow or in programs sponsored by other institutions.

Students majoring in other departments throughout the university are invited to minor in Russian. Consult the department for further information.

Program Overview

Preparation for both the Bachelor of Arts and secondary teaching credential programs requires that students complete five courses. This coursework provides a solid foundation in speaking, reading and writing Russian.

The upper-division curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts degree requires the completion of eight courses. The core of the curriculum includes Russian culture and civilization, and translation courses. The electives include courses in Russian literature and linguistics.

The upper-division curriculum for the high school teaching credential requires the completion of ten courses. The curriculum includes courses in translation, syntax, and two courses in advanced Russian. In addition, candidates for the teaching credential are required to pass a proficiency examination in Russian.

Special Features

Distinctive features of the Russian major include:

  • The Russian Club, an active student organization which sponsors activities such as guest speakers - journalists, film directors and writers - cultural meetings and trips to the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society, recognizes academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages and literature and provides an incentive for scholarly interest in Slavic life and culture.
  • The Russian program has offered the Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian for more than twenty years.
  • The Language Acquisition and Resource Center (LARC) at SDSU has a state-of-the-art facility, where students may practice their speaking and listening skills by using interactive video, participating in computer-assisted instruction, viewing videotapes of Russian television programs, listening to Russian recordings, or other means.

Career Opportunities

Knowledge of Russian has become a valuable asset, particularly when combined with business-related courses. Many American firms have opened offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok, and the volume of American trade with Russia and Russian-speaking countries has grown rapidly. As a result, American businesses are showing increased interest in graduates with a major in Russian, offering possible employment, both in the United States and abroad.

Other careers open to Russian majors include work as Russian consultants (generally employed by the federal government), high school teachers, librarians, translators, and interpreters.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Russian program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.