Bridge in St. Petersburg - The Peter and Paul Fortress, surrounded by water on the Neva River
The Peter and Paul Fortress, surrounded by water on the Neva River

The Department of Slavic Languages in the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics offers a broad range of courses for undergraduate majors and minors in Russian, for students from other undergraduate schools, and for graduate students in the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES) and other graduate programs.

Students in language courses make use of audio and video materials both in and outside the classroom, and they are encouraged to watch the numerous Russian television broadcasts available by satellite and Internet transmission. In all language courses, the emphasis is on content- and proficiency-based instruction in a multi-media context. Third- and fourth-level courses refine linguistic usage and utilize a variety of authentic native-language texts, such as journal and newspaper articles, literary texts, television and Internet broadcasts, and films.

Upper-level courses range from surveys of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature to specialized courses on individual writers, themes and genres, as well as courses in linguistics, including “Russian Phonology” and “History of the Russian Language.” While most courses are conducted in Russian, in order to best serve the needs of various constituencies within the University community, some are conducted entirely in English, while others utilize both Russian and English. A sequence of introductory courses in Russian culture is also offered. The Department invites senior majors with the requisite grade-point average to write an honors thesis on a topic of their choosing, either in the context of a fourth-year course or on a tutorial basis.

Georgetown University is one of the core schools for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), which offers study abroad in St. Petersburg and is also a participant in a program in Moscow sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Russian (ACTR). The Department encourages its students to participate in summer, semester, and/or academic-year programs in the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian and Polish

In response to dramatic changes and new opportunities in the Slavic world, the Department began offering Ukrainian in 1991 and Polish in 2002. Introduction to Ukrainian (UKRN 301 and 302, taught in tutorial format) and Beginning Polish (PLSH 001 and 002) cover the fundamentals of grammar and introduce students to cultural and reading materials. Intermediate courses, UKRN 303 and 304 (tutorials) and PLSH 101 and 102, build on students’ basic knowledge and further develop vocabulary and comprehension abilities in all skill areas. All courses are three credits each; the two-year sequence satisfies the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences foreign-language requirement. Upper-level tutorials, such as Professional Ukrainian, Professional Polish and Advanced Oral and Written Polish, are available to qualified students.