University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Slavic Languages and Literatures

Undergraduate Degrees

Department Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Russian

Required courses, Lower-division Units
SLL 120 Beginning Russian I 4
SLL 150 Beginning Russian II 4
SLL 220 Intermediate Russian I 4
SLL 250 Intermediate Russian II, or
SLL 255 Business Russian 4

Required courses, Upper-division Units
SLL 310 Advanced Russian in Popular Culture 4
SLL 321 Russian Culture, or
SLL 330 Russian Thought and Civilization 4
SLL 340 Intercultural Communication in Russian 4
SLL 465 Seminar in Russian Studies (taken three times, with varying content) 4, max 12
And two elective courses approved by the undergraduate adviser.

Bachelor of Arts in Central European Studies

The major in Central European studies combines background in relevant languages (Russian plus either German or Polish, or more intensive study of Russian) with course work in international relations and the history, culture and politics of the region.

No longer an imperial backwater, Central Europe has risen from its Cold War stasis to become one of the world’s most dynamic and important regions. Stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Balkan Peninsula, and from the Eastern lands of Germany to the Western regions of Russia, this onetime great-power battleground is now a vital trade and energy corridor, a mosaic of languages and cultures, a place of both successful state-building and persistent ethnic frictions, and a promising but still-precarious bridge between the former Soviet Union and the West. Central Europe rivals the Far East and Southwest Asia as one of the world’s most strategically important regions — now, and over the coming decades. Those who master its history and politics, its economic, cultural and linguistic diversity, will be well positioned for fellowships, graduate work, business or analytical careers centered on this fascinating region.

The objectives of this interdisciplinary major are to provide students with: 1) the historical background and linguistic-cultural skills necessary for in-depth study of Central Europe; 2) knowledge of its main post-Cold War political, ethnic, and economic trends; and 3) understanding of current issues from nationalism and immigration to trade, military-diplomatic and alliance politics.


The fundamental linguistic background of the major is Russian (12 units).

Required courses Units
SLL 120 Beginning Russian I 4
SLL 150 Beginning Russian II 4
SLL 220 Intermediate Russian I 4

Beyond the second year of Russian, students may choose from among three options: further work on Russian; or a year of German; or a year of Polish (8 units).

courses Units
SLL 250 Intermediate Russian II 4
SLL 310 Advanced Russian in Popular Culture, or
SLL 340 Intercultural Communication in Russian 4
GERM 101 German I 4
GERM 102 German II 4
SLL 122 Elementary Polish I 4
SLL 152 Elementary Polish II 4

Required upper-division courses in international relations: two courses must be chosen from among the following (8 units):

IR 345 Russian and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy 4
IR 346 Communism and Post-Communism: Eastern Europe and the Balkans 4
IR 385 European Foreign Policy and Security Issues 4

In addition three electives are required from among the following. At least one course must be at the 400 level. With prior approval, IR 490x, Directed Research (4 units) or SLL 490x, Directed Research (4 units) may be substituted for one of these courses (12 units):

HIST 320 Russian and Soviet Rebels: The Moral Dilemma and the Continuity of Dissent 4
HIST 323 The Holocaust in 20th Century Europe 4
HIST 324 Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union 4
HIST 328 Poland and the Western Tradition 4
HIST 365 The Second World War 4
HIST 414 Contemporary Europe 4
HIST 416 History of Imperial Russia: 1689–1917 4
HIST 417 History of Soviet Russia: 1917–1991 4
HIST 422 European Intellectual and Cultural History: the 20th Century, 1920 to the Present 4
HIST 427 The German Question: Nation and Identity in Modern Central Europe 4
IR 369 Post-War European Relations 4
IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia 4
IR 468 European Integration 4
POSC 366 Terrorism and Genocide 4
POSC 371 European Political Thought II 4
POSC 463 European Politics 4
POSC 464 Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe 4
SLL 302 Modern Russian Literature 4
SLL 303 Contemporary Russian Literature 4
SLL 330 Russian Thought and Civilization 4
SLL 397 Literature and Film in Eastern European Historical Experience 4
SLL 465 Seminar in Russian Studies 4

Minor in Russian

Lower-division requirements for the major plus three upper-division elective courses chosen from the following (at least two of the areas must be represented): Russian language (SLL 310, SLL 340, SLL 420); Russian literature and culture taught in Russian (SLL 321, SLL 465); Russian literature, art and culture taught in translation (SLL 330, SLL 344, SLL 345, SLL 348, SLL 378).

Minor in Russian Area Studies

Lower-division Requirements

Four semesters of Russian language (SLL 120, SLL 150, SLL 220 and either SLL 250 or SLL 255), or its equivalent.

Upper-division Requirements

The core course, SLL 330 Russian Thought and Civilization; one course outside the Slavic department, from among the following: HIST 324, HIST 328, HIST 415, HIST 416, HIST 417, HIST 424; IR 345, IR 346, IR 439, IR 483; POSC 464; and one elective, to be chosen from among: any upper-division SLL course in Russian literature, art or culture; HIST 320, HIST 324, HIST 415, HIST 416, HIST 417, HIST 424; IR 345, IR 346, IR 439, IR 483; POSC 464.

Note: the course taken to fulfill the requirement outside the Slavic department cannot also count as an elective.