General Requirements | Additional Requirements for Russian Language and Literature Majors | Additional Requirements for Russian Language and Civilization | Honors | Requirements for Honors | Distinction in Russian | Teacher Certification | Russian Majors for Native Speakers | Advanced Placement
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL STUDENTS MAJORING IN RUSSIAN
To earn a BA in Russian you will need to take 20 credits in language courses above fourth semester Russian (Slavic 204).
These 20 credits must include both third- and fourth-year Russian (Slavic 275-276, 315-316, 321-322). In addition, all students majoring in Russian must take a course on Russian culture for 4 credits: either Literature in Translation 233 (Russian Culture before 1917) or Literature in Translation 234 (Russian Culture since 1917). Students majoring in Russian then choose a track for their major: either Russian language and literature or Russian language and civilization.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS MAJORING IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE | Back to menu
Students majoring in Russian language and literature, in addition to the 24 credits described in the paragraph "General Requirements for All Students Majoring in Russian," also take Literature in Translation 203 (Survey of 19th Century Russian literature in translation) for 4 credits, Literature in Translation 204 (Survey of 20th Century Russian literature in translation) for 4 credits, and a 400-level Slavic course (Russian literature in Russian). Click here for the course planner for this major.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS MAJORING IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND CIVILIZATION | Back to menu
Students majoring in Russian language and civilization, in addition to the 24 credits described in the paragraph "General Requirements for All Students Majoring in Russian," also take Slavic 253 (the Interdisciplinary Survey of Russia) for 3 credits and 9 credits in area studies courses in which they use Russian as a research language. This means that students take courses in which they must write a research paper and use Russian-language sources for that research.
They cite from these sources in Russian in their papers and must bring the papers to the advisor for the Russian major for him/her to sign off on the fulfillment of the area studies requirement for this major. Click here for the course planner for this major.
Courses that have been preapproved for the 9-credit area studies requirement are: Anthro 441, Comm Arts 456, Econ 365, Econ 366, Econ 390, Slavic 444, Slavic 455, Geog 353, Hist 417, Hist 418, Hist 419, Hist 420, Hist 421, Hist 422, Hist 423, Jewish Studies 371*, LT 233**, LT 234**,
Poli Sci 336, Poli Sci 401, Poli Sci 612, Poli Sci 633, Poli Sci 634, Poli Sci 695, Theater and Drama 532.
* = topics course, when topic is relevant to Russia.
** = when this course is NOT used by students to fulfill the culture requirement for this major (i.e, the same course cannot be counted twice to this major)
For all these courses, students must write a 10-15 page paper in English in which they use Russian sources and cite them in Russian. (Click here for an explanation of how to fulfill the 9-credit requirement for area studies for this major).
Students give the paper to the professor of the
course to fulfill course requirements and bring a copy of the paper to the advisor for the Russian major for endorsement for the 9-credit area studies requirement. Students who do not bring their papers for endorsement will not get the area
studies requirement filled!
In addition to the courses listed above, other courses may be available to fill this requirement. Bring a copy of the course syllabus to the Russian advisor for approval.
Lastly, students who take area studies courses abroad on the UW-Madison / ACTR study abroad programs in Russia (UW at Red Square) can have these courses count towards the area studies requirement for the Russian Language and Civilization major. Courses taken abroad on the ACTR program in area studies (history, politics, sociology, media, etc.) will count as Slavic 309 as of the fall 2003 semester and these credits will automatically count towards the area studies requirement for the Russian Language and Civilization major. Students who take such courses abroad do not have to bring copies of papers to the advisor for the Russian major for endorsement: the advisor needs only a copy of the Bryn Mawr / ACTR transcript and a copy of the Study Abroad transcript with UW-Madison
equivalencies in order to process courses taken abroad for the fulfillment of the area studies requirement for the Russian Language and Civilization major.
HONORS IN THE MAJOR IN RUSSIAN | Back to menu
Admission to Honors in the Russian Major
Admission to the honors program requires a 3.5 GPA in Slavic 101/102, 203/204 or the equivalent and the recommendation of at least one instructor from these courses. Students interested in honors in the major are encouraged but not required to take the honors courses Slavic 181/182 and Slavic 283/284 and to get their recommendation for admission to honors in the major from one of the instructors of these courses (or their language TA). Admission to honors in the major must be declared with the Russian major advisor and with the Honors Program (see http://www.honors.ls.wisc.edu for details).
Requirements for Honors in the Russian Major
Students in the Honors in the Major program are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA or better (A or AB) in each course in their Russian major. In addition, they are required to take Slavic 275/276, 321/322 for honors credit. If these courses are taken at UW-Madison, students should inform the instructors that they are enrolled for honors credits; instructors will hold these students to higher standards in the courses and will assign them an extra project to complete. If any of these courses are taken while abroad or in a summer immersion program, students must request exemption from the honors requirement from the office of the Honors Program (see above for website). Requests for exemption must be made before the period of study.
Students completing the Russian major with honors must write an honors thesis by taking two semester-long courses (Slavic 681 in the fall and 682 in the spring, each for 3 credits) dedicated to researching and writing the thesis. These courses are directed studies with an honors thesis advisor, who is a faculty member in Slavic Languages (for Lang/Lit majors) or another department (a possibility for Lang/Civ majors; see below for details of co-advising). Students pursuing honors in the Russian major bear the responsibility of recruiting a faculty member to serve as a thesis advisor, and they should begin thinking about their thesis topic and potential advisors early in their studies; the Russian major advisor may also help facilitate this process. A thesis topic and advisor should be in place no later than the spring semester preceding the academic year in which the student will research and write the honors thesis so that there is sufficient time to complete the thesis.
The honors thesis is a paper 20-30 pages in length, written in English, with citations from Russian-language sources. The thesis is a scholarly work with the appropriate apparatus (footnotes, works cited in approved scholarly format). The research for the thesis is undertaken mostly in the first semester of the year-long project, and the result of the research semester is a concise thesis statement, a prospectus of 2-3 pages of the argument that will be developed to support that statement and the evidence that will be brought to bear, as well as a full annotated bibliography. The writing of the thesis is done in the second semester, with drafts submitted to the thesis advise at periodic intervals and with the final paper being submitted no later than the beginning of May (so that there is ample time for the thesis advisor to read it and require some last-minute corrections by the end of the semester, if necessary). The thesis process may be somewhat different depending on the student's major track; see below for individual details.
Summary of Admissions and Requirements
1. Contact the Russian major advisor and declare your intention to pursue honors in the major.
2. Formally declare honors in the Russian major in the Honors Program office.
3. Have and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in Russian courses.
4. Take 275/276, 321/322 for honors credit.
5. Choose a thesis topic and advisor by the spring semester before your thesis year.
5. Research and write your honors thesis during your senior year.
The Honors Thesis
Russian Language and Literature
Students majoring in Russian Language and Literature write a thesis on the topic of Russian literature working under the supervision of a professor in the Slavic Department who serves as the student's thesis advisor for the year-long project. Students should identify potential advisors early in their studies and declare their intentions to pursue an honors thesis with professors in their literature courses in the department. The Russian major advisor may help a student in choosing a thesis advisor, but the student is ultimately responsible for selecting a topic as well as an advisor to supervise the research.
The Honors Thesis
Russian Language and Civilization
Students majoring in Russian Language and Civilization write a thesis on the topic of Russian politics, history, culture, etc. and may work directly under the supervision of a professor in the Slavic Department (if there is a faculty member with sufficient expertise in the student's topic who agrees to supervise the thesis) or have a thesis advisor in another department (Political Science, History, Art History, Music, Anthropology, etc.) along with a co-advisor who is a faculty member in Slavic. Language and Civilization majors are responsible for identifying a potential thesis advisor from another department, as appropriate to the research topic, and for coming to an arrangement with that professor to serve as their advisor for a Russian honors thesis. The Russian major advisor can help the student choose an appropriate co-advisor for the thesis in the Slavic Department.
Dropping Honors in the Major
If a student decides not to write a thesis after having already declared Honors in the Major, she or he will need to go the office of the Honors Program to pick up a form and fill out the student section. After that, the Russian major advisor and the department chair will need to sign the form and send it back to the Honors office where the Honors designation will be removed from the student's record.
DISTINCTION IN THE MAJOR | Back to menu
With the permission of the department honors advisor, students who are not in any of the honors programs may work toward Distinction in the Major in Russian. Distinction in the Major may be granted for any student who has a 3.5 grade point average in the major, and who has submitted an acceptable senior thesis.
TEACHER CERTIFICATION | Back to menu
If you are interested in becoming certified to teach Russian at the secondary school level, you should apply for admission to the teacher certification program in Russian offered via the School of Education. You will need to fulfill the requirements for a major in Russian as well as those established by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for teacher certification.
RUSSIAN MAJOR FOR NATIVE SPEAKERS | Back to menu
Native speakers of Russian who wish to major in Russian should speak with the advisor for the Russian major to map out the specific plan for their major. The "Native Speaker" track requires 36 credits (as do the other 2 tracks)
12 credits in literature and culture in translation: Literature in Translation 203, Literature in Tranlsation 204, and either Literature in Translation 233 OR Literature in Translation 234.
24 credits in language or literature as follows: Students who are NOT native speakers of Russian take 20 credits in Russian language (Slavic 275/276, 315/316, and 321/322) and 4 credits in Russian literature in a 400-level Slavic course. Native speakers of Russian take Russian language courses as appropriate and take the rest of the credits in this category in Russian literature courses at the 400-level in Slavic. Only one or, at most, two such courses are offered every semester, so students who place out of language entirely and who must, therefore, take all 24 credits in lterature (six 400-level Slavic courses) should plan to take one or two courses every semester. See the advisor for the Russian major to determine at what level of language you should enter the language sequence or whether you should take only literature courses to fulfill the 24 credits required for this category of courses in the major.
NOTE: If you started Russian after your first year at the University, it is not too late for you to pick up a Russian major. You may take an intensive Russian course during the summer. Click this link to find a listing of options for intensive Russian-language study in the summer.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT | Back to menu
Our elementary courses in Russian are designed to meet your needs, whether you will be studying Russian for the first time in college, or have already begun your study of the language. If you have studied Russian in high school or have acquired knowledge of Russian in a non-academic setting, you may qualify to "skip" some courses with the consent of the department. In some cases, you may be able to "pass out" of courses by earning retro-credits (credit by course examination) or test-credits (credit by departmental examination). For more specific advice regarding your options, please contact our Russian language placement advisor. Note that one unit (year) of high school work is generally equivalent to 4 credits (one semester) of college work. By far, the majority of students who study Russian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have not previously studied the language.
If you have studied in high school and place into second year or above, you may be eligible for retrocredits at UW-Madison. If you place into Slavic 203 (third-semester Russian) in your first year at UW-Madison and have fewer than 30 credits at UW-Madison at the time you're taking Slavic 203, you may earn 8 retrocredits by filling out the appropriate forms and completing Slavic 203 with a grade of "B" or better. If you are placed in to Slavic 275 (fifth-semester Russian) under the same conditions, you can earn 16 retrocredits. See an advisor for more details.
If you are a native speaker of Russian (speak or spoke Russian at home while growing up) and/or if you attended school in Russian in the former Soviet Union for one or more years when your family lived in the former Soviet Union, you may be eligible for our special major track for native speakers. Students who have some fluency in spoken Russian but do not know how to read and write are advised to attend two different Russian language courses simultaneously for a period of two weeks while they learn the alphabet. After that time these students attend only one course (they cease attending the first-year course.) For more information, please see an advisor.