Curriculum: A New Model for Undergraduate Study of Russian

Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges (Tri-Co), Portland State University, UCLA, and University of Wisconsin-Madison provide a full four/five-year undergraduate program sequence. Students are encouraged to undertake their language study in conjunction with another field of concentration, even as they continue the intensive study of Russian throughout their undergraduate careers.

One of the advantages of this model is that students can enter the programs at virtually any level of proficiency. For example, at Bryn Mawr, freshmen with no previous knowledge of Russian can enter the program by taking first-year intensive Russian, which meets eight hours per week. During the course of the intensive first-year sequence, entering students learn more about the Russian Flagship, its goals, benefits, and obligations. Students typically complete a four-year Flagship study plan, which must be approved by the Flagship Director and becomes a part of each student’s departmental record.

Depending on the program, Flagship students enroll concurrently in a dedicated course during each semester designed to enrich their studies. Flagship students complete their overseas capstone year in Almaty, Kazakhstan during which they combine high-level work in Russian with subject-area work in their area of specialization at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) and in an internship with a local Almaty organization.