Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > Russian > Degree Requirements



1) All of the following courses:

RUS 201, Second-year Russian I (4 credits)
RUS 202, Second-year Russian II (4 credits)
RUS 420, Russian Culture Before WWI (3 credits)
RUS 421, Russian Culture of the 20th Century (3 credits)
RUS 440, Contemporary Russian Culture (3 credits)
RUS 441, Russian Literature (3 credits)

2) For the remaining elective credits, students may choose from:

RUS 231, Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Translation (3 credits)
RUS 232, Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Translation (3 credits)
RUS 242, Russian and Eastern European Science Fiction (3 credits)
RUS 250, Russian Cinema (3 credits)
RUS 290, Independent Study (1-6 credits)
RUS 311, Advanced Russian Conversation (3 credits)
RUS 341, Russian Life and Culture of the 20th Century (3 credits)
RUS 490, Independent Study (1-6 credits)
RUS 491, Special Topics in Russian Studies (1-6 credits)
RUS 493, Overseas Internship (1-12 credits)
RUS 499, Senior Thesis Research (1-6 credits)

3) Completion of a capstone experience:

The capstone experience offers students the opportunity to apply their Russian skills, either in Russia or by way of a specially designed project or thesis completed on campus. To fulfill the Capstone experience, you may enroll in an independent study, a senior thesis research, an overseas experience in Russia, or an approved project in an advanced Russian language course.

4) Cognate Requirement (15 credits)

Selected courses must be from a single discipline or thematic area and be advisor approved. At least one course must be at the 300-400 level. Cognate requirement is waived if completing another major or minor.

5) College of Arts & Letters Experiential Requirement

Earn a minimum of 3 credits in one of the following experiential education options through an associated course approved by the College: internship, service/community engaged service learning experience, undergraduate research or creative project directed by a faculty member, a study abroad program, or a study away program.


All of the requirements listed for the Primary Major in Russian under #1, #2, and #5.


The minor requires at least 15 RUS credits from the 200 level and above. Only one of the following courses can apply: RUS 231, RUS 232, RUS 242, or RUS 250. 

For Russian course descriptions and information regarding prerequisites, see the Course List. Course scheduling information for each semester, including class times and locations, is available here. For complete information about degree completion requirements and course descriptions, see the Academic Programs Catalog.


With a degree in Russian, you can pursue careers in a wide range of areas. Some of our graduates have been employed as an airline official in Moscow, a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Tblisi for NPR, an English-language newspaper editor in St. Petersburg, American embassy staff in Moscow, and an accountant at an international accounting firm in Moscow, as well as faculty at various U.S. colleges and universities. The opening of this large country that was relatively closed for most of the twentieth century means that business demand for those with knowledge about Russia is increasing, as is government need for Russian speakers.

If you decide to pursue graduate studies in Russian or in economics, history, international business, political science, or comparative literature, you will discover that your undergraduate degree in Russian from MSU will qualify you to do graduate work throughout the world. Members of the Russian faculty are knowledgeable about opportunities for graduate study and are ready to help you identify and select programs that meet your career goals.