Russian Studies

For more than 50 years, Saint Louis University’s interdisciplinary Russian studies program has drawn on the expertise of professors specializing in the language, literature, culture, history and politics of Russia’s 1000-year history.

Many students have studied and conducted undergraduate research in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk and Irkustsk.

Major in Russian Studies

SLU’s major in Russian studies requires 30 credit hours of upper-division courses, including those in history, politics, literature, and theology or philosophy.  Students quickly immerse themselves in Russian language, literature, film and culture by analyzing a wide range of issues, attending cultural events and conducting digital research for independent projects as early as their first semester in the program. Working with the departments of English, history, political science and theological studies, students in the Russian studies program can develop their interests across the College of Arts and Sciences. 

SLU's Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures cooperates with the Center for Intercultural Studies, the Catholic Studies Centre, and the Russian and East European Area Studies program to support lectures, exhibits, conferences and other cultural events on campus.  The Russian program supports cultural events and honors society inductions every year.

Our students have explored Russia’s vast landscape in programs taking them from St. Petersburg to Siberia as they attempt to master this language identified as critical by the U.S. government. Several students have spent a summer or semester in the SLU-sponsored program at Smolny College in St. Petersburg through Bard College.

Highlighted Courses

Students new to Russian begin by taking RUSS 1010: Communicating in Russian I with the goal of becoming proficient in Russian. At the same time, they will explore Russian culture and political science with the following courses:

  • RUSS 3250: From Peter to Putin: Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Culture
  • POLS 2530: Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics

Students with prior knowledge of Russian can contact the program coordinator, Dr. Elizabeth Blake, at for a proficiency exam before enrolling in courses.

You  may also transfer credits from another undergraduate Russian program (including an intensive summer program) or a study abroad program, including SLU’s program through Bard College at Smolny College.  

Internships and Careers

Recent graduates with a degree in Russian studies from Saint Louis University work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the press. Our alumni are found working for the U.S. Armed Forces, the U. S. Department of State, the Huffington Post and the Better Care Network.  Other popular career paths for our majors include business and the legal profession.

Other graduates with a degree in Russian studies from SLU have gone on to prestigious graduate programs studying  Russian and East European studies, diplomacy, social work, medicine and political science. 


SLU’s Russian studies faculty members work closely with students and can help you determine how Russian can complement your additional academic interests as you prepare for your future career.

They also support innovative undergraduate research projects guided by the students' own interests. Undergraduate students majoring in Russian studies at SLU have presented their research at regional and national conferences.

Our students also work closely with related faculty in other departments, such as history and political science.

  • Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D.
  • Zdenko Mandusic, Ph.D.
  • Yelena Belyaeva-Standen, Ph.D.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees
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Minor in Russian Studies

SLU’s Russian studies minor requires 15 credit hours of upper-division coursework, including:

  • RUSS 3250: From Peter to Putin
  • Two 3000-level courses in the Russian language
  • One Russian literature elective
  • One 4000-level Russian elective

Immerse Yourself

Master the Russian Language 

Students and faculty go on trips to local stores, churches and restaurants to share their common interest in Russian cultural immersion.

Russian studies students at SLU also participate in intensive summer Russian programs in the United States and study abroad opportunities that include a SLU-sponsored program at Smolny College through Bard College, allowing them to further improve their fluency.