Undergraduate Degrees

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a major and minor in Russian as well as a Minor in Russian Area Studies. These degree programs combine study of the Russian language with that of Russian literature, art and culture, with particular emphasis on developments in contemporary Russia.   To link directly with the USC Catalogue, click here.

Major in Russian

Students are required to study four semesters of Russian language as a prerequisite to the major. The major itself requires an additional three semesters of language study, three semesters of an advanced seminar on Russian culture (with varying content), and two elective courses, either in Russian literature and culture (in translation or Russian, depending on course scheduling) or in Russian area studies.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Russian

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

(taken three times with varying content; 12 max units)

In addition, two elective courses are required that must be approved by the undergraduate advisor. For majors with a concentration in Russian language, literature and culture, these electives will be from Slavic Department courses on Russian literature and culture. For majors with a concentration in Russian studies, one or both electives may be taken, with prior departmental approval, from other related fields.

Minor in Russian

The minor in Russian requires two years of Russian language (the lower division requirements for the major) plus three upper division elective courses chosen from the following (at least two of the areas must be represented):

upper division Russian language courses (SLL 320, 325, 420);
Russian literature and culture taught in Russian (SLL 321, 400, 430, 465);
Russian literature, art and culture taught in translation (SLL 330, 344, 345, 348, 378).

Minor in Russian Area Studies

The lower division requirements are three semesters of Russian language (SLL 120, 150 and 220), or its equivalent, and in the upper division:

The core course, SLL 330g (Russian Thought and Civilization);
One course outside the Slavic department, from among the following: HIST 320, 324, 328, 415, 416, 424; IR 345, 483; POSC 464; SOCI 462;
and two electives, to be chosen from among: any upper division SLL course in Russian literature, art or culture; or HIST 320, 324, 328, 415, 416, 424; IR 345, 483; POSC 464.

Note: the course taken to fulfill the requirement outside the Slavic department cannot also count as an elective.

Undergraduate courses

Alongside Russian language learning, Russian minors take courses taught by the professors in the Slavic department. They might study classic authors such as Dostoevsky, or more contemporary topics like Eastern European cinema. 


Above are some images from a visit with Professor John Bowlt at the Institute for Modern Russian Culture, where students got to learn about material culture.

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