In recent years, Russia has become an even larger global influence on politics, the economy, security, and international trade. Understanding the language and culture of Russia has become increasingly important, and the value of knowledge and skills in this area is anticipated to continue to grow.

Only about 15% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. are able to offer a Russian major, and UWM is among this small group. This Slavic language is growing in importance and in value as the political and economic dynamics of Russia and the region are evolving. Russian is one of the five official languages of the United Nations and has more than 200 million speakers around the world. The U.S. State Department has deemed Russian to be a "critical language" and has many programs to encourage students to join this needed area of study.

At UWM, language students receive an education in not just language fluency but also in the culture surrounding that language. Context matters in communication, and we believe it is important for students to understand the history, literature, and customs of native speakers of Russian in order to successfully apply their fluency.

Students are also encouraged to participate in UWM's study abroad program with destinations including Saratov, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir. Some students choose just a short immersion while others go abroad for a semester or even a full year. Because of the complexities of planning a study abroad experience, students are encouraged to start planning early in sophomore year. Most students engage in study abroad during the second half of sophomore year or during their junior year.


At least 9 credits must be completed in advanced-level courses in residence at UWM; at least 6 of these credits must be in the Russian curricular area. Students must attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. In addition, the College requires that students attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including transfer work. Minor courses taken outside the Russian curricular area count in the minor GPAs.

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue study abroad in Russia and may apply transfer credits from an approved study abroad program toward their degree requirements. Students interested in doing extensive advanced-level coursework at a Russian university should contact the program coordinator to discuss the College's residency requirement.

The Russian minor requires completion of four semesters of college-level Russian (through RUSSIAN 202) or equivalent preparation. Credits earned at UWM in satisfying this requirement count in the minor GPA. In addition, minors must complete 18 credits as follows:

RUSSIAN 310Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation:3
RUSSIAN 311Contemporary Russian Language:3
Select 6 additional credits in the Russian curricular area6
Select 6 credits in Russian and/or courses selected from the list of cross-listed courses below6
Total Credits18

Cross-listed Courses

The following courses are approved to satisfy the requirements of the Russian minor. Please contact the program coordinator for the most up-to-date list of approved courses or to request approval for Russian-related courses not on this list.

ENGLISH 316World Cinema: (Russian Cinema)3
ETHNIC 250Selected Topics in Ethnic Studies: (Gender and Ethnicity in and After the USSR)3
HIST 341Imperial Russia3
HIST 343Russia Since 19173
INTLST 550Senior Seminar in International Studies: (Russia in Transition: Media and Values)3
POL SCI 310Russian and Post-Soviet Politics3