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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 winter's exams will take place Wed. 1/20/16 or Fri. 1/22/16, 3-5 pm; location: FLB 1136. (Hit link for details).

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, 2015. 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 meanwhile, 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


Resources & Events Archive


Featured Recent Event:

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




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 (2014-15) Vekich Scholar is 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 2015-16 academic year. For Competition Guidelines, see Vekich Scholarship


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




The Slavic Department mourns the loss of our second-year graduate student Scott K. Maltby, who died suddenly of natural causes shortly before his twenty-fifth birthday in February, 2015. Scott was a native of Homestead, Florida, and came to us from the University of Florida, where he graduated magna cum laude with a major in Russian and a minor in East-Central European Studies. He was a delight in class for his teachers and fellow graduate students alike: lively, engaged, hard-working, insightful and funny.  He began his studies at Illinois in fall 2013 with a deep interest in Tolstoy, and proceeded to work up a new and intriguing research topic on beards in Russian culture. A fixture at the International and Area Studies Library, he loved cooking and was by all accounts a wonderful friend to those who knew him.  He is sorely missed by us all.  Scott is survived by his mother, Diane Maltby; his father, Wesley Maltby; his older brother, Kyle Maltby; and his younger sister, Aimee Maltby.  We send our deepest condolences to the family.

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.




Welcome to our new Language Program Coordinator, Dr. Roman Ivashkiv, who comes to us with a PhD from the University of Alberta and an MA from Penn State.


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.


A joint meeting of Illinois's Slavic Graduate Student Association Conference and the 34th Annual Slavic Forum and the 5th took place at the University of Chicago on April 11-12, 2015.

This year’s theme was “The Slavic World: Boundaries, Borders and Crossroads.” See theconference program here.

The 2014 joint graduate student conference of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago took place at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) on April 11-12.

Here is the program from that conference: Program.See the Events Archive for information about prior years.



SLL Grad Nadja Berkovich, who successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, THE EMERGENCE OF LITERARY ETHNOGRAPHY
, in August 2015. Nadja has taken a lectureship position at the University of Arkansas.

SLL Grad Jack Hutchens, who successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, Border Crossings: Transgressions of National and Gender Identities in Twentieth Century Polish Fiction, in July 2015. Jack is Visting Lecturer in Polish at the University of Florida.

Prof. Harriet Murav, who has won a CAS Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year.

Prof. Valeria Sobol, who has won an National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship AY 2015-16) for her current book project, “The Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1793-1844.” This project also led to her appointment as an Associate in the Center for Advanced Study, spring semester 2015, and it was awarded an NEH Summer Stipend Program for 2014.

Recent SLL Ph.D. Oleksandra Wallo, who has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Kansas.

Slavic Grad Anna Arkatova, who successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in May 2015.

Recently A.B.D. SLL Grads Emily Ewers and Jasmina Savic (end of fall 2014 semester).


Summer School/Conference: The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression
6/2/2016 - 6/4/2016

2016 Summer Research Lab
6/13/2016 - 8/6/2016 - All Day

2016 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum
6/17/2016 - 6/18/2016 - All Day

New Directions Lecture
9/1/2016 | 4:00 pm

View Calendar of Events