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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Russian Language and Literature

Chair: John M. Kopper

Professors J. M. Kopper, B. P. Scherr; Associate Professor D. A. Garretson, M. Gronas; Assistant Professor V. Somoff; Senior Lecturer A. Rakova; Lecturers V. Apresjan, J. Miller.


The major in Russian is designed to provide students with a solid working capability in the language as well as a familiarity with the literature and, more broadly, the culture of  Russia.  In addition, every major, in consultation with an advisor, will choose a set of electives that will result in a concentration on one of these three areas: language, culture, or literature. Alternatively, those wishing to take courses related to Russia in such disciplines as History, Government, or Economics should consider the Russian Area Studies Major. Both majors require Russian 31, which can be omitted only by vote of the entire Department.

1. The Major in Russian.

Prerequisite: Russian 28.

Requirements: Russian 29; one course in the sequence 41–42–43; Russian 71; two courses in the 30s which must include Russian 31; and one culture course (numbered 10 though 19). In addition, majors must take four additional courses, for a total of 10. Those concentrating on language would select at least some of these four courses from the forties; those focusing in culture would select additional courses in the teens; and those interested primarily in literature would design a major with an emphasis on courses in the thirties. One course from the LSA+ may be counted toward the major and counted as a culture course. The culminating experience requirement must be satisfied by completing Russian 71 or Russian 86. In addition, those writing an honors thesis will enroll in Russian 87, and may also take Russian 85 as part of their preparation for the thesis.

Note: Students may receive a certificate in Russian Area Studies by (1) completing all the requirements for the major in Russian and (2) taking four courses from among those offerings in other departments that may normally be used to satisfy the requirements for the Russian Area Studies Major (see the following paragraph). Such students will have both the major in Russian and the certificate in Russian Area Studies listed on their transcripts.

2. The Major in Russian Area Studies

Prerequisite: Russian 3.

Requirements: A total of ten courses, which must include Russian 27, 28, and 31. Of the remaining seven courses, at least two must be in Russian and one course must fulfill the culminating experience. The Area Studies Major will include courses both from within the Russian Department and from such departments as History, Government, Economics, and Music, that, together, provide a cogent study of one or more topics with a focus on the region. The major should be planned in consultation with an adviser and the courses outside the department need to be approved by the chair. For the culminating experience, students must write a thesis (Russian 87), take Russian 86, or, with the approval of the Department faculty, designate a course in the Russian Department or another department that will serve to satisfy the requirement.


1. The Minor in Russian

Prerequisite: Russian 3, or permission of the chair.

Minor courses: a total of six courses including

(a) Russian 31.

(b) one or two of the following courses: Russian 10-19.

(c) up to four other Russian courses numbered 23 or higher, for a total of six courses beyond the prerequisite.

(d) Students may count only one of the LSA+ courses toward the minor.

2. The Minor in Russian Area studies

Prerequisite: One of the following courses: Russian 10, 13, 19, or 21.

Requirements: a total of six courses including Russian 31; and five courses chosen from the following: Russian 10 11, 13, 14, 18 19, 21, 22, 23, 32, 35, 36, 48, or 71 of which three should be numbered 32 and higher and exclusive of the course selected as a prerequisite. Not more than two LSA+ courses could be counted for fulfillment of the prerequisite and requirements. Up to two Russian area studies courses, including Economics 29 and 49, Government 52, and History 54, 55, and 56 or offerings of such courses as Government 84, History 96, and Music 8, when dealing with relevant topics, may be counted towards completion of this minor. Other courses used to satisfy this requirement must be approved in advance by the Chair of the Department.


Seniors who give evidence of outstanding ability and who wish to pursue serious research on an independent project are invited to apply for honors work. Students must satisfy the minimum College requirement and must also meet two departmental requirements. First, they must have a grade average of 3.3 for all courses taken within the major. Second, they must have received at least an A- in an advanced course that emphasizes research and analysis, such as Russian 48 or 71.

Area studies majors may satisfy this second requirement with one of these courses, or, if the topic of the thesis is outside the area of language and literature, with a course from the academic area in which they intend to do research. Application is normally made by the third week of the fall term, with Russian 85 taken in the fall and Russian 87 in the winter. The thesis must be submitted no later than the third week of spring term. More information is contained in an announcement sent to current majors each year. It is available from the administrative assistant of the Department.


Dartmouth Advanced Language Study Program (LSA+) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Prerequisite: Russian 1, 2, 3, or the equivalent, with a grade of no lower than B- in Russian 3.

It is recommended that students take one or more of the following courses: Russian 10, 11, 13, 19, 31 or History 54.

The Dartmouth Russian LSA+ Program is conducted during the summer at St. Petersburg University in Russia. The program includes regular classes at the uni-versity as well as organized trips to areas of cultural and historical interest. Applications for the program are due in January for that summer. Those accepted for the program will sign up for Russian 21, 22, and 23. Successful completion of the St. Petersburg Program will serve in satisfaction of the Summer Residence Requirement (even when taken in the summer following the first year or third year).