Getting started in Russian

Student in Max Kade Lounge

Take the placement exam

Whether you are new to studying the language, have prior experience in Russian, or would like to learn more about the country and culture by taking courses on the region in English, we have classes and programming available every semester.

A Russian major or minor is very easy to combine with other disciplines, such as political science, history, English, economics, business, science, journalism, mathematics, music, and engineering.

Please feel free to reach out to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in Russian, Professor Tetyana Shlikhar at with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

“The professors in this department and the courses offered are the best I experienced at Notre Dame — I will always be very thankful for the guidance and inspiration I received.”

—Francis Smith ’08

Beginning Russian courses

Please note that we offer Beginning Russian I each year in the fall semester only

If you would like to get started in Russian language study in the spring, we do offer a 1-credit Introduction to Russian course during the spring semester that familiarizes you with the basics of the Russian alphabet, sound system, and everyday vocabulary. This course positions you to succeed in Beginning Russian I the following fall.

“Taking Russian 101 as a Freshman, and later deciding to become a Russian major, was one of the best decisions I made at ND.”

— James Stevens III ’02

Placement exams

If you have prior knowledge of Russian, you should take the Russian Placement Test to assess your level. After you receive your results, you will discuss them with the DUS in Russian to determine which class is appropriate for you.

If you have had some Russian in high school, please take our placement exam. This is required even if you took an AP or SAT II exam. Please contact our DUS if you have any further questions.

Programming in English

For those students who do not have a background in Russian language, we also offer courses each semester in English on Russian culture, literature, history, and politics. These courses include USEMs, CSEMs, and upper-division courses that count for Core Curriculum requirements. Explore the current list of courses available in English.

We also offer a minor in Russian studies that requires no language study. This minor combines courses in English on Russian and post-Soviet history, politics, literature, and culture to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the region. Learn more about the Russian studies minor.

Questions? Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the DUS in Russian:

Professor Tetyana Shlikhar