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.
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.
Russian programs offered:
- One-Language option with Russian concentration (“major in Russian”) (40 credits)
- Two-Language concentration with Russian as the primary language (“major in Russian”) (42 credits)
- Language and Cultural Studies concentration with Russian as the selected language (39 credits)
- Certificate in Russian Studies (17 credits)
- Minor in Russian (22 credits)
Students are encouraged to join our very active Russian Club. Please visit us on Instagram.
- Click here for a panel discussion on life in the former Soviet Union, organized by Russian Club president Matthew Kelbaugh, held on November 9, 2021.
- Click here for a Russian Club presentation by Matthew Kelbaugh: “Resurrecting the Romanovs: 105th Anniversary of the Fall of the Czars in Russia,” held on March 15, 2022.