Courses

Students Participating In A Russian Music Cultural Event

Whether you are just beginning the study of Russian, seeking to improve your proficiency in the language, or want to delve into Russian culture in English, we offer a full slate of courses to help you meet your goal every semester. Studying Russian and the Russians will open up a new way of looking at the world, introduce you to a fascinating culture, and prepare you for interesting job opportunities in government, academia, and the private sector. In our program, you will have multiple courses with both individual faculty members and other students, which will allow you to become part of a close intellectual community.

All of the courses listed on this page count towards Notre Dame’s Global Engagement Certificate. For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures website

Courses offered every fall semester

RU 10101 – Beginning Russian I

Develops students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing while also fostering an appreciation for Russian culture. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic structures, vocabulary, and sound systems. Students will be encouraged to use their language skills to communicate and interact in a variety of situations and contexts. 4 credits; meets 3 days a week.

RU 20101 – Intermediate Russian I

This is the first half of a 2-semester review of Russian grammar designed to facilitate a near-native proficiency with the form and function of Russian nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Exceptional forms are stressed, and reading selections on contemporary Russian life and excerpts from literature are employed to improve comprehension and build conversational and writing skills. Open to students who have completed RU 10102 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 3 credits.

RU 40101 – Advanced Russian I

The first half of a year-long course designed to significantly improve students’ comprehension and self-expression skills in Russian, serving as a preparation for Russian literature courses in the original. The course will include an intensive review of Russian grammar; Russian stylistics, syntax, and grammar at the advanced level; reading and analysis of a wide range of 19th-century Russian literary texts; writing essays in Russian; and extensive work on vocabulary building and advanced conversation skills. Open to students who have completed RU 20102. 3 credits.

Courses offered every spring semester

RU 10102 – Beginning Russian II

Continuation of Beginning Russian I. Develops students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing while also fostering an appreciation for Russian culture. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic structures, vocabulary, and sound systems. Students will be encouraged to use their language skills to communicate and interact in a variety of situations and contexts. Open to students who have completed RU 10101 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 4 credits; meets 3 days a week. 

RU 20102 – Intermediate Russian II

This is the second half of a 2-semester review of Russian grammar designed to facilitate a near-native proficiency with the form and function of Russian nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Exceptional forms are stressed, and reading selections on contemporary Russian life and excerpts from literature are employed to improve comprehension and build conversational and writing skills. Open to students who have completed RU 20201 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 3 credits.

RU 40102 – Advanced Russian II

This is the second half of a year-long course designed to significantly improve students’ comprehension and self-expression skills in Russian, serving as a preparation for Russian literature courses in the original. The course will include an intensive review of Russian grammar; Russian stylistics, syntax, and grammar at the advanced level; reading and analysis of a wide range of 20th-century Russian literary texts (including fiction, poetry, interviews, songs, and newspaper materials); writing essays in Russian; and extensive work on vocabulary building and advanced conversation skills. Open to students who have completed RU 40102. 3 credits.

Fall 2022 courses taught in Russian

RU 10001 – Introduction to Russian (TBA)

This one-credit class is designed to prepare students for an easy transition into our Beginning Russian I course, which is offered in the fall. By the end of the semester, students will 1) use the Cyrillic alphabet with confidence, 2) understand the fundamentals of Russian phonetics and grammar, and 3) be able to speak and write briefly about their personal and university biographies. The course will be scheduled to accommodate student schedules. 1 credit.

RU 22103 – Intermediate Russian Tutorial (TBA)

Students work with a native speaker in small groups of 2 or 3 to activate and intensively practice the material covered in Intermediate Russian II. Although this course focuses on all modes of language learning — speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural proficiency — particular emphasis is given to improving students’ speaking abilities. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 20102, or with permission of instructor. 1 credit.

RU 42101 – Advanced Russian Tutorial (TBA)

Students work with a native speaker in small groups to activate and intensively practice the material covered in Advanced Russian I. Although this course focuses on all modes of language learning (speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural proficiency), particular emphasis is given to improving students’ speaking abilities. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 40101, or with permission of instructor. 1 credit.

RU 43620 – Russian Journalism (Emily Wang)

This course guides Russian students in developing one of the most important - but most challenging - skills they will need as language learners: navigating the specialized discourse of SMI, or mass media. Students will learn to navigate the changing Russophone media landscape and regularly discuss how various organs present current events in class. In addition, the course will examine how documentary and journalistic modes of knowledge inform Russian artistic culture, from the revolutionary documentary filmmaking of Dziga Vertov to the Nobel Prize-winning writing of Svetlana Alexievich to the influential graphic journalism of the cartoonist Victoria Lomasko. 3 credits. Counts for WKLC.

Fall 2022 courses taught in English

RU 13186 – University Seminar

RU 30355 – From Rasputin to Putin (Semion Lyandres)

This lecture course examines some of the most important events, ideas, and personalities that shaped late Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods of Russian history during the last one hundred years: from the outbreak of the First World War and the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 through the Great Terror of the 1930s, the experience of the Second World War and the emergence of the Soviet Empire, late Stalinism and post-Stalinist developed or mature socialism, the collapse of the communist rule and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, as well as Russia's uneasy transition "out of Totalitarianism" and into Putin's authoritarianism during the first fourteen years of the twentieth-first century. The course is designed for history majors as well as for students in other disciplines with or without background in modern Russian and East European history. 3 credits. Counts for WKHI and HIST.

RU 33186 – Russia Seeks God (Thomas Marullo)

What happens when, in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, a country turnsaway from more than seven hundred years of an intensely religious culture and embracessecularization, socialism, and science? How does it adapt medieval ideals to modern political,social, and economic structures? How does it err in false messianism, men-gods and cults? Howis it called back to religious tradition and truth by indigenous writers, particularly in images andideas of the Evil One (physical, social, supernatural, psychological, theological, and existential;romantic, modern, and most-modern)?  Finally, how does it resurrect religious consciousnessafter nearly seventy-years of socio-political atheism??Russia Seeks God: Theology, Literature and the Arts? is an interdisciplinary, multi-media courseon the national spiritual tradition from medieval to modern times.Topics to be discussed are the Russian idea of God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the angels andsaints; the understanding of Satan and devils; the nature of dvoeverie or ?dual? meld ofChristian and folk beliefs; the workings of religious prophets and communities (genuine andfalse); the dynamics of wandering and pilgrimage (internal and external); the appeal to myth(Christian and pagan) and to other faith-systems (Judaism, Buddhism);  the tie between churchand state: and the expression of faith and spirituality in literature, art, architecture, music, andritual.The course is designed to sharpen students? aesthetic and analytical capabilities, improve theirreading comprehension, and strengthen their written and oral skills. 3 credits. Counts for WKLI and LIT.