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The main goal of the Division of Russian and Slavic Languages is to offer every year a significant program in Russian language, literature, and culture. We offer Russian language courses ranging from beginning Russian (RUSS 101), to advanced Russian Grammar and Syntax (RUSS 315), equivalent to the fourth year of language instruction. The Russian Division also has courses in Russian literature conducted entirely in Russian. Through spring 1992, the division offered selected courses at the 300 level, in which Russian literary texts were read in the original, and lectures and class discussions in English. Due to increased enrollments of native speakers of Russian, these courses have been replaced by courses conducted entirely in Russian. The division also offers courses in literature and culture in English translation, which, having no language prerequisite, are open to all students. Such courses at the 200 level do, however, have an ENG 120 (Expository Writing) prerequisite. When possible, Russian language courses up to the fourth year are offered every semester either day or evening. Literature courses are offered on a two year cycle, day and evening.

The many courses in language, literature, and culture offered each semester allow students of Russian to choose one of several concentrations leading to a Russian major. A student may select most of the required twenty-four credits either from language-oriented Russian courses or from courses dealing with the literature of that country. In either path, the student's proficiency in the Russian language (as defined by Hunter College) remains a prerequisite. The division is proud that, over the years, it has been able to offer courses fulfilling the requirements for a major in the evening as well as in the daytime. We offer a minor concentration to Polish.

The Division of Russian and Slavic Languages therefore serves as the nucleus for Hunter's exceptionally rich offerings in the Slavic and East European areas. Russian majors at Hunter also benefit from courses offered in other departments dealing with Russian East European subject matter. A curricular study conducted in the mid-seventies by the then Deputy Chancellor Egon Brenner found that such opportunities at CUNY are the richest at Hunter, and this is still the case. The pre-eminence of Hunter in this field within CUNY was enhanced until 1995 by the presence of the Graduate Russian Area Studies Program in which the Russian Division teaches the literature component. The Russian Area Studies Program, which presently is admitting no new students, was the only degree granting Russian Area Studies Program in New York City (The Harriman Institute grants a certificate). Because of the unusual quality of Hunter's undergraduate offerings in the Russian and East European areas, the Russian Division is currently formulating a proposal for an interdisciplinary undergraduate collateral major (18 credits) in Russian Area Studies. All the courses and faculty necessary for such a collateral major are already present at Hunter.


The Russian Curriculum in College Context

Course Access Codes

Students must fulfill developmental course requirements before taking many introductory and most advanced courses at Hunter College.

  • Codes DR, DX, DL, DY apply to RUSS 157
  • Codes DL, DY apply to RUSS 255
  • Codes DR, DX, DL, DY and DW apply to RUSS 250-254 and RUSS 256-293

See Course Access Codes section of the catalog for more information.

Distribution Requirements
No more than 6 credits of the major or the minor may also be offered toward the Distribution Requirement.

Foreign Language Requirement
The foreign language requirement (Category III of the Distribution Requirement) may be fulfilled by the following sequence of courses:

  • RUSS 101-102 or 103, 201, 202; or
  • POL 101-102, 201, 202

Students who have studied a foreign language abroad, or have had training in the language outside the public school system and who desire advanced placement, must contact the division head.

Literature Requirement
The literature requirement (Category IV, Part 2 of the Distribution Requirement) may be fulfilled by literature courses in Russian as well as in English translation. The requirement for Humanities and the Arts (Category V, Group 3) may be fulfilled by RUSS 155, 156, 157, 158, 255, or 293.

The Russian major consists of no fewer than 24 credits chosen among courses in the language, except RUSS 101 and 102.

  • Russian language sequence: for students who want to acquire fluency in spoken and written Russian and a thorough knowledge of Russian literature.
  • Russian language and culture sequence: for students whose interests lie in the arts rather than in language. With the permission of the division head, a limited number of the courses in translation may be applied to the major sequence

No fewer than 12 credits from other disciplines. Consultation with the division head is recommended.

Preparation for Secondary School Teaching
Students interested in teaching Russian in New York schools may count 12 credits of courses from the secondary education sequence as a minor. This minor may count towards the course requirements for New York State certification or New York City licensing, but will not by itself be sufficient for either of these. Students interested in a teaching career should consult with the Division of Programs in Education (Office of Educational Services, Room 1000 W).

All courses offered by the Russian division are open to qualified students for elective credit.


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