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College of Arts and Letters

Minor suspended through 2014

Program Description

A knowledge of Russian has grown in importance in the years following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the Russian language program prepares students to be first-hand observers as the new Russia moves into the 21st century.

You cannot understand Russia with your mind-
You can only believe in it.

--Fyodor Tyutchev

The Russian language program has two phases. Phase I, RUSS 1A through RUSS 2B, is designed to provide an intermediate, practical command of spoken and written Russian and to introduce the most obvious differences between the Russian and U.S. culture. Upon completion of RUSS 2B, students are able to converse at an elementary to intermediate level and to read Russian language newspapers, magazines, and simple short stories with the aid of a dictionary.

Phase II of the Russian language program, at least six upper division units, is designed to provide advanced speaking, writing, reading, translating, and grammar practice for Russian minors.

Special Feature

The Sacramento State Office of International Programs administers a one-to-one student exchange with Moscow Linguistics University (MLU). Sacramento State students may apply for a semester or year program at MLU. Credits earned at MLU may be applied either to the Sacramento State Russian minor or, in certain instances, to special majors. Students must successfully complete at least one year of college level Russian language study before applying for the exchange. 

Contact Information

Curtis Smith, Department Chair
Erika Mendoza, Department Coordinator
Mariposa Hall 2051
(916) 278-6333


Units required for the Minor: 12, of which at least 6 must be upper division units in Russian. Courses must be approved by a Foreign Language advisor. Transfer students must complete at least one three-unit upper division Russian course at Sacramento State.

Note: Students who intend to take the National Security Agency Russian Language Test as part of their application for employment upon completion of their baccalaureate degree are advised to successfully complete a minimum of 24 semester units of Russian language study. Literature-in-translation courses do not count as part of the minimum, nor do they count as upper division coursework credited toward the minor.

How to Read Course Descriptions

RUSS 1A.     Elementary Russian. 5 Units

Russian language beginning course with primary emphasis on the development of communication skills. Russian life and culture are introduced through readings and video/films.

RUSS 1B.     Elementary Russian. 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): RUSS 1A or instructor permission.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Humanities (Area C2), Foreign Language Graduation Requirement

Continuation of RUSS 1A. Continued emphasis on communication skills and continued integration of cultural-historical components with the language learning experience.

RUSS 2A.     Intermediate Russian. 4 Units

Prerequisite(s): RUSS 1B or instructor permission.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Foreign Language Graduation Requirement

Continuation of RUSS 1 with further emphasis on the development of communication skills. Meets the Foreign Language Graduation Proficiency Requirement.

RUSS 2B.     Intermediate Russian. 4 Units

Prerequisite(s): RUSS 2A or instructor permission.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Foreign Language Graduation Requirement

Continuation of RUSS 2A. Meets the Foreign Language Graduation Proficiency Requirement.

RUSS 105.     Advanced Russian Language Practice. 3 Units

Small group instruction for upper division students desiring to improve their skills in mastering the language. Content and emphasis changes every semester. May be taken for credit three times.

RUSS 120.     Russian Civilization. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Humanities (Area C2)

Introduction to the cultural context that has accompanied Russia's political history from the earliest days of the Kievan state to current post-Communist Russia. Through reading Russian poems and short stories, interviewing Russians, and viewing Russian films, the student will begin to view Russia as Russians see it; thus, the overall objective is to introduce students to the richness of Russia's civilization through her people's own words and images.

RUSS 151.     20th Century Russian Literature. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Instructor permission.

Study of masterpieces of 20th century Russian literature in English translation including works by Chekhov, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko, Olesha, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, and others. Works will be studied in the context of 20th century Russian literary tradition (symbolism and socialist realism) as well as Russian cultural history.

RUSS 195.     Fieldwork -- Tutoring. 1 - 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Intermediate competency in Russian and permission of supervising instructor.

Tutoring of lower division students of Russian, under supervision of instructor. Three hours of tutoring per week for each unit. May be taken for credit more than once.

Credit/No Credit

RUSS 199.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units

Individual projects or directed reading.

Note: Open only to students who are competent to carry on independent study. Admission requires the approval of the instructor by whom the work is to be supervised.

Credit/No Credit