Taking Russian at St. Olaf means more than just taking a language. The study of Russian introduces you to one of the great cultures of the world — the culture of Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Kandinsky, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, and many others. Russian language is the key to reading more than one-fourth of all the published scientific literature in the world. Russia continues to be a major player in the global community in many different areas: politics, economics, space-age technology, and the development of new computer software. As the new Russia opens itself to the outside, college graduates with Russian language skills are increasingly sought after for positions in government service, business and investment, journalism, education, and social service.
The department offers a major in Russian Language as well as courses on Russian literature taught in English. Russian 231 or a higher numbered course taught in the Russian language, or demonstrated proficiency satisfies the foreign language requirement for all students. The literature courses in English count towards a major in Russian Area Studies and satisfy some General Education requirements.
Requirements for the major:
The Russian language major is comprised of 9 courses in the Russian language. Seven of these courses are taken here on campus, and two of them are taken abroad in Russia during the student’s junior or senior year.The usual sequence is: Russian 111, 112, 231, 232, 251, 254, study abroad (with 2 courses taught in Russian), and then 372 in the senior year.