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Below you will find some additional information to help set you on the path to learning Russian. If you have questions not answered here, please contact Russian Language Program Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Evgeny Dengub at <dengub@usc.edu>. You can also stop by our office in Taper Hall 255 (we’re in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures).

  • From a language acquisition perspective, all languages are equally approachable; children begin speaking any language at the same age, regardless of its grammatical complexity. For second-language learners, the learning curve varies depending on factors like the learner’s native language, previous language-learning experiences, personal motivation, and the time and effort invested.

    Russian might seem challenging for native English speakers as it requires more contact hours to reach advanced proficiency compared to languages like Spanish. However, in many respects, Russian can be “easier” compared to not only Chinese and Arabic but also German, French, and Spanish. For instance, determining gender in Russian is straightforward, it has a single past tense with essentially four endings, there is no “to be” verb in the present tense, and it offers flexible word order.

    At USC, all Russian language courses meet multiple times a week, with daily homework assignments involving memorization tasks. The workload expectation is one hour of homework for each contact hour spent with a professor, ensuring consistent engagement with the language.

    You can view videos featuring our alumni Sofia, who completed four years of Russian, and Jinglin, who finished just one semester. These videos will give you insight into the proficiency levels attainable after different durations of study in Russian at our institution.

  • You may contact Language Program Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Dengub at dengub@usc.edu. You can also stop by our office in Taper Hall 255.

  • We frequently welcome students from Russian-speaking backgrounds in our classes. Every student’s situation is unique; some find that RUSS 120 (Beginning Russian I) suits their proficiency level, while others join advanced Russian courses like RUSS 310 (Advanced Russian in Popular Culture) or SLL 340 (Intercultural Communication in Russian). We’re committed to evaluating your proficiency and ensuring you’re placed at the right level. For more guidance on your options, please reach out to Professor Evgeny Dengub at <dengub@usc.edu>.

  • Yes, you absolutely can! Students can satisfy this requirement by completing a three-course sequence in a language taught at USC (RUSS 120/150/220 levels). When you complete Russian 220 with a passing grade of at least C-, you will have satisfied the language requirement.

  • To view the requirements for our undergraduate programs, please visit our Russian Major page or page with information about our Russian Minor and Russian Area Studies Minor. Russian courses are also required for the Central European Studies Major.

    Please note that Dornsife has scholarships available for students studying foreign languages.

    You can contact Russian language advisor Isaura Pena <isaurape@usc.edu> or the Slavic Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Evgeny Dengub <dengub@usc.edu>.

  • Absolutely! Our students have the opportunity to study in Kazakhstan, where Russian is an official language. Kazakhstan shares a roughly 4,800 mile border with the Russian Federation, which tells you in part why there are so many Russian speakers living there. This is the second longest international border in the world!

    For more details about the program, please visit the Overseas Studies Office webpage.

  • USC hosts an active student-run Slavic Club. This club provides a welcoming environment for everyone, whether you speak Russian or simply enjoy listening to it. With weekly meetings, the club organizes events that highlight Russian culture, the Russian language, and the experiences of Russian-speaking or learning students at USC.

    The Slavic department organizes a weekly Russian Conversation session. Check on our Events page for meeting information.

    Beyond the campus, Los Angeles boasts a vibrant Russian-speaking community, offering further immersion and cultural experiences.

    Additionally, USC’s Center for Languages and Cultures offers numerous opportunities for students to creatively express themselves in Russian and other foreign languages. For instance, our students are regular contributors to the literary journal, Trojan Bloom, and have earned accolades in competitions for the best foreign language film, among others.

  • Follow us on Instagram or send an email requesting to be added to our listserv to Deborah Russo <russod@usc.edu>.