University of South Carolina


Russian: What to Expect

The University of South Carolina offers the only major in Russian in the state of South Carolina. As a Russian major, you will be immersed in the study of Russian culture, language, and literature and be exposed to innovative classes, award-winning professors, and individual attention from faculty that is dedicated to the success of students. You will learn to speak, read, write, and understand the Russian language as well as develop a keen understanding of Russian culture and history. You may also choose to study in Russia to add to your educational experiences while at the University!

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Russian:

  • Intermediate Russian I and II
  • Introduction to Russian Civilization
  • Russian Conversation and Composition I and II
  • Advanced Russian I and II
  • Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Translation or Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Translation
  • Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Russian
  • Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Russian
  • Selected Topics in Russian

On average, there is a 15 to 1 student-faculty ratio in major-specific courses. A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. The Russian program is affiliated with the American Council program of study abroad in Russia. You can travel with USC faculty to Russia on one of many study abroad trips. Destinations in the past have included Moscow, St. Petersburg, Lake Baikal, Taganrog, and more! During your study abroad experience, you will be immersed in language and culture and develop skills that will benefit your coursework when you come back to USC and enhance your future career opportunities. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site to learn about additional opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.

Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of nearly 300 student organizations. As a Russian major you can join the Russian Club to learn about Russian culture, meet new friends, and become a part of the community at the University! You can also find other student organizations on campus that interest you!
Graduate School is one of many possibilities following graduation. Many graduates go on to pursue a Masters or Ph.D. in Russian studies or history. Law school is also a popular choice for Russian majors.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding students. Each year the Russian program presents the Callaham Award, a scholarship of $3,000 to a top student majoring in Russian and the sciences, math or engineering fields. The Department of Language, Literatures & Cultures offers additional scholarships each year.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands-on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market. Russian majors at the University have had unique study abroad internships as well as internships in government agencies.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Student Spotlight

Senior Jasmine Whelan, an international studies and Russian major, spent nearly a year studying in Russia. While studying at the Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg and the Akmulla State Pedagogical University in Ufa, Jasmine lived with host families. She was immersed in the Russian languages and developed hands-on skills by teaching English to elementary students each week. “The language gains I made while in Russia probably constitute the most important thing I learned. There is just no way I could have improved that much in such a short amount of time without actually being immersed,” Jasmine said. “I am so much more comfortable with the language now and can really enjoy a conversation or a movie in Russian.” Jasmine had countless unique experiences while studying in Russia. “I visited Vladimir Lenin’s hometown and ate an apple out of his family’s orchard. I walked to the bottom of Stalin’s secret wartime bunker in Samara. In Sochi, I saw President Medvedev going into a restaurant while I was sitting on the beach about 20 feet away. I walked across the frozen Neva River in February in St. Petersburg. I learned how to bee keep in Ufa and helped harvest my host family’s honey,” she said. Jasmine encourages all current students to participate in a study abroad experience while at the University. “There is no better way to learn a language, but more than that, studying abroad opens your eyes to a different culture, a different worldview, and a different way of thinking about things. Imagine a summer, a semester, or even a year of absolutely never having a reason to be bored. That’s study abroad!”

Career Opportunities

Russian majors have a variety of career opportunities following graduation. The number of Russian scientists and engineers in the United States is increasing. Many of these companies are looking for Americans that are able to communicate in the Russian language.  Many Russian majors also pursue careers in international business, education, foreign service, communication, travel and tourism, and translating and interpreting.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of South Carolina focuses on the teaching of foreign languages, their associated literatures, and global culture. Students learn from native speakers, benefit from innovative web based programs where they interact directly with their peers in other countries, and study with professors who have written the books they use in courses. The department offers undergraduate majors in Classics, Comparative Literature, French, Germany, Russian, and Spanish. The Undergraduate Foreign Language Teaching Certification Program is also offered in French, German, Latin and Spanish. The department is home to internationally known scholars in language acquisition, children’s literature, Chinese, Classics, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is one of the largest and most active in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Points of Pride

  • The Comparative Literature Faculty is ranked 10th in the nation in research productivity.
  • The department is home of the Confucius Institute, a center for the study and teaching of Chinese language and culture affiliated with the Beijing Language Cultural University.
  • Russian major William Brown was recently award a prestigious Boren Scholarship.
  • Professor Nicholas Vazsonyi in German is an internationally renowned Wagner scholar who has lectured at the Kennedy Center and whose recent book was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.

Additional Resources
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Website
College of Arts and Sciences Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin