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Russian Area

Русский язык

What’s special about Russian at UMBC?

At UMBC the study of Russian is part of the major and minor programs of the department of Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication (MLLI). The MLLI faculty, which includes a unique combination of specialists in linguistics, sociology, cultural and literary studies, and language pedagogy, have been pioneers in developing an interdisciplinary curriculum. Most university language programs focus almost exclusively on language and literature.

But in UMBC’s interdisciplinary MLLI program, students of Russian participate with students of other languages in a common core of three courses that stress linguistic and cultural analysis. So aside from acquiring a proficiency in Russian and a knowledge of the culture of Russia and the former Soviet Union, they also learn about the dynamics of languages and cultures in general.

UMBC’s Russian courses address an exciting variety of themes: in our classes, students follow developments in the ever-changing (and ever-challenging!)cultural, social, and political environment of today’s Russia, using authentic print media, video, and the Internet. Most of our classes are small, with the opportunity for individual interaction with professors. We often work one-on-one with students in independent study courses, where they can pursue topics of special interest. Students benefit from interaction with the Russian native-speaker population on campus. Students who enjoy Russian folk-singing will want to join our Russian Chorus, which gives several public performances each year.

Is Russian Difficult?

Russian has had the reputation of being a difficult language to learn. The reason most often given for a reluctance to study Russian is apprehension about the different alphabet. But the alphabet is related to the Greek and Latin alphabets, and takes only a few days to learn. Students who have studied other languages(French, Spanish, German) do well in Russian—they find it fun, and different. We also welcome Russian-heritage students, who may speak Russian at home, but not quite natively.

Major Track Options  
Students select either a one-language (Russian) or two-language (Russian and a second language) option.
One-Language Option (38 credits)

•  9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
•  12 credits: RUSS 301, 302, 401, 402
•  2 credits (1 credit each): RUSS 303, 304
•  9 credits from MLL 270, 271, 370, 371 (taught on a rotating basis), together with:
•  3 credits in corresponding 1-credit Complementary Russian Reading courses (RUSS 350), offered every semester
•  3 credits of elective RUSS courses at the 300 or 400 level

Two-Language Option (39 credits)

•  9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
•  9 credits from RUSS 301, 302, 401, 402
•  2 credits (1 credit each): RUSS 303, 304
•  6 credits from MLL 270, 271, or any 300- or 400-level RUSS course
•  1-credit RUSS 350 (Complementary Russian Reading)
•  12 credits in a second language (above 202), taught in the target language

Suggested Sequence of Russian Courses in the Major:

Since many high schools do not offer Russian, most students begin Russian at UMBC at the 101 level, offered in the Fall, and continue through RUSS 102, 201, 202, and the major courses. It is recommended that MLL 190 and 230 be taken early, before the major sequence begins.

RUSS 301 (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)
RUSS 303 (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)
MLL 270/271/370/371 (three out of four) + concomitant RUSS 350 (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)
RUSS 302 (Prerequisite: RUSS 301)
MLL 270/271/370/371 (three out of four) + concomitant RUSS 350 (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)
RUSS 304 (Prerequisite: RUSS 301)
MLL 301 (Prerequisite: MLL 190 or 191)
RUSS 401 (Prerequisite: RUSS 302)
MLL 270/271/370/371 (three out of four) + concomitant RUSS 350  (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)
Elective on the 300- or 400-level
RUSS 402 (Prerequisite: RUSS 401)
MLL 270/271/370/371 (three out of four) + concomitant RUSS 350  (Prerequisite: RUSS 202)

Minor Program (22 credits)

Students are encouraged to consider combining a minor in Russian with a major in History, Economics, or Political Science, or a minor in International Affairs. Required courses are:

•  3 credits: one MLL core course (MLL 190, MLL 191, MLL 230, MLL 301)
•  10 credits: RUSS 202, 301, 302
•  9 credits of RUSS courses at the 300 or 400 level

Certificate in Russian Studies (17 credits)

•  RUSS 201
•  RUSS 202
•  RUSS 301
Certificate electives (choose two):

•  MLL 270  Introduction to Russian Culture and Civilization
•  MLL 271  Introduction to Modern Russian Civilization and Culture
•  MLL 370  19th Century Russian Literature and Society
•  MLL 371  20th Century Russian Literature and Politics
•  Any RUSS courses above 301

Note: All courses in fulfillment of the Certificate in Language Studies must be completed with a grade of “B” or higher.

For further information about the MLLI Russian program, please contact Russian area coordinator Dr. Steven Young.