Slavic Studies

Slavic Studies is concerned with the languages, literatures, and civilizations of the Slavic world. Built on sound knowledge of one or two Slavic languages (normally Russian or Czech) the program allows students to develop an in-depth appreciation and understanding of East European cultures and civilizations through a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary fields. Students take courses in literature, history, culture, theater, political science, economics, and international relations. Concentrators focusing on Russia learn one of the world’s most commonly spoken languages and study some of the world’s best-regarded authors and composers: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Gogol and Bulgakov, Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky. Focusing on Czech allows students to explore, for example, how Czechs distinguished themselves by peacefully transitioning from communism to capitalism (the “Velvet Revolution”) and separating peacefully with the Slovak Republic (the “Velvet Divorce”). Most concentrators study abroad in a Slavic country, either during the academic year or the summer. 

Requirements for the AB degree:

  1. Six semesters of one Slavic language or the equivalent (normally Czech or Russian), or a combined total of eight semesters of two Slavic languages or the equivalent.
  2. Seven 1000-level courses devoted to the study of the East European civilizations: literature, history, culture, theater, political science, economics, international relations. Typically, at least four of these courses will be from within the Department of Slavic Languages. Students' choice of courses is subject to the approval of the concentration advisor.


Honors candidacy in Slavic studies assumes an excellent academic record, particularly in the concentration. Additional requirements are the same as those for a standard concentration, plus the writing of a senior thesis (SLAVĀ 1990). For procedures and schedule for writing a senior thesis, please refer to the department guidelines.