Dec 02, 2023
The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).
Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.
View the catalog page for the Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies program.
The Russian major is tailored to students who want to focus primarily on the Russian language and Russian and Russophone literature and culture.
A major in Russian can lead to graduate work in a wide range of fields. Recent graduates of the program have successfully competed for entrance into graduate schools and have pursued careers in teaching, library science, government work, medicine, law, journalism, international business, and charitable or non-profit organizations. Our majors have also garnered an array of prestigious fellowships, including multiple Fulbright scholarships, several Critical Language Scholarships, a Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship, and a Beinecke Scholarship.
Transfer of Credit Toward the Major
- A minimum of six courses toward the major must be taken at Oberlin.
- All majors are encouraged to spend a semester or summer abroad on an academic program in an area where Russian is spoken.
- Normally, no more than two full courses (eight credits) can be counted toward the major from any given semester-away program or 8-10 week summer language program; however up to four courses (16 credits) overall could be combined from different programs to count toward the major.
Entry-Level Course Suggestions
Students interested in pursuing a Russian major are encouraged to take RUSS 101 or Winter Term Russian in their first year and to explore content courses taught in English, including first-year seminars and various courses at the 200-level with a Russian focus.
Prerequisites to Note
400-level courses presuppose an advanced knowledge of Russian (i.e., RUSS 305 , RUSS 306 , or the equivalent).
A high priority of the program is to prepare undergraduates for study in various Russophone countries. While travel to Russia itself is currently suspended, students who want to study Russian in an immersive environment can apply to a range of semester and summer programs in Russian-speaking areas such as the Baltics, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. These include the Bard-Smolny program in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan); the American Council for International Education programs in Yerevan (Armenia), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Almaty (Kazakhstan); Middlebury’s Russian-language school (currently in Astana, Kazakhstan); SRAS programs in Poland, Latvia, Georgia, Armenia, and Uzbekistan; and a range of programs in the Baltic states. For further information on these and other possibilities, contact members of the REEES faculty or the Office of Study Away.
Preparation for Post-Graduate Education
Students planning to do graduate work in Russian literature and/or culture are strongly encouraged to do further work beyond the specific major requirements.
Honors in Russian
We encourage qualified majors to consider participating in the Honors Program in Russian. Criteria for admission normally include the following:
- by the beginning of the sixth semester:
- overall GPA of at least 3.25
- major GPA of at least 3.50
- by the end of the sixth semester:
- completion of RUSS 305 or RUSS 306
- completion of at least one literature course in translation
Detailed Major Requirements
Russian Major Course Lists