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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

Russian Language and Literature

Chair: Lynn Patyk

Associate Professors: M. Gronas, V. Somoff; L. Patyk, S. Finkel; Assistant Professors A. Morse, T. Filimonova; Research Assistant Professor and Language Program Director A. Rakova, Visiting Lecturer: J. Savic, Professors Emeriti: D.A. Garretson, J. Kopper, B. Scherr. 

To view Russian Language and Literature courses, click here


The major in Russian is designed to provide students with a solid working capability in the language as well as a familiarity with the literature and, more broadly, the culture of Russia. In addition, every major, in consultation with an advisor, will choose a set of electives that will result in a concentration on one of these three areas: language, culture, or literature. Alternatively, those wishing to take courses related to Russia in such disciplines as History, Government, or Economics should consider the Russian Area Studies Major. Both majors require Russian 31, which can be omitted only by vote of the entire Department.

  1. The Major in Russian.

    Prerequisite: RUSS 28.

    Requirements: RUSS 29; one course in the sequence 41–42–43; RUSS 71; two courses in the 30s which must include RUSS 31; and one culture course (numbered 10 though 19). In addition, majors must take four additional courses, for a total of 10. Those concentrating on language would select at least some of these four courses from the forties; those focusing in culture would select additional courses in the teens; and those interested primarily in literature would design a major with an emphasis on courses in the thirties. Two courses from the LSA+ may be counted toward the major and counted as a culture course. The culminating experience requirement must be satisfied by completing RUSS 71 or RUSS 86. In addition, those writing an honors thesis will enroll in RUSS 87, and may also take RUSS 85 as part of their preparation for the thesis.

  2. The Major in Russian Area Studies

    Prerequisite: RUSS 3.

    Requirements: A total of ten courses, which must include RUSS 27, RUSS 28, and RUSS 31. Of the remaining seven courses, at least two must be within the Russian Department and one course must fulfill the culminating experience. The Area Studies Major will include courses both from within the Russian Department and from such departments as History, Government, Economics, and Music, that, together, provide a cogent study of one or more topics with a focus on the region. The major should be planned in consultation with an adviser and the courses outside the department need to be approved by the chair. For the culminating experience, students must write a thesis (RUSS 87), or, with the approval of the Department faculty, designate a course in the Russian Department or another department that will serve to satisfy the requirement.


  1. The Minor in Russian

    Prerequisite: RUSS 3, or permission of the chair.

    Minor courses: a total of six courses including

    1. RUSS 31.
    2. one or two of the following courses: RUSS 10-19.
    3. up to four other Russian courses numbered 23 or higher, for a total of six courses beyond the prerequisite.
    4. Students may count two of the LSA+ courses toward the minor.
  2. The Minor in Russian Area studies

    Prerequisite: One of the following courses: RUSS 10, RUSS 13, RUSS 19, or RUSS 21.

    Requirements: a total of six courses including RUSS 31; and five courses chosen from the following: RUSS 10, RUSS 11, RUSS 13, RUSS 14, RUSS 18, RUSS 19, RUSS 21, RUSS 22, RUSS 23, RUSS 32, RUSS 35, RUSS 36, RUSS 48, or RUSS 71 of which three should be numbered 32 and higher and exclusive of the course selected as a prerequisite. Not more than two LSA+ courses could be counted for fulfillment of the prerequisite and requirements. Up to two Russian area studies courses, including offerings in Economics, Government, History, and Music that deal with relevant topics, may be counted towards completion of this minor. Other courses used to satisfy this requirement must be approved in advance by the Chair of the Department.

Honors Program

Seniors who give evidence of outstanding ability and who wish to pursue serious research on an independent project are invited to apply for honors work. Students must satisfy the minimum College requirement and must also meet two departmental requirements. First, they must have a grade average of 3.3 for all courses taken within the major. Second, they must have received at least an A- in an advanced course that emphasizes research and analysis, such as RUSS 48 or 71.

Area studies majors may satisfy this second requirement with one of these courses, or, if the topic of the thesis is outside the area of language and literature, with a course from the academic area in which they intend to do research. Application is normally made by the third week of the fall term, with RUSS 85 taken in the fall and RUSS 87 in the winter. The thesis must be submitted no later than the third week of spring term. Further information is available from the department Chair.

Term Abroad

Dartmouth Advanced Language Study Program (FSP) in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Irkutsk.

Prerequisite: RUSS 1, RUSS 2, RUSS 3, or the equivalent, with a grade of no lower than B- in RUSS 3.

It is recommended that students take one or more of the following courses: RUSS 10, RUSS 11, RUSS 13, RUSS 19, RUSS 31 or HIST 54.

The Dartmouth Russian FSP Program is conducted jointly with Government and the Irving Energy Institute at The Higher School of Economics n Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Irkutsk during the summer. Applications for the program are due in January for that summer. Those accepted for the program will sign up for Russian 21, 22, and 23. Successful completion of the FSP will serve in satisfaction of the Summer Residence Requirement (even when taken in the summer following the first year or third year).