Studying Russian, the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, becomes especially important at the present time when Russia is becoming an essential partner in global politics, economy, and issues of the environment. By developing students' language skills and expanding their knowledge about Russian culture and society, the Russian Studies program strives to make students active participants in the multicultural, global community. Since Russian is one of the less-frequently taught languages, a major in Russian can become a unique and decisive factor in students' future careers in law, business, journalism, international affairs, and public and government services. The faculty of the Russian Studies program believes that even with a mastery of Russian grammar, real communication is still impossible unless students become familiar with Russian culture and society and the life experiences of Russians. For that reason the Russian Studies program offers courses in literature, culture, film, and Russian society.
All Russian language courses beyond RUSS 104 include assignments that are designed to develop students' writing and speaking skills. The "content" Russian language courses at the 200 and 300 level and courses on Russian culture and literature taught in English also help students to enhance their critical thinking and information literacy.
The major in Russian Studies consists of eight courses: five language courses beyond RUSS 103, at least one of which has to be a 300-level seminar, and three courses on Russian literature/culture taught in English. The 300-level Russian language seminar will fulfill the College Core Curriculum Culminating Experience requirement. This requirement also can be fulfilled by an Honors Thesis in Russian.
The Russian program offers four levels of Russian language study, striving to bring students to the intermediate high/advanced low level according to the ACTFL scale. This means that after graduation students are able to function effectively in Russian. Students majoring in Russian are strongly urged to deepen their knowledge of the language and country by studying in an approved summer or semester program in Russia. Students also may accelerate their language learning through intensive summer language study at other American universities.
The program offers two different minors: a minor in Russian language requires five Russian language courses; and a minor in Russian area studies requires five courses in the program, two of which may be Russian language courses. For both minors at least one of the five courses, taught in either Russian or English, must have a strong literature/culture component.
Students majoring in Russian are strongly urged to deepen their knowledge of the language and country by studying in an approved summer or semester program in Russia. Bucknell approves four programs currently, two of which offer homestays and internships in addition to full-time language and culture study. About 85% of our majors study abroad, most for a semester in their junior year.
The excitement about the Russian language and culture found at Bucknell has attracted many of our graduates to live and work in Russia. The jobs are plentiful and offer the opportunity to do well and do good at the same time. Other Bucknell Russian Studies majors have continued in law school, graduate school, and worked in government and business — one is even practicing medicine on Long Island. If you are interested in seeing the world while you work, a double major in Russian Studies and International Relations prepares you for a job in an international company, law school, graduate school in political science, economics, business, international relations, Russian language and literature and a double major in Russian Studies and biology prepares you for medical school.
Combining all the opportunities afforded by the Program, Bucknell Russian Studies students not only develop fluency in Russian but a rich understanding of the people and their culture. || Learn more about alumni career paths.