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Russian Minor

The Russian language is spoken by over 160 million people, mostly in Russia and Eastern Europe. Its closest living relatives are Ukrainian and Belarusian, with which it shares classification as an East Slavic language. Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, along with Arabic, English, French, Mandarin and Spanish.

Russian gained a writing system late in the first millennium. The language uses a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet, which was developed in the mid-10th century, and which draws inspiration from both Greek letters and other writing symbols in use at the time. Cyrillic is used today by many East and South Slavic languages, including Ukrainian, Belarusian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, as well as by less closely related languages, such as Romanian and Kurdish.

About the Curriculum

Russian courses use a self-instructional language program format with enrollments limited to three to six students. Examinations in the language are half oral (administered by external examiners appointed by the University) and half written (administered by the course professor).


The following resources can be used to gain a better understanding of the geography, history and popular culture relevant to Russian language study.

Learn more about the minor in the Course Catalog