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Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The Slavic Studies Major (see below for details)

But first: You may have noticed that there are two different units in which one can complete a “Russian” major (and minor) at the University of Illinois. What is the difference between them and which is the right one for you?

The major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies has a multidisciplinary area studies focus. Students take courses in a variety of disciplines, weighted toward the social sciences (history, sociology, anthropology, political science) and develop a broad expertise in the history, politics, and culture of the region that includes Russia, but also many other countries, from the Czech Republic to Estonia to Uzbekistan. Language study can be in Russian or in any of the other languages of the region offered here. The orientation tends to be toward current affairs, and students often go on to careers in government service or in the NGO sphere.

The major in Slavic Studies with a concentration in Russian Language, Literature and Culture is based on a traditional single disciplinary major, though the department encourages interdisciplinary approaches that focus on literature and the arts, literature and medicine, cinema, history, politics, or culture in Russia. Students develop intensive cultural literacy and communication skills through humanities oriented training, and many go on to careers in writing and editing, media, or work with international cultural foundations and organizations.

That said, the majors are only as different, or as similar, as you make them. You can choose literature as your primary field for the REEES major, or take social science courses to develop broad area expertise in your supporting coursework for the Russian language and literature major. Both are excellent preparation for law school or graduate school and careers in teaching or research.

See what some recent graduates have to say about majoring in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The following represents our undergraduate program as of fall 2013. Students who were enrolled at Illinois prior to fall 2013 still have the option of majoring in accordance with our superceded program; the details may be found here: SUPERCEDED Major in Russian Language and Literature
Whereas students who have been at Illinois since before fall 2013 may choose between the old program and our new major or minors, students enrolling fall 2013 and later must follow the rules for the new major and minor, which may also be found at: programs of study

 

Hours and Requirements for the Major in Slavic Studies

 

Minimum required major courses equate to 30 hours including 6 hours in advanced language and 24 hours in literature and culture.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction: Graduation with distinction may be earned by completion of one of the following two options:

Students must select one concentration in consultation with an academic advisor. Students in all concentrations must complete a) 6 hours of language beyond the second year, and b) 24 hours of literature and culture courses.

RUSSIAN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, AND CULTURE CONCENTRATION

Hours Requirements
6 Language: A minimum of 6 hours beyond the second year of the Russian language:
RUSS 301,302 – Third-Year Russian I, II, or equivalent
24 Literature and Culture: A minimum of 24 hours is required in the following areas (RUSS 401 and 402- Fourth Year Russian I, II- can count toward the requirements of any category):
  6 hours of Introductory Culture courses:
RUSS 115 - Intro to Russian Culture and
Choose one of the following:
REES 200 - Intro to Russia and Eurasia
RUSS 261 - Intro to Russian-Jewish Culture
SLAV 117 - Russ & East Euro Science Fiction
SLAV 120 - Russian & E Euro Folktales
 

6 hours of Literature Survey courses: Two 200-level literature or cinema courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.

 

12 hours of Upper-level (300- and 400-level) Literature and Culture courses chosen from the following:
Author Courses (6 hrs.):
RUSS 320—Russian Writers
RUSS 322—Dostoevsky
RUSS 323—Tolstoy
RUSS 325—Chekhov
RUSS 335—Nabokov

Literature and Culture Courses (6 hrs.):
Two 400-level literature or culture courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.

0-3

Capstone Experience: All majors are required to complete a capstone course, project, or experience chosen from among the following:
(1) RUSS 493 Honors Senior Thesis (2 hrs); or
(2) a 300- or 400-level course in the Slavic Department in which a research project is undertaken; or
(3) Study abroad in the region.

Majors should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to plan their capstone experience. 

POLISH STUDIES CONCENTRATION

Hours Requirements
6 Language: A minimum of 6 hours beyond the second year of the Polish language:
POL 301, 302- Third-Year Polish I, II- or equivalent; or Students may choose to complete the second year (200-level sequence) of a second Slavic language, including Russian, in addition to Polish.
24 Literature and Culture: A minimum of 24 hours is required in the following areas (POL 401 and 402- Fourth-Year Polish I, II- can count toward the requirements in any category):
 

6 hours of Introductory Culture courses:
POL 115 – Intro to Polish Culture and
Choose one of the following:
REES 200 – Intro to Russia and Eurasia
REES 201 – Intro to Eastern Europe
RUSS 261 - Intro to Russian-Jewish Culture
SLAV 117 - Russ & East Euro Science Fiction
SLAV 120 - Russian & E Euro Folktales

 

6 hours of Literature Survey courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

 

12 hours of Upper-level (300- and 400-level) Literature and Culture courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

0-3

Capstone Experience: All majors are required to complete a capstone course, project, or experience chosen from among the following:
(1) RUSS 493 Honors Senior Thesis (2 hrs); or
(2) a 300- or 400-level course in the Slavic Department in which a research project is undertaken; or
(3) Study abroad in the region.

Majors should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to plan their capstone experience. 

1. Up to 9 hours of the literature requirement (but no more than 6 at the upper level) can be replaced by courses at the same level in other departments, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, that treat the history, culture, and society of Poland or the region.

SOUTH SLAVIC STUDIES CONCENTRATION

Hours Requirements
6 Language: A minimum of 6 hours beyond the second year of a South Slavic language:
BCS 301, 302-Third-Year Serbian/Croatian I, II- or equivalent; or Students may choose to complete the second year (200-level sequence) of a second Slavic language, including Russian, in addition to BCS.
24 Literature and Culture: A minimum of 24 hours is required in the following areas:
  6 hours of Introductory Culture courses:
BCS 115 - South Slavic Culture and
Choose one of the following:
REES 201 – Intro to Eastern Europe
SLAV 117 - Russ & East Euro Science Fiction
SLAV 120 - Russian & E Euro Folktales
 

6 hours of Literature Survey courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

 

12 hours of Upper-level (300- and 400-level) Literature and Culture courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

0-3

Capstone Experience: All majors are required to complete a capstone course, project, or experience chosen from among the following:
(1) RUSS 493 Honors Senior Thesis (2 hrs); or
(2) a 300- or 400-level course in the Slavic Department in which a research project is undertaken; or
(3) Study abroad in the region.

Majors should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to plan their capstone experience. 

1. Up to 9 hours of the literature requirement (but no more than 6 at the upper level) can be replaced by courses at the same level in other departments, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, that treat the history, culture, and society of the South Slavic region.

CZECH STUDIES CONCENTRATION

Hours Requirements
6 Language: A minimum of 6 hours beyond the second year of the Czech language:
CZCH 484 Readings in Czech for 6 hours or equivalent; or Students may choose to complete the second year (200-level sequence) of a second Slavic language, including Russian, in addition to Czech
24 Literature and Culture: A minimum of 24 hours is required in the following areas:
  6 hours of Introductory Culture courses:
SLAV 120 - Russian & E Euro Folktales and
Choose one of the following:
REES 201 - Intro to Eastern Europe
RUSS 261 - Intro to Russian-Jewish Culture
SLAV 117 - Russ & East Euro Science Fiction
 

6 hours of Literature Survey courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

 

12 hours of Upper-level (300- and 400-level) Literature and Culture courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

0-3

Capstone Experience: All majors are required to complete a capstone course, project, or experience chosen from among the following:
(1) RUSS 493 Honors Senior Thesis (2 hrs); or
(2) a 300- or 400-level course in the Slavic Department in which a research project is undertaken; or
(3) Study abroad in the region.

Majors should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to plan their capstone experience. 

1. Up to 9 hours of the literature requirement (but no more than 6 at the upper level) can be replaced by courses at the same level in other departments, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, that treat the history, culture, and society of the Czech region.

UKRAINIAN STUDIES CONCENTRATION

Hours Requirements
6 Language: A minimum of 6 hours beyond the second year of the Ukrainian language:
UKR 301, 302- or equivalent; or Students may choose to complete the second year (200-level sequence) of a second Slavic language, including Russian, in addition to Ukrainian
24 Literature and Culture: A minimum of 24 hours is required in the following areas:
  6 hours of Introductory Culture courses:
UKR 113 – Ukrainian Culture and
Choose one of the following:
REES 200 – Intro to Russia and Eurasia
REES 201 – Intro to Eastern Europe
RUSS 261 – Intro to Russian-Jewish Culture
SLAV 117 - Russ & East Euro Science Fiction
SLAV 120 - Russian & E Euro Folktales
 

6 hours of Literature Survey courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

 

12 hours of Upper-level (300- and 400-level) Literature and Culture courses chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor from a list maintained in the Slavic Department.1

0-3

Capstone Experience: All majors are required to complete a capstone course, project, or experience chosen from among the following:
(1) RUSS 493 Honors Senior Thesis (2 hrs); or
(2) a 300- or 400-level course in the Slavic Department in which a research project is undertaken; or
(3) Study abroad in the region.

Majors should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to plan their capstone experience. 

1. Up to 9 hours of the literature requirement (but no more than 6 at the upper level) can be replaced by courses at the same level in other departments, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, that treat the history, culture, and society of the Ukrainian region.

For all Concentrations:
All foreign language requirements must be satisfied.
A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60 - 75 hours). Study abroad courses may be substituted for major and minor requirements with approval of adviser.