About the Program
The Russian Program at UCD is designed both for students who enter with no previous knowledge and for those who speak Russian at home (heritage speakers). Students will attain a high level of linguistic competence in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing the Russian language. Upper-division courses in literature and culture instill skills in critical thinking, writing, and textual analysis, as well as oral presentation. We offer a wide variety of elective courses, including Russian Film, the classic nineteenth-century writers (such as Dostoevsky), Women in Russian Culture, and Contemporary Russian Culture. Courses in Russian History or Politics taught in other departments also count toward the completion of the Russian major or minor. A Russian major combines extremely well with any number of other specialties, both in the humanities/social sciences and the STEM fields. Classes are small and students receive a great deal of personalized attention from highly motivated instructors.
Russia is a country with an enormously rich cultural tradition—think Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Shostakovich and Eisenstein! —and a fascinating history. Its geopolitical significance cannot be overstated, and Russian has been designated a Critical Language by the U.S. Department of State. Knowing Russian gives students a distinct career advantage in a number of fields, including foreign affairs, international diplomacy, and law. The Sacramento area is home to nearly 100,000 residents of the former Soviet Union, making Russian an important language for our region as well.
Our program is distinguished by a variety of language and literature courses, such as:
- Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Russian
- Russian Literary Translation, Composition, and Advanced Conversation
- 19th- and 20th-century Literature
- Post-Soviet Literature
- Contemporary Russian Culture
- Russian Film and Russian Theater
- Courses on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov
- Women in Russian Culture
- Humor and Comedy in Russian Culture
Although the war in Ukraine has led to the suspension of the UC Education Abroad Program in Moscow, students wishing to immerse themselves in a Russian-speaking environment still have several exciting options for both summer and academic-year programs. Through private organizations like the School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), students may study abroad in Tbilisi or Batumi, Georgia; Yerevan, Armenia; or Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Units earned while studying abroad may count toward fulfillment of the Russian major or minor.