Jan 27, 2023  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
Course Catalog 2022-2023

Russian Major

The major consists of a minimum of 7 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the Russian Language, Literature and Culture department.   

arrow View entry-level course sequence suggestions.

Summary of Requirements

At least four courses applied toward the major must be taken at Oberlin College. Students may earn the equivalent of RUSS 305, RUSS 306, RUSS 411, or a course in translation in an accredited program in Russia (see “Transfer of Credit” below for further details). RUSS 446 (Senior Seminar) must be taken at Oberlin.  

Potential majors who place out of RUSS 305 or 306 when they enter Oberlin should consult with the Department Chair about how to complete the 7 courses required for the major.

First Year Seminars offered by the Russian Department count toward the major as a course in translation.

RUSS 411 (Special Topics) and RUSS 446 (Senior Seminar) vary in topic from year to year and may be repeated for credit.

As a rule, private reading courses do not apply to this major.

Related coursework in Russian History, Politics, Sociology, Music, etc. are strongly recommended.


Incoming students with previous training in Russian should take the Placement Test to determine the appropriate level to continue studying Russian. Students beginning at Oberlin should note course sequences, some of which are prerequisite to the advanced level and the major. Participation in a Russian study abroad program is highly recommended, as is residency in Russian House.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions

New students considering a major should take a Russian language course in their first semester. New students with or without previous training are encouraged to take related courses in translation, such as Russian literature, culture, history or politics, during their first year. 

Transfer of Credit

Normally, credit for the equivalent of two courses toward the Russian major may be awarded for off-campus study at an accredited American university or appropriate abroad program in St. Petersburg, Moscow or other Russian cities.


We encourage qualified Russian majors to consider participating in the departmental Honors Program.  Criteria for admission normally include the following: overall GPA of at least 3.25; major GPA of at least 3.50 by the beginning of the sixth semester; completion of Russian 305 or 306 and at least one literature course in translation by the end of the sixth semester.

Russian Major Course List

Literature Courses Taught in Russian

Return to the summary of requirements.