Courses

For a complete list of courses and their detailed descriptions, visit Penn State Bulletin.

RUS 1 Elementary Russian I (4)

An introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week.

RUS 2 Elementary Russian II (4)

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: RUS 1 or placement.

RUS 3 Intermediate Russian (4)

Continued study of grammar and review of basic grammatical structures; readings in Russian with emphasis on acquisition of vocabulary and continued development of conversational and writing skills. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: RUS 2 or placement.

RUS 83: First-Year Seminar in Russian (3)

By examining the relationship between individuals and the state in present-day Russia, this course seeks to answer a set of critical questions: How come post-Soviet Russia has emerged as a state characterized by authoritarianism and crony capitalism? What are the factors that gave rise to and sustained Vladimir Putin's regime? What are its key pillars and contradictions? What is the Russian people’s response to Putinism, its punitive domestic politics, and its aggressive posture toward Russia’s neighbors and the West? Study materials include works by representative writers, filmmakers, visual artists, journalists, political observers, human rights activists, and cultural critics. This course is taught in English, fulfills the General Humanities requirement, and is designated as an International Cultures course.

RUS 100: Russian Culture and Civilization (3)

A historical, cultural, and linguistic survey of Russian civilization and culture from its ancient proto-Slavic beginnings to the present. The course is taught in English, fulfills the General Humanities requirements, is designated as an International Cultures course, and is often taught online.

RUS 101N:  Russian and Soviet Film (3)

A chronological survey of Russian and Soviet cinema from the 1910's to the present day. The course approaches the analysis of film from the perspective of technique and methods, form, content, and cultural context, mapping most representative films onto major historical periods and cultural trends: avant-garde, socialist realism, the Thaw, Stagnation, Perestroika, and post-Soviet search for new identity and new cultural forms. The course is taught in English, fulfills General Arts, General Humanities, and General Inter-Domain requirements, and is designated as an International Cultures course.

RUS 110: Russian Folklore (3)

A survey of Russian folklore, which examines not the aristocratic and intelligentsia culture of Russia, but its rites of passage, agricultural ceremonies, beliefs, legends, folktales, and epics of the Russian peasants, most of whom were illiterate. The course is taught in English, fulfills the General Humanities requirement, and is designated as an International Cultures course.

RUS 141Y: 19th-Century Russian Literature in English Translation (3)

A study of the emergence and development of the Russian literary tradition in the nineteenth century, with special attention to the intersection of Russian history and literature. Novels, novellas, and short stories by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Durova, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and others feature as the center of the course. The course is taught in English and is designated as a Writing Across Curriculum and International Cultures course.

RUS 142Y: 20th-Century Russian Literature in English Translation (3)

A study of the twentieth-century Russian literature, which transformed itself many times, evolving through prescriptive literary norms, a renewed interest in "truth-telling", and experimentation with form and subject matter. The course features examples of the avant-garde, Socialist Realism, experimental prose, dystopian literature, Gulag literature, the literature of emigration, and literary postmodernism. The course is taught in English and is designated as a Writing Across Curriculum and International Cultures course.

RUS/GER 143: The Culture of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany (3)

A comparative exploration of Stalinist and Nazi culture, focusing on ideology, daily life, state terror, propaganda, and the arts, including visual arts, architecture, and film.  The course is taught in English, fulfills the General Humanities requirements, and is designated as an International Cultures course.

RUS 200: Intermediate Russian II (4)

A comprehensive review of grammar combined with intensive readings from authentic materials in Russian with emphasis on continued development of conversational and writing skills. The course is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: RUS 3 or placement.

RUS 296: Independent Studies (max 18)

Supervised work on research project conducted on an individual or small-group basis.

RUS 400: Senior Seminar in Russian Culture (3)

An examination of the Russian-speaking world and its history, language, literature, culture, art, music, and political life. Topics vary from year to year, but the course typically includes cultural themes, novels, short stories, poetry, film, and drama from different time periods. In addition to in-depth readings, students also prepare of a research paper in Russian on a topic pertaining to an aspect of Russian literature or culture and deliver an oral presentation on the topic of their research at semester's end. This course is taught entirely in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: RUS100 and two Advanced Russian Language courses at the 400 level, or placement.

RUS 401: Advanced Russian A (3)

An advanced study of contemporary standard Russian targeting complex grammar topics and conducted through an examination of short authentic readings from various authors, periods, and genres. This course is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: RUS 200 or placement.

RUS 402: Advanced Russian B (3)

An advanced study of contemporary standard Russian conducted through an examination of issues relevant to current Russian society. Special attention is devoted to post-Soviet Russian culture through analysis of newspapers and television news, selections of recent prose fiction, and cinema. The course emphasizes problems of syntax and idiomatic Russian. It is taught entirely in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: RUS 200 and RUS 401 or placement.

RUS 403: Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition (3)

This course focuses on communicative ability in contemporary spoken and written Russian. It offers an intensive practice in conversation to develop language skills appropriate to various spheres of academic, business, and social life. Audio-visual materials used extensively. It is taught entirely in Russian. Prerequisite: RUS 200 and RUS 401 or placement.

RUS 404: Advanced Russian Reading and Composition (3)

This course focuses on communicative ability in contemporary written and spoken Russian. It offers an intensive practice in conversation to develop language skills appropriate for close reading and textual analysis. It is taught entirely in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: RUS 200, RUS 401, and another Advanced Russian Language course at the 400 level.

RUS 405: Seminar in Russian Literature (3 or 6)

A study of short prose and poetry in Russian. Topics and authors vary. The course is taught in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: One Advanced Russian Language course at the 400 level.

RUS 406: Russian Film (3)

An advanced Russian language study through viewing, discussing, and writing about films and about Russian and Soviet culture. Emphasis is on increased linguistic and cultural proficiency, including refinement of oral and written Russian with focused study of selected grammatical and stylistic topics. The course is taught entirely in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: One Advanced Russian Language course at the 400 level.

RUS 410: Russian for Heritage Speakers (3)

This course is designed for heritage speakers at varying levels of language competence who wish to build up or perfect their reading, writing, and grammar skills. Course curriculum is flexible and tailored to students’ individual needs. This course is designated as an International Cultures course and could be counted towards Russian Minor or Major.

RUS 412: Russian Translation (3 or 6)

With a goal of improving reading proficiency in Russian, this course focuses on strategies for efficiently deciphering sophisticated texts, reviews grammar, and explores the art of translation from Russian into English. This course is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: Two Advanced Russian Language courses at the 400 level.

RUS 460: Linguistic Analysis of Contemporary Russian (3)

A detailed study of the phonology, morphology, and syntax of contemporary standard Russian and its major dialects. This course is taught entirely in Russian and is designated as an International Cultures course. Prerequisite: Two Advanced Russian Language courses at the 400 level.

RUS 494/494H: Undergraduate Research Project (max 12)

Supervised work on research project conducted on an individual or small-group basis.

RUS 99/199/299/399/499: Foreign Studies (max 12)

An individualized study of contemporary Russia. Topics vary. Courses are offered by individual or group instruction and are designated as International Cultures courses. Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission.

RUS 596: Individual Studies (max 9)

An independent study for graduate students that allows them to work on their creative projects and complete readings in a particular area. This study is supervised on individual basis. Open to graduate students only.

POL 1: Elementary Polish I (4)

An introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week.

POL 2: Elementary Polish II (4)

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: POL 1 or placement.

POL 3: Intermediate Polish (4)

Continued study of grammar and review of basic grammatical structures; readings in Polish with emphasis on acquisition of vocabulary and continued development of conversational and writing skills. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: POL 2 or placement.

UKR 1: Elementary Ukrainian I (4)

An introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week.

UKR 2: Elementary Ukrainian II (4)

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of the language and culture with emphasis on communicative proficiency, clarity of pronunciation, and basic skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: UKR 1 or placement.

UKR 3: Intermediate Ukrainian (4)

Continued study of grammar and review of basic grammatical structures; readings in Ukrainian with emphasis on acquisition of vocabulary and continued development of conversational and writing skills. Four hours of class each week. Prerequisite: UKR 2 or placement.

UKR 100: Ukrainian Culture and Civilization (3)

A historical, cultural, and linguistic survey of Ukrainian civilization and culture from its ancient proto-Slavic beginnings to the present. The course is taught in English and is offered online.

SLAV 99/199: Foreign Studies (max 12)

An individualized study of one or more East European country and its contemporary culture. Topics vary. Courses are offered by individual or group instruction and are designated as International Cultures courses. Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission.

SLAV 494/494H: Undergraduate Research Project (max 12)

Supervised work on research project conducted on an individual or small-group basis.

SLAV 596: Individual Studies (max 9)

An independent study for graduate students that allows them to work on their creative projects and complete readings in a particular area in Polish, Ukrainian, or another Slavic literature. This study is supervised on individual basis. Open to graduate students only.