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Russian Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Russian

Knowledge of Russian language, literature and culture opens the door to many exciting opportunities. Russia’s boundaries encompass a sixth of the earth’s landmass, and Russia has played a critical role in the modern history of the world. Recently freed from decades of totalitarian communism, Russia is now a vibrant, developing democracy. It is home to many of the world’s most renowned artists, musicians, and writers. It is a place of extraordinary beauty and strong human relationships. As Russia remakes itself politically and economically, students have the opportunity to witness the transformation of a people. Holding some of the world’s largest mineral resources and with an outstanding education system, Russia will remain a major player in world affairs. It is essential that as many people as possible in this country become familiar with Russia, and its language! Fortunately, the language is not as hard as most people think; the alphabet takes only a week to master. Learning Russian allows students to go there and witness first-hand the changes taking place in religious, economic, and cultural behaviors. Russian makes an excellent language—and even second major—for those pursuing careers in sociology, anthropology, criminology, political science, international law, geology, journalism, and international business.

Career Opportunities in Russian

Russian is not just for translators, diplomats and teachers! Knowledge of Russian can be helpful in landing any career. A Russian minor or second major makes any job candidate stand out from the crowd. Russian can be especially useful for people pursuing careers in business, law enforcement, political analysis, nuclear waste and weapons management, geological exploration, work in international aid organizations, natural resource management, and computer science. For those seeking a career in research, Russia is a massive field for study in disciplines like Religious Studies, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Political Science, and more.

Salary Trends in Russian

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel students in limitless directions. Majors are not always the deciding factor as to what career path is followed. As with any degree, pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and further affect the projected salary. As a group, Arts and Sciences graduates average $33,258 (

High School Preparation

No special preparation in Russian is necessary to take Russian at UT. Russian is a great second language for students who did well in a language in high school and want to add a second foreign language. Although Russian is a little bit more challenging than French or Spanish, most students find that it is both manageable and a lot of fun to learn.

How to Major in Russian

The Russian major has two options - Literary Emphasis and Area Studies. Russian 201-202 is a prerequisite for each option. Students pursuing the Area Studies option will take some of their courses in other departments like History or Political Science. Because of this overlap, Russian is a good second major for students in these and other fields. Students in either option can take courses during a summer or semester in Russia, which is encouraged, and these courses can be counted toward the major.

Requirements for Russian

The Russian major has two options-literary emphasis and areas studies. Majors should prepare their programs in consultation with the departmental faculty advisor. Both options consist of 30 hours of courses and both require Russian 311-312 and 401-402.

Literary Emphasis Option
The Literary Emphasis Option also re­quires 451-452 and twelve hours chosen from Russian 221, 222, 371, 372, or other courses numbered above 300.

Area Studies Option
The Area Studies Option also requires Russian 371-372, three or more credits chosen from Russian 221, 222, and Russian courses numbered 300 and above, and six or more credits chosen from His­tory 340-341 and Political Science 459.

Language and World Business Concentration
Students who wish to prepare for careers in international business may complete a special major in Russian, a professional emphasis in International Business, International Retail Merchandising, or International Agricultural Economics, and some form of practical experience related to the concentration. Admission to this concentration is by permission of the program director. For more information see the major guide entitled Language and World Business.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The Language and World Business program of the Modern Foreign Languages Department sponsors co-ops and internships for students, both in the United States and abroad. Contact the Head of the LWB program for more information (

Highlights of Russian

Russian at UT is an enjoyable and challenging experience. There are regular movie showings, cooking and eating events, conversation table, and informal parties. The faculty are especially available to students, and they work hard to take individual needs into account. Students describe the program as having a family atmosphere, and that is something students and faculty all enjoy. There is also a sizeable community of native speakers in Knoxville, giving students the chance to practice Russian with people besides their instructors!

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

The Russian program sponsors an inexpensive study opportunity in Tver, one of Russia’s oldest cities, 90 miles north of Moscow. Students can study at Tver State University for a month or a year or anything in between. During their stay, students will be given the opportunity to participate in excursions to various historical sites in western Russia, as well as (of course) St. Petersburg and Moscow. All majors and even minors are encouraged to plan early to fit this amazing experience into their schedules.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Russian 101, 102 8
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 6-8
Electives 0-2
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Non-US History Sequence 6
Natural Science 3
Russian 201, 202 8
Humanities 6
Social Sciences 6
Junior Year Credit Hours
Russian 311, 312 6
Russian (major) 9
Humanities 3
Upper Level Distribution 3
Communicating Orally 3
Social Science 6
Senior Year Credit Hours
Russian 401, 402 6
Russian (major) 9
Upper Level Distribution 3
Upper Division Elective 6
Communicating Through Writing 3
General Electives 4
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

For More Information

Dr. Stephen Blackwell or
Dr. Natalia Pervukhin



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.