A major in Russian Studies leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Because proficiency in the Russian language forms the most crucial component of the program, the major requires completion of third-year Russian (RUS 301, 302, or equivalent) with at least three years of Russian language study to be able to grasp basic grammar skills and begin to gain oral proficiency. Students may enhance their language skills by participating in approved summer intensive language programs both in Russian and the United States.
Employment opportunities for persons with training in Russian Studies include jobs as translators, interpreters, journalists, officers in government agencies, the diplomatic corps, or business. Although language proficiency remains the most important requirement for a majority of jobs, many organizations insist that their employees know Russian literature, history, politics, economic, civilization, and culture as well. Hence, the main purpose of the Russian studies program is to prepare students for work in specific areas of Russian culture. Although our students traditionally continue their studies on the graduate level, usually on the university fellowships and assistantships at major centers of Slavic scholarship, a number of them have pursued successful careers in international banking, government agencies in Washington D.C., and the diplomatic service in Moscow. Some of our graduates have worked for the Voice of America, the Library of Congress, the State Department, and in social and religious agencies that help Russian immigrants adjust to life in the United States.
Students interested in pursuing careers that entail working in Russia might consider combining the Russian Studies program with a second major in communications, computer science, economics, international relations, or business with an emphasis on the areas of management, marketing, or finance.
Students should seriously consider studying abroad to enhance their Russian language proficiency and gain invaluable experience. Although there is no one single GVSU study abroad option for students in Russian Studies, they may consult with the Padnos International Center and the RST Coordinator for information on international internship and study abroad opportunities in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Page last modified July 2, 2012