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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 spring's exams will take place 1/16 or 1/23, 3 pm; 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, 2014. 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!
The last session was Wednesday, 9 October, 2013.

In the meanwhile, contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. David Cooper, 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



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 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.



Professor Emeritus Maurice Friedberg,
who headed our department 1975-2000,
passed away 15 August 2014.
We send our condolences to his family.

To learn more about Professor Friedberg,
Please see the OBITUARY composed by current
Acting Dept. Head Richard Tempest


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

This year’s theme is “The Slavic World: Boundaries, Borders and Crossroads.” See the call for papers 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.


Thank you to visiting scholar Prof. Tatjana Soldatjenkova, of KU Leuven (Belgium), who was with us for April 2014, and took an active role in the department's intellectual life.

For more on Prof. Soldatjenkova, see: Prof. Tatjana N. Soldatjenkova


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



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.

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

Slavic Grad Natalya Khokholova, who successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in August 2014.

A.B.D. Grad Irina Avkhimovich, who has been awarded an SLCL Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year.

Prof. George Gasyna, who has been promoted to Associate Professor with Indefinite Tenure!

Prof. Lilya Kaganovsky, who has been named a Centennial Fellow by the College of LAS, and who has assumed the position of Director of the Program in Comparative and World Literature.



The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce the inauguration of the Vekich Scholarship, an award for students of South Slavic languages. Up to five Vekich Scholars will be 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 (SCR 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. Submissions to the Vekich Scholarship competition are now being accepted for the 2013-14 academic year. For Competition Guidelines, see Vekich Scholarship


CAS Special Presentation-Paulson
3/3/2015 | 8:00 pm

Russian Movie Night
3/4/2015 | 5:30 pm

Ukrainian Table
3/5/2015 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

18th Annual European Union Film Festival
3/6/2015 - 4/2/2015

View Calendar of Events