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Russian is Central!

Everything you need to know about Russian at CWU

Russian BA - Four Year Plan - PDF

Welcome to Russian Studies at CWU! Russian Studies Major, Claire-Anne Grepo in Moscow

We offer both a Major and a Minor, in small, student-centered classes. Our program offers classes on Russian language and Russian culture, arts, history, and society. We collaborate with other departments to bring students courses on Russian film, history, geography, and political science. Russian is not only the language of the largest country in the world, but is also spoken in 15 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia by over 160 million people. Russian is designated as a critical language by the U.S. Government, which means the demand for experts in Russian is greater than the current supply. Consider taking Russian Studies for careers in the government, foreign service, military, journalism, international NGOs and business, education, and tourism.

*Russian Studies Major, Claire-Anne Grepo, in Moscow in 2019.*

Questions? Want to declare a Major or a Minor? Contact us!

For any questions related to the Russian Studies program, contact Russian Faculty Advisor and Program Coordinator, Volha Isakava:

Not sure which course to register in?

If you do not know any Russian, start with RUSS 151: First-Year Russian I, offered every Fall. If you grew up exposed to Russian language, or took Russian in high school or another educational setting, take Russian placement test

Russian Studies Degree

Russian Studies Major is 47 credits: 32 credits of required coursework and 15 credits of electives. Russian Studies Minor is 30 credits of required coursework. Russian language courses are offered in sequence, with one section per term. You can take Russian Studies culture electives any year of your program. All Russian language and culture courses offered by the Depatment of World Languages and Cultures are open source and do not require textbook purchase. Below find a possible course of study for a four year BA in Russian. Check out required and elective courses in CWU Catalog: Russian Studies Major BA and Russian Studies Minor

Year One: First-Year Russian Sequence (15 credits pre-requisite)

Fall Term - RUSS 151: First-Year Russian I (5 cr.)

Winter Term - RUSS 152: First-Year Russian II (5 cr.)

Spring Term -  RUSS 153: First-Year Russian III (5 cr.) 

First-Year Russian Sequence counts towards a Graduation Foreign Language Requirement in the State of Washington: CWUP 5-90-050 (3H) Graduation Requirements. It is a pre-requisite for the Russian Studies Major or Minor. You are required to take First-Year Russian Sequence if you have no knowledge of Russian language. Each course has one section and all courses are offered at the same time throughout the academic year.

Year Two: Second-Year Russian Sequence (15 credits required)    

Fall Term - RUSS 251: Second-Year Russian I (5 cr.)

Winter Term - RUSS 252: Second-Year Russian II (5 cr.)

Spring Term -  RUSS 253: Second-Year Russian III (5 cr.) 

Second-Year Russian Sequence provides 15 required credits. Completing First-Year Sequence is a pre-requisite unless student places into higher language level class. Each course has one section and all courses are offered at the same time throughout the academic year.

Year Three: Advanced Russian Sequence (15 credits required)

Fall Term, Odd Year - RUSS 341: Advanced Russian Through Mass Media (5 cr.)

Winter Term, Odd Year - RUSS 342: Advanced Russian Through History (5 cr.)

Spring Term, Odd Year -  RUSS 441: Advanced Composition and Grammar (5 cr.) 

Fall Term, Even Year - RUSS 351: Advanced Russian Through Literature (5 cr.)

Winter Term, Even Year - RUSS 352: Advanced Russian Through Film (5 cr.)

Spring Term, Even Year -  RUSS 451: Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition (5 cr.) 

Advanced Russian Sequence provides 15 required credits. Advanced Russian has six rotating topical courses that students can mix and match as required credits (15) and upper division electives. Each course has one section and all courses are offered at the same time throughout the academic year.

Year Four: Culminating Experience (2 credits required)        

Spring Term - WLC 487: Culminating Experience (General Education Requirement, 2 cr.)

After completing three years of language or appropriate substitute culture courses with permission of the Department of World Languages and Cultures you are officially done with Russian Studies Minor

Russian Studies Major requires 15 credits of approved electives. Full list of electives is in CWU Catalog Russian Studies Major, BA

You can also download Russian Studies Degree Flyer


Russian Resources at CWU


 Russian Resource Center

Russian Club image

Russian Resource Center is staffed with advanced language students from our program. The Resource Center is open several days a week and provides free tutoring, help with homework, conversation practice and much more! Now available virtually on Zoom. Contact Russian Advisor for more information. Current RRC Flyer


Russian Club

Russian Club is a student-led organization that meets every week and organizes a variety of Russia-centric extra-curricular activities, and fun events on campus. In the past year Russian Club events included Russian tea cakes sales, movie screenings, food nights, guest lectures, field trips, meme contests and more! To join your Russian peer community on campus contact Russian Club Advisor 

Russian club students


Russian students Vlad Mazhnikov (left) and Luke Ramsey (right) dressed up for Russian Halloween as the "ghosts of communism."





Virtual Exchange with Russian Universities

In our language and culture classes you have a chance to participate in Virtual Exchange with Russian students from European University in Saint Petersburg. Connect with Russian peers to practice Russian, help them practice English, learn more about Russian culture and make new friends across the globe!

Russian Students on Zoom

Russian Club President and Second-Year Russian student, Chloe Krawczyk: 

"I enjoy speaking with my new Russian friend and practicing my Russian language skills with someone close to my age. This helps me prepare for my future study abroad."




Study Abroad Opportunities

Our students have many opportunities for study abroad in Russia and former Soviet countries. You can choose to go to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Irkutsk, or Vladivostok in Russia proper. Or study Russian (and Ukrainian!) in Kyiv, Ukraine; Narva, Estonia (part of the E.U.); or Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Go for a year, a semester, a short summer session, or spring break! 

One of our most popular providers is School of Russian and Central Asian Studies (SRAS). SRAS offers many options for studying abroad, including intensive language and topical culture programs. Study museum and art history in the fabled Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg; find out more about post-Soviet conflict in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (including visiting Chernobyl nuclear disaster site); learn about sustainability and enviromental history of Russia in Irkutsk, next door to the amazing lake Baikal!

Study Abroad Scholarships from CWU are available. There are also external opportunities for scholarships: ProjectGo scholarships for ROTC cadets; Boren Awards; Critical Language Scholarship ProgramGilman International Scholarship. Find more information on study abroad at the Office of International Studies and Programs and contact Russian Advisor for more information.

Russian Studies Major and CWU Graduate 2020, Andrew McDonald, experiencing Russian winter swimming tradition in Vladivostok.



Russian Studies Major and CWU Graduate 2020, Andrew McDonald, experiencing Russian winter swimming tradition in Vladivostok.




Connect with us on Russian Studies Facebook Group

Russian students, Mark Sechler and Annalese Warren, World Languages Day 2019.

Russian students, Mark Sechler and Annalese Warren, World Languages Day 2019.


Alumni Experience


Madelyn Dunning, '16: "I graMadelyn Dunning stands in front of a Russian churchduated from Central Washington University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Russian. Studying Russian at CWU was a great experience, both academically and personally. Without a doubt, one of the best parts of my college experience was studying abroad in Moscow, Russia in Fall 2015, where I had the opportunity to put what I’d learned at CWU into practice.

So far, my Russian degree has been useful in ways I didn’t expect when I started. After graduation, I enrolled in a Master of Science program at Mercyhurst University, where my Russian degree has proven very valuable. Several of my graduate school projects have incorporated Russian language, culture, and/or history, my favorite of which was a social media analysis study on Russian tweets. Once my degree is completed, I hope to get an analyst position with the government."


Karl Vasily Watson stands outside a Russian museum that used to be a medieval castleKarl Vasily Watson, class of 2018, is an AFROTC cadet. He received a full scholarship from ProjectGO to study advanced Russian in Narva, Estonia. He used his Russian language skills to work in a museum that used to be a real medieval castle.




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