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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Russian Studies - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.

Coordinator: Rydel.

Web site:

A major in Russian Studies leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Because proficiency in the Russian language forms the most crucial component of the program, the major requires completion of third-year Russian (RUS 301, 302, or equivalent) with a grade of “B” or at least three years of Russian language study to be able to grasp basic grammar skills and begin to gain oral proficiency. Students may enhance their language skills by participating in approved summer intensive language programs both in Russian and the United States.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities for persons with training in Russian Studies include jobs as translators, interpreters, journalists officers in government agencies, the diplomatic corps, or business. Although language proficiency remains the most important requirement for a majority of jobs, many organizations insist that their employees know Russian literature, history, politics, economic, civilization, and culture as well. Because an undergraduate degree in Russian Studies may not be sufficient for a number of jobs, the main purpose of the Russian studies program is to prepare students for graduate work in specific areas of Russian culture. Although our students traditionally continue their studies on the graduate level, usually on the university fellowships and assistantships at major centers of Slavic scholarship, a number of them have pursued successful careers in international banking, government agencies in Washington D.C., and the diplomatic service in Moscow. Some of our graduates have worked for the Voice of America, the Library of Congress, the State Department, and in social and religious agencies that help Russian immigrants adjust to life in the United States.

Study Abroad

Students interested in pursuing careers that entail working in Russia might consider combining the Russian Studies program with a second major in communications, computer science, economics, international relations, or business with an emphasis on the areas of management, marketing, or finance.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies 

Russian Studies Minor