Russian Language Courses

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a full spectrum of courses on the Russian language, from those for the complete beginner to the advanced student.   Our offerings make use of the cutting edge technology in the newly-refurbished Language Center and effective, enthusiastic, personalized instruction.  Our program is oriented towards teaching conversational Russian; groups are small and students receive maximum individual attention. Courses are enriched by a wide variety of extra-curricular events, including festivals of Russian film and animation, Russian Teas, and Russian Club events.



Note: all courses are 4 units.

Lower division:

SLL 120      Beginning Russian I
SLL 150      Beginning Russian II
SLL 220      Intermediate Russia I
SLL 250      Intermediate Russian II

Upper division:

SLL 310      Advanced Russian in Popular Culture
SLL 321      Russian Culture, or
SLL 330g    Russian Thought and Civilization
SLL 340      Intercultural Communication in Russian
SLL 465      Seminar in Russian Studies

 SLL 120 Learning Outcomes

At the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  • Extend greetings and get acquainted;
  • Ask and answer simple questions about themselves and their family, home, hobbies and skills;
  • Express agreement and denial, permission and prohibition; make compliments and complain;
  • Indicate the existence, presence, location, and direction of movement.


SLL 150 Learning Outcomes

At the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  • Complete social transactions in situations related to ordering in restaurants, shopping, simple phone conversations, and housing (renting, talking about neighborhood, etc.);
  • Express likes and dislikes, basic emotions, needs and obligations;
  • Give commands, ask requests, express gratitude, extend and accept invitations;
  • Ask and answer questions about their own life (e.g., studies, daily life, habitual travel).

Students will demonstrate comprehension of questions and simple texts on topics necessary to survive in the target language culture (such as menus, ads, instructions, mobile texts, emails), to make choices, mark a map, or follow instructions. 

 SLL 220 Learning Outcomes

At the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • Exchange information about themselves and other familiar topics (such as family, relationships, housing) using complete sentences and a number of time expressions in the Past, Present and Future;
  • Negotiate social interactions in familiar situations (such as their daily routine, studies, on a visit, around a city, health issues) in a culturally appropriate way;
  • Talk about their plans for the future;
  • Convey surprise, advice, suggestions, and approval/disapproval.

Students will be able to extract key information from and summarize simple oral and written texts (such as descriptions, advertisements, and instructions).  Students will be able to use information found in descriptions to create lists and schedules, make informed decisions, or follow instructions.

SLL 250 Learning Outcomes

At the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • Participate effectively in a wider range of familiar social interactions using the Past, Present and Future in strings of loosely connected sentences;
  • Express opinions; react to the opinions of others; make suggestions and give advice and commands; and convey need, doubt, and agreement/disagreement;
  • Make plans and arrangements regarding travel, entertainment, and spending;
  • Exchange brief information on current political events (limited topics).

Students will be able to identify the general information and main ideas in a variety of short texts on personal and socially relevant topics (such as tourist information, reviews, or surveys) to make informed choices, such as where to stay when traveling or how to find their way in a city, spending money in the target culture, etc.

They will be able to extract key information from texts on current political events (limited topics)

Placement Tests

For information regarding placement tests to satisfy language requirements, please call the Testing Bureau at (213) 740-7166.

For information about placement and placement tests for intermediate-level Russian and above, contact our language coordinator, Dr. Tatiana Akishina, at (213) 740-2735, or email her at:


All Levels are Welcome!

Beginners and heritage speakers who know Russian from home are all welcome to study Russian at USC. We have courses for all levels and placemet tests to establish your level.


Our undergraduate students become involved with Russian language and culture through our film screenings and Russian tables where we eat Russian food and speak informally. We also offer classes on Russian art, film, and culture to suplement your new language skills.

  • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • University of Southern California
  • College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Taper Hall 255
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353