Undergraduate Program

Program of Study

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers courses in the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, and Russian languages and literatures, and other Slavic and East European cultures, leading to a BA in Russian and East European Studies. The BA degree program is designed to provide students with skills and facility in the languages and cultures of the region.  It is intended for students preparing for graduate work, those planning a career in government or industry, and those whose primary aim is to master Russian and East European cultures in the original languages. Students interested in the program are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).  The contact information for the current DUS may be obtained by consulting the Departmental website.

Students who are majoring in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Russian and East European Studies.

Students who entered the University prior to Autumn 2015 may complete those that were in place when they matriculated.

 

Program Requirements

Major in Russian and East European Studies

The BA in REES requires eleven courses, which fall into three categories: courses in the major language of study; courses that demonstrate a core competency in the major literature and culture of study; and elective courses. Students have flexibility to construct a course of study that accords with their interests.

1. Six courses in languages at the 200-level or beyond. This requirement may be satisfied in whole or in part by examination credit based on a university placement exam. Students who fulfill the language requirement with fewer than three quarters of study must substitute elective courses offered in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Introductory courses in another Slavic or East European language qualify as substitute electives for the purposes of this requirement.  In exceptional circumstances students may petition to substitute three courses in a concentrated area of study for three quarters of study in the major language.

2. Five elective courses in REES or in languages offered by the Slavic Languages and Literatures.  A maximum of one Reading and Research course (REES 29700) Reading/Research: Russian and Eastern European Studies) may be counted as an elective course.

Courses in the major may not be double-counted with general education requirements. 

A maximum of one Reading and Research course (REES 29700) may be counted as an elective course.

 

Grading

Students who are majoring or minoring in Russian and East European Studies must receive a quality grade in all courses taken to meet requirements in the major or minor. Nonmajors and nonminors have the option of taking courses on a P/F basis at the discretion of the instructor (except for language courses, which must be taken for quality grades).

 

Honors

To be eligible for honors in Russian and East European Studies, students must maintain an overall college GPA of 3.25 or higher and of 3.5 or higher in the major. Students must indicate their intention to pursue honors to the Director of Undergraduare Studies in REES  no later than the end of the first week of the first quarter of their graduating year.  (Those graduating in a quarter other than spring should adjust accordingly.)

In addition, students pursuing honors must write an acceptable BA paper in their final year under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.  Students should begin the BA process by consulting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and must determine their topic and supervisor by the seventh week of the first quarter of their graduating year.  Supervisors may request bibliographies, outline, or other draft materials at their discretion.  Students may register for the BA Paper seminar (REES 29900 BA Paper Workshop) with approval of the BA supervisor.  This course will confer general College elective credit, but it will not count toward the major.  A complete draft of the BA paper should be provided to the BA supervisor by the first week of the final quarter, and the final version should be submitted to the BA supervisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than Friday of fifth week of the final quarter.

If the completed bachelor’s paper is judged by the supervisor and a second faculty member (selected by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in consultation with the supervisor) to be a distinguished example of original research or criticism, the student is recommended to the College for graduation with honors in Russian and East European Studies. The final decision regarding the granting of any degree with honors rests with the Collegiate Divisional Master.

 

Advising

Students wishing to declare the major should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Further information on the undergraduate program is available in the Departmental Office (Foster 406, 702-8033). Questions about placement, competency, and proficiency examinations Russian should be directed to the coordinator of Russian language courses.

 

Study Abroad

Several study abroad opportunities are offered in subjects and geographic areas of interest to students who are majoring in Russian and East European Studies, including those described below. For more information, students should consult with the study abroad advisers or visit study-abroad.uchicago.edu.

  1. Smolny College  The University of Chicago sponsors summer, semester- and year-long programs at Smolny College a joint Russian-American college in St. Petersburg. College-level courses are taught in Russian and English on a broad range of subjects, as well as language courses.
  2. Europe East & West Program A three-part sequence of courses is taught by University of Chicago faculty at the Chicago Center in Paris. The Europe East & West Program focuses on the history of cultural relations between East and West Europe and includes an excursion to a major East European capital city.
  3. FLAG study  Students who wish to do a summer study abroad program can apply for a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant (FLAG) that is administered by the College and provides support for a minimum of eight weeks of study at a recognized summer program abroad. Students must have completed RUSS 10300 its equivalent to be eligible for FLAG support for the study of Russian. For more information, visit study-abroad.uchicago.edu/programs/byType/summer-grants.

NOTE: Students who entered the University prior to Autumn 2015 may choose to fulfill the requirements here or those that were in place when they entered the University. For questions about course eligibility, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

 

Summary of Requirements for the Major in Russian and East European Studies

Second-year courses in Russian or East European language*

300

Third-year courses in a Russian or East European language*

300

Two REES courses from 20000 to 25799

200

Four elective courses (including at least two REES courses)

400

Total Units

1200

*Credit may be granted by examination. Up to three quarter courses may be placed out of with no substitution required. When more than half of the language requirement is met by examination (i.e., 4 to 6 quarter equivalents), the equivalent number of electives in the Department beyond three must be substituted for quarter credit granted. Specifically, if a student places out of 4 quarters of the language, one elective course must be substituted; if a student places out of 5 quarters, two must be; and if a student places out of all six language courses, three elective courses must be taken in place of the language requirement.

 

General Education: 

Depending on the language(s) of concentration, SOSC 24000 and 24100, Introduction to Russian Civilization I and II or HIST 13100-13200-13300, History of Western Civilization I, II, and III are recommended for students majoring in REES.

 

Minor Program in Russian and East European Studies

The minor in Russian and East European Studies requires seven courses, including at least three language courses at the 200 level or higher and at least two REES courses.

Students who elect to complete the minor program must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor.

Students choose courses in consultation with the DUS. The DUS’s approval for the minor program should be submitted to a student’s College adviser by the deadline above on a form obtained from the College adviser.

 

Summary of Requirements for the Minor in Russian and East European Studies

Second-year courses in Russian or East European language*

300

Four elective courses (including at least two REES courses)

400

Total Units

700

*Credit may be granted by examination.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student’s major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.