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Русский • Russian

Learning Russian grants access to a rich literary tradition, with iconic works by authors like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. Exploring these masterpieces in their original language provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of Russian literature. Russian is spoken by over 260 million people, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Proficiency in Russian opens up opportunities for travel, cultural immersion, and communication with Russian-speaking communities across various countries. Russia plays a significant role in global politics, business, and the arts, and knowledge of Russian can provide a competitive edge in career prospects and international relations. Learning Russian offers the rewards of cultural enrichment, expanded communication abilities, and a deeper understanding of a prominent and influential nation.

Why Learn Russian?

With 145 million native speakers, Russian is one of the ten most widely spoken languages in the world. An additional 110 million people speak Russian as a second language.

Russia is the world’s largest country, stretching across two continents and eleven time zones.

From the days of the Russian Empire of the tsars to the Soviet Union of Stalin, Khrushchev, and Gorbachev to the Russian Federation of Putin and Medvedev, Russia’s immense size and resources have given it lasting strategic importance.

Russian literature has produced masterpieces in poetry and prose.  The writings of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pasternak, and Solzhenitsyn are admired worldwide.

Russian music, ballet, art, and architecture have a vibrant past and exciting present.

Russian computer hackers are among the most skilled and troublesome in the world.

Over a quarter of the world’s scientific literature is published in Russian.

Russian-American relations are complex, challenging, and politically important.

There are numerous job opportunities in government bodies like the State Department, the Commerce Department, the Justice Department, and the various intelligence agencies; in Western firms that do business in and with Russia; in a wide range of non-profit organizations.

As Russia develops economically and politically, the numbers and variety of career paths available to college graduates with a knowledge of Russian language and culture are constantly expanding.


For questions relating to Russian courses or advising guidance, please contact:

Dr. Benjamin Sutcliffe
Departmental Advisor for Russian
Irvin Hall 148
(513) 529-1822

Dr. Sutcliffe provides academic advice on what courses to take in Russian, on graduate study and employment in Russian or related fields; also check the Russian bulletin board in the department frequently for announcements from graduate and internship programs and employers in the U.S. and abroad.

Course Placement

For general information about placement in Russian, please access the language placement guide at the ILRC.

If this is a new language for you (i.e., no prior experience in this language), students should enroll in Russian 101 and do not need to take a placement exam or advisement evaluation.

If you have had previous experience or education in this language, you will need to take the Russian Placement Test first to see which level you should enroll in. Go to Miami's Foreign Language Placement test web site and select Russian for your language. Then select the number of years you have previously had learning Russian. If you have had 1/2 years, round up to the next whole year of previous experience. When you are finished with the test, you will receive a raw score and a suggested placement.

If you believe that the language placement is incorrect or have doubts about the placment, please talk to the language advisor, who would be able to interview you briefly and recommend a best placement based on your written, spoken, listening, literary, and cultural competence.

Contact the Department

Irvin Hall South Entrance

Department of German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Irvin Hall 172
400 East Spring Street
Oxford, OH 45056-3645
United States
(513) 529-2526

Dr. Mila Ganeva, Chair
General Inquiries: