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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities

Embark on a study of the Russian language and gain a fascinating perspective on Russian literature, culture, and history. Depending on the term you choose, you can learn at either a beginning, intermediate, or advanced language level.

Unique study opportunities

  • Connect with a sobesednik conversation partner to practice Russian and discover local student life in the city.
  • Attend guest lectures to expand your cultural knowledge on topics ranging from Russian rock to Soviet space dogs.
  • Go on field trips and cultural excursions to important sites within and beyond Saint Petersburg.
  • Be a part of an interactive, discussion-based classroom environment with students from all over the US.
  • Develop a scholarly research paper and collaborate with professionals in your prospective field in an independent research course during the fall or spring term.

Language

Language of Instruction: Russian

Russian Language Study: Required

All instruction in this program is in Russian. The summer term is open to beginning, intermediate, or advanced Russian speakers. The fall, spring, and year terms offer upper-division Russian language study at the advanced level.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

Summer

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Three or five courses, depending on your language level, for a total of 15 quarter/10 semester UC units. 
  • Attendance is mandatory.
  • Take a language exam to determine course placement.
  • Students at the intermediate and advanced language levels may choose to take up to two courses pass/no pass. Keep in mind that if you’d like to receive major credit for a course, most campus departments prohibit this grading option.
Fall, Spring, and Year

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Five courses per term, which is a total of 25.5 quarter/17 semester UC units. 
  • Attendance is mandatory.
  • Take a language exam to determine course placement.
  • You may choose to take up to two courses pass/no pass. Keep in mind that if you’d like to receive major credit for a course, most campus departments prohibit this grading option.

Current Program Courses

In addition to Russian language, you’ll take upper-division elective courses taught in Russian on the literature, culture, or history of Russia. During the fall or spring term, you also have the option of enrolling in Directed Independent Research (4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units) as one of your elective courses. Enrollment requires a research proposal outlining your topic and its relevance to the local culture, the methodology, a literature review, and a schedule of research milestones. Once approved, a faculty advisor will assist you throughout the semester in completing your research.

Summer Curriculum

Required language study (one of the following):

  • Beginning Russian: 9 quarter/6 semester UC units
  • Intermediate or Advanced Russian Grammar/Phonetics/Conversation: totaling 9 quarter/6 semester UC units

Required upper-division culture courses:

  • One upper-division content course covering topics such as Russian film, music, and mass media divided into sections (depending on Russian language level): 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units
  • Russian Culture lecture series and excursions: 1.5 quarter/1 semester UC units
Fall, Spring, and Year Curriculum

Required upper-division language courses:

  • Advanced Russian Grammar: 6 quarter/4 semester UC units
  • Advanced Russian Conversation: 6 quarter/4 semester UC units
  • Advanced Russian Phonetics: 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units

Two required elective courses: 4.5 quarter/ 3 semester UC units each. You choose two of the following courses. Exact offerings vary depending on enrollment and instructor availability:

  • Analytical Readings: 19th Century Russian Literature
  • Analytical Readings: 20th Century Russian Literature
  • Comparative Cultural Studies: The United States & Russia
  • Russian Social & Political Life
  • Russian Word Formation
  • Russian Traditional Visual & Performing Arts
  • Agitation for Happiness: The Mass Culture of the Soviet Period in Tales, Poems, Songs, and Movies
  • Mentality, Social Behavior, and the Representations of Russia
  • Advanced Translation
  • Directed Independent Research

In the academic year curriculum, you would replace the Phonetics course with two elective courses worth 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units during the spring semester. The Advanced Translation course is recommended as one of the replacement electives.

With approval from resident staff and faculty members, you may also audit classes (taught in Russian) at the School of Political Science at Saint Petersburg State University.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Even though your classes are physically held on the historic Russian campus, you’ll be taking courses with other study abroad students, not Russian students. The classes are taught by faculty from St. Petersburg State University with many years of experience teaching American students. Russian teaching emphasizes in-class learning, which means attendance and participation matter.

You’ll be in classes and program-related cultural excursions and activities five days a week. Classes are 90 minutes long and held four days a week, with Wednesdays reserved for cultural and social activities. All participants commit to speaking only Russian during the program, which will help you build your language and cultural skills.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades are transmitted to your registrar after your transcript is issued abroad, which usually takes some time. Summer grades are usually reported to your campus in late September. Fall semester grades are usually reported to your campus in late January. Spring semester grades are usually reported to your campus in late June.

UC grades are final and will not be changed unless an error has been made in the recording.