At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The B.A. in Russian provides the student with a command of spoken and written Russian and a general knowledge of the literature and culture of the Russian people. No previous study of Russian is required for admission to the major. Study in Russia under the University's Education Abroad Program is available for qualified students. Students are advised to combine their study of Russian with another foreign language, English, history, political science, the Russian Area Studies minor, the Business/Liberal Arts minor, or the Linguistics minor. Graduates of this program have found employment in international business, the U.S. government, in the educational and publishing fields, and in the travel industry.
What is Russian?
Russian Studies is an interdisciplinary sub-field of the Humanities and Slavic Studies that pertains to linguistics, literature, arts, history, politics, and more, with a primary focus on the language, literature, and culture of historical and contemporary Russia, including the Soviet period and the Russian-speaking diaspora.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You understand the critical role that Russia plays in the world.
- You are considering an academic or professional career requiring strong training in a foreign language.
- Your first major is History, Comparative Literature, International Relations, Journalism, Linguistics, or other fields in which a knowledge of Russian is advantageous.
- You want to discover the rich world of Russian literature, arts, and cinema.
- Mastering Russian is important in your field, for example, in aerospace engineering, the computer sciences, and other sciences.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||28|
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|RUS 100||Russian Culture and Civilization||3|
|RUS 200||Intermediate Russian II||4|
|RUS 400||Senior Seminar in Russian Culture||3|
|RUS 405||Seminar in Russian Literature||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 9 credits at the 400-level||9|
|RUS 141Y||Russian Literature in English Translation: 1800-1870||3|
|or RUS 142Y||Russian Literature in English Translation: 1870 to Present|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Advanced Russian A|
|Advanced Russian B|
|Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition|
Integrated B.A. in Russian and M.I.A. in International Affairs
Requirements for the Integrated B.A. in Russian and M.I.A. in International Affairs can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.
Program Learning Objectives
- Majors will have developed oral skills in Russian that allow them to communicate efficiently in a range of settings from informal to professional.
- Majors will have developed literacy skills that allow them to read and interpret a variety of media ranging from newspapers to literary texts to formal academic prose.
- Majors will have developed an understanding of the structure of the Russian language at different linguistic levels.
- Majors will be able to write expository texts using the conventions of standard Russian with style and vocabulary appropriate to the genre.
- Majors will have developed an understanding of the significance of the major events, personages and developments related to Russian culture, history, and literature.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
University Park Campus
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|RUS 1||4||RUS 2||4|
|ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ENGL 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 15 (GWS)‡||3||RUS 100 (GH;IL)*||3|
|General Education Course†||3||CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C (GWS)‡||3|
|General Education Course†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|First Year Seminar (FYS)||3||General Education Course (GQ)‡||3|
|RUS 3||4||RUS 200 (IL)*||4|
|RUS 142Y (or Elective)*||3||RUS 141Y (or Elective)*||3|
|General Education Course†||3||Other Cultures Course||3|
|General Education Course†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|General Education Course (GQ)‡||3||US Cultures Course||3|
|RUS 401, 402, or 403*||3||RUS 400 (IL)*||3|
|BA Requirements||3||400 Level Russian *||3|
|General Education Course†||3||BA Requirements||3|
|General Education Course†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|RUS 405 (IL)*||3||400 Level Russian*||3|
|400 Level Russian*||3||General Education Course (GHW)†||1.5|
|ENGL 202B (GWS)‡||3||BA Requirements||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)†||1.5||Elective||3|
|Total Credits 120|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
The US Department of State designates Russian as one of the “critical languages” and the Department of Defense lists it as a strategic language. It is one of the five official languages of the UN. It also remains the unofficial lingua franca of the former Soviet republics and an indispensable communications tool across all of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Besides graduate studies in the field of Slavic Languages and Literatures and related fields, a B.A. in Russian opens the door to a variety of careers in the US government and military, international business, international relations, international law, human rights, information technology, professional translation, publishing, education, the travel industry, and more.