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The Russian Undergraduate Program

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg 

Vanderbilt's Russian Program is committed to immersion in language and culture, with the purpose of optimally preparing students to use their expertise in Russian for the 21st century job market.

In addition to courses on classic writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Vladimir Nabokov, the program offers broadly interdisciplinary courses such as "Russian Fairy Tales," “Russian Cinema,” “Stories of Siberia,” “Russian Science Fiction,” “Russian Crime Fiction,” “Russia at War” and “The Russian Avant-Garde.”

The major and minor in Russian are designed to be extremely flexible. Alongside study of Russian language and culture, students may choose to focus their degree on fields such as history, political science and economics as they pertain to the Russian context.

Students have several possibilities for studying abroad in Russia, including summer-, semester- and year-long programs in Moscow and St. Petersburg (where they have the option of studying history, politics, economics and/or culture alongside the Russian language). We also offer a popular Maymester service program in Vladimir.

In order to further develop their language skills while on the Vanderbilt campus, students may choose to live in the Russian hall at the McTyeire International House, where they can practice Russian in everyday situations with an international group of undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines.

A Russian degree at Vanderbilt prepares students for academic careers (in literature, culture, or area studies), as well as for the use of their Russian skills and culture knowledge in business and politics (for example, jobs in the foreign service). Several of our majors have chosen to pursue graduate degrees in and related to Russian, including Noorie Bajaj (Stanford), Destiny Cargill (Georgetown University) and Giulia Goletti (University of Helsinki, Finland). Others such as Stu Detmer, John Nutter, Jon Lauritzen and Page Odam have pursued business careers either in Russia or with firms whose interests require close dealings with Russia.