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Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The Slavic Department at the University of Illinois regularly teaches courses in Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Yiddish languages. Get information on language placement . This fall's exams will take place during and just before the first week of classes; details here.

The department offers an undergraduate major in Slavic Studies and two minors: Russian Language and Literature; and Slavic Language, Literature and Culture. Within the major or the Slavic minor, one can concentrate in not only Russian, but also Bosnian/Croatian/ Serbian, Czech, Polish, or Ukrainian. These are interdisciplinary programs suitable for students interested in literature, culture, politics, and the arts.

At the graduate level, the department currently offers a Master of Arts in Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and a Doctor of Philosophy in Slavic Languages and Literatures. We invite applications to our graduate program from students interested in pursuing the study of Slavic literatures and cultures and welcome students with interests in interdisciplinary approaches that focus on literature and the arts, cinema, history, politics, or culture.

Why study Russian?

Planning to apply for graduate study? We will begin accepting applications for next year on October 15, 2016. We're happy to talk with you about it in the meantime. Some things you should consider.

Interested in the undergraduate major or minor in Russian or study abroad?

The next Slavic Major & Minor Info Session will be announced here!

In the meantime, contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. George Gasyna, to learn about:
-New options to major/minor in Polish Studies, Czech Studies, South Slavic Studies, and Ukrainian Studies
-How the Russian major has changed
-Skills Slavic majors and minors gain, what they learn
-How to market skills to employers after college
-Which career paths one can pursue with a degree in Slavic
-How to tell your parents you're changing your major to Slavic
-Internship possibilities
-Study Abroad opportunities
-Which courses are required for the major/minor
-What the difference is between a major/minor in Slavic and one in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies


Upcoming events:

Do not miss the events marking the centennial of the 1917 revolution! 1917 Revolution


Resources & Events Archive


The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce the Vekich Scholarship, an award for students of South Slavic languages. Up to five Vekich Scholars are named annually from among current UIUC students in the spring, following a simple essay competition. The scholarship will provide language-course materials for Bosnian/Croatian/ Serbian (BCS 101-102, 201-202, or 301-302) the following academic year. In addition Vekich Scholars will be eligible to apply for fellowship support (up to two awards, $500 each) toward subsequent summer language study in the U.S., Bosnia, Croatia, or Serbia.

This year's (April, 2016) Vekich Scholars are: Matea Zaper and Eldar Uzicanin. Congratulations!

Last year's (2014-15) Vekich Scholar was Jeremy Crumpton, who has also been awarded a stipend in support of summer language study in Serbia.

Submissions to the Vekich Scholarship competition are now being accepted for the 2016-17 academic year. For Competition Guidelines, see Vekich Scholarship



Head of State of Bosnia and Herzegovina visits campus, hosted by the Slavic Dept., REEEC, the EUC, and the IAS Library.

On Oct. 1, 2013, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, His Excellency Željko Komšić, addressed a University of Illinois audience and generously participated in a roundtable on the economic, political, social and cultural connections between the Bosnian immigrant community in the United States and the homeland. Please visit this site again soon for additional photos and other links!

President Komsic



Even small (tax-deductible) donations can have a significant impact on the range and quality of opportunities for our students and our research and teaching. To learn more, hit the following link:

Give to the Department




Our second-year graduate student Scott K. Maltby died suddenly of natural causes shortly before his twenty-fifth birthday in February, 2015.

Photo of Scott Maltby

The Maltby family has established the Scott K. Maltby Memorial Fund to support graduate education and graduate students in the Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UIUC. 
Learn more and make a contribution here.





The NEW UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR in Slavic studies has been APPROVED! A new minor has also been approved. This means you can now focus on Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, or Czech for your major or minor. And you can complete our major and graduate having started the language your sophomore year. Details have been posted to our website ("Undergraduate Programs" tab) and are also available at

If you are already on your way with our previous major, no worries! You can continue with whichever program serves you best. Contact the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. David Cooper, with questions.


April 15-16, 2016, the University of Illinois's Slavic Graduate Student Association held its biennial conference on the Urbana campus. This year's theme was "DECENTERING RUSSIA: CHALLENGING THE BOUNDARIES." Papers were given by SLL graduate students handia Hoppe, Serenity Stanton, LeiAnna Hamel, Diana Sacilowski, Irina Avkhimovich, and Alejandra Pires; there were also participants from other campus units, and from several North American and European universities.

Here is the program from that conference: Program.

We congratulate our graduate students on a very successful scholarly meeting!

See the Events Archive for information about prior years.



Irina Avkhimovich, who on January 12, 2017, successfully defended her PhD dissertation, "The Time of Troubles and the Dilemma of National Identity in Russian Historical Drama of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries." Irina is currently teaching at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

Matthew Sutton, who on December 8, 2016 successfully defended his PhD dissertation on animal motifs in the writings of Nikolai Leskov.

Marina Filipovic, Diana Sacilowski, and Jasmina Savic, each of whom will receive a 2016 award from the Scott Maltby Memorial Fund in support their participation in the ASEEES National Conference in Washington, D.C., later this month. Marina will be delivering the paper, “Platonov’s Ethereal Tract: Drama of Cosmic Biotechnology.” Jasmina will be presenting “Russia Fails at Pushkin: Mikhail Armalinsky’s Publication of Pushkin A. S. Secret Notes 1836-1837.” Diana will read "The Missing Signifier: The ‘Jew’ in Contemporary Polish Literature."

We wish these students every success, while we remember Scott and thank his family for their generous support of graduate study in the Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

SLL Grad Diana Sacilkowski, who has received the 2015 award from the Scott Maltby Memorial Fund for her article, "Between Fantastic Feasts and Sober Realities: Liminality in Wyspiański's The Wedding."

SLL Grad Jasmina Savic,who has won an ASEEES Dissertation Research Grant ( supporting summer research in Russia.

Graduating major Nicholas Fedosenko, who won the department's "Outstanding Graduating Major" award and is proceeding to graduate study at UCLA.

SLL Grad Marija Fedjanina, who has won the department's Outstanding Graduate TA award.


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