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Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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What could a major in Russian do for you?

Here’s what it has done for our graduates:

The Russian major at the University of Illinois provided me with invaluable skills necessary to pursue graduate studies in international and public affairs. Knowledge of the Russian language, culture, and history separated me from the pool of highly qualified applicants and allowed me to better understand political and economic relations involving Russia and countries of the Former Soviet Union. When I was applying for federal government jobs, the unique skills obtained through the Russian major helped me to stay marketable in the highly competitive field of public service. Russia and the Former Soviet republics will continue to dominate the global arena and a specialist in the field will always be in demand. The Russian major at the University of Illinois was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my academic career.

Dmitriy Upart, Class of 2005

The Russian major was a definite asset for me in pursuing my future career. From the very beginning of college I planed on pursuing a major that would not only help me to get into a law school and international law programs, but also to broaden my perspective on the international community. For the Russian major I took classes that dealt with modern and historical issues in regard to language, literature, politics, economy, and ethnicity. I can honestly say that I developed a very broad perspective. In applying and interviewing for law schools, I was able to freely discuss a variety of topics. Most importantly, however, the Russian major gave me an edge over most law school applicants. According to statistics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison Law School, 90.6% of applicants have only a political science background. The fact that I was able to speak Russian and knew its literature was an "x-factor" that the schools were looking for. In general, it is perfectly understandable that any profession seeks individuals with a unique outlook or unique knowledge.

Olga Tarasova, class of 2007, Russian major with distinction.