Students completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Language and Literature are expected to graduate with an ability to speak and write -- as well as understand written and spoken -- Russian at a level appropriate to their experience in class and abroad, and to attain a basic linguistic understanding of how the Russian language functions. The BA major also provides the student with a broad overview of Russia's literary and cultural tradition as well as in-depth exposure to the work of select writers and artists, a fundamental grasp of Russia's history, and an understanding of Russia's place in the world today. For more information on the goals of the major in Russian, visit the Program's assessment page.
Requirements for a BA major in Russian include a minimum of 44 quarter hours of course work above the elementary (1000) level (24 quarter hours for a minor in Russian). In addition, majors must complete RUSS 3901 (Senior Russian Capstone Seminar) and minors one 3000-level course (see the appropriate course page to the left for course titles). At least one of the Russian Program's English-language courses is strongly recommended. Study abroad in Russia, though not required, is encouraged. The University maintains connections with institutions in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and has a system of financial incentives for study abroad, including the exciting Cherrington Global Scholars Program, which allows students to study abroad in the fall quarter of their junior year at no extra cost. As well, the Russian Program provides for the opportunity to participate in service provider and internship programs in Denver's Russian-speaking community.
Distinction in Russian Option
Most students doing well in their Russian major choose to be inducted into the National Slavic Honor Society, Dobro Slovo, in their second or third year of study. But students achieving an overall GPA of at least 3.3 and a major GPA of at least 3.7 can become part of the departmental Distinction in Russian Program. Distinction in Russian may be a part of the overall University of Denver Honors Program,but can be achieved separately. Students who wish to graduate with Distinction in Russian usually enroll in RUSS 3998 (Honors Thesis, up to 4 credits) in their senior year and write an Honors Thesis of 25 to 30 pages in length on a topic that interests them. The thesis and its defense are in Russian. Before beginning work on their Honors Theses, students must enroll in RUSS 3901 (Senior Russian Capstone Seminar) prior to taking RUSS 3998 if possible (speak with your Russian advisor if you cannot take this course prior to enrolling in RUSS 3998).
Once the Honors Thesis is defended, the student will stand out--there are very few universities pushing for this level of work in an undergraduate program. Recent Honors Theses have included studies of the reign of Catherine the Great, explorations of the sexuality of Zinaida Gippius' poetic works, and an examination of the military buildup initiated by Peter the Great, two translations of contemporary Russian works, an examination of Zamiatin's We, a psychocritical view of the poetry of Elena Shvarts, and an examination of recent Russian theatre. Some theses are part of the Partners in Scholarship Program, and some are written in conjunction with honors programs in other departments. No matter the topic, the additional distinction of completing an Honors Thesis highlights the student's achievement in Russian and at DU.