Russian and Central European Studies at USC
The department of Slavic Languages and Literatures strives to provide students with important context for understanding contemporary world events and to develop their critical thinking skills through the analysis of written and visual culture. The literature, film, philosophy, literary theory, art, and dance, together with the languages that are essential to understanding them, offer insights into how Russians and Central Europeans have answered enduring questions about what it means to be human.
The department offers a Russian major; a major in Central European Studies (administered jointly with the School of International Relations); a minor in Russian; and a minor in Russian Studies. We offer effective, enthusiastic, and personalized instruction oriented toward teaching conversational Russian. Class size is small and students receive maximum individual attention.
Majors and Minors
Alongside learning in the classroom, our students build their skills and expand their knowledge at events like the weekly Russian Conversation Hour and Russian language film screenings. Many choose to study Russian abroad to experience life in another culture.
What Our Students Say
USC’s Russian language program quickly gave me the ability and confidence to express myself in entirely new and beautiful language. I now have agency to make new connections with people from entirely different backgrounds which promotes an improved learning environment. The talented faculty is extremely patient and professional, with decades of experience to support classroom instruction.
Learning Russian at USC is extremely enjoyable. The classes are very engaging and I look forward to them every time, as it feels like I progress further every day.
As a beginning Russian student and freshman new to campus, Russian was an exciting yet scary endeavor. Fortunately, my small Russian 120 class became a community, my favorite start to my day. I look forward to Russian card nights and movie nights with my USC peers and advisors. Russian at USC simply reminded me what I love about foreign languages — the ability to uniquely connect with others.
Russian classes at USC are taught exactly how foreign languages should be taught- the emphasis is on how much we are able to learn over the course of the semester, rather than on our performance on some assignments or exams. This way, the stress of learning the intricacies of Russian is drastically reduced and the class becomes a place we can express ourselves in a different way, while developing our understanding of the language we are learning and the culture of the people it originates from.
I’ve learned more in just three semesters of Russian than I learned in my four years of high school French. It’s a fascinating language that’s full of surprises; you’ll never get bored learning Russian!
Russian is such a beautiful language, and the experience I have had learning it at USC has been invaluable. I have found it has challenged not only my skills with a new language, but it has helped me reevaluate the ways that I speak English as well, and as an actor, speaking articulately is my life.
I took Russian not knowing what to expect, but after almost two years, I have learned a lot about the rich language and culture. The Russian classes at USC have been in depth, and incredibly supportive in helping every student grow and learn about the amazing culture!
Classes are a great opportunity to develop my Russian language, especially through the many active discussions we have in class!
I have a great relationship with my Russian instructor who is very supportive of my goals. Learning Russian has opened my mind up to different ways of thinking about the world that really resonate with me.
Department Director of Undergraduate Program
Prof. Evgeny Dengub
Department Director of Graduate Program
Prof. Colleen McQuillen