The Palace Bridge on Neva River, St Petersburg, Russia

The faculty of the Brandeis Russian Studies program condemns Russia’s military assault on Ukraine and President Putin’s use of historical distortions and cynical lies to justify Russia’s attack on Ukrainian sovereignty. We stand with all the people of Ukraine and Russia who oppose this war. Our hearts are with our students, alums and colleagues, many of whom have family and friends in the region.  

As we are all deeply distressed by these events and ask ourselves what we can do, the Russian Studies program will continue its work toward our declared learning goals, which include helping students apply the acquired understanding of literary, linguistic, and historical analysis to raise and explore new questions about Russia and the Russophone world. We believe that acquiring this knowledge and skills is ever more important in these difficult times. We recognize that our classes will now take place in the shadow of this war, and we are here to support our students and colleagues. 

The Russian Studies major welcomes intellectually curious students who seek to understand the language, culture and history of Russia and the former Soviet Union.

The Russian language serves as the gateway to the study of Russian literature and history. Beyond the language knowledge it offers, the Russian Studies Program curriculum takes students on an intellectual journey into Russian literature, culture and history through courses taught in English.

A diverse selection of courses offered both within and beyond the department allows students to focus their studies on a variety of cultural, literary, social and political aspects of Russia and other post-Soviet states. The department regularly sponsors special events for Russian students, including film series, lectures, and Russian tea hours featuring Russian language conversation for students at all levels of proficiency.

Proficiency in Russian Transcript Notation


The Proficiency in Russian Transcript Notation explicitly recognizes students who have demonstrated at least an Intermediate-High level of language proficiency and cultural understanding in Russian, beyond the Brandeis Core requirement. This Notation signals significant global competence in a language and culture beyond a student’s own background, or in a language and culture that are not their dominant ones. This Notation documents that students have acquired the cultural knowledge necessary not only to interact with communities that speak the Russian language, but also to synthesize cultural information from different perspectives.

Students in any major or minor can earn the Proficiency in Russian Transcript Notation.


To receive the Notation, students must:

  • Study Russian at Brandeis beyond the Brandeis Core World Languages and Cultures requirement of three semesters (or the equivalent) by taking at least two more courses. Only courses taught in Russian (designated as RUS) count for the Notation.
  • Maintain an average GPA of 3.3 (B+) in the Russian language courses.

See the Proficiency Notation page for more information

Student Spotlight

Sunny Brandeis campus with text that reads: Brandeis University Russian Studies Department 2021-2022

Russian Studies 2021-2022 Wrap Up Video

The Hub of Language Learning at Brandeis

illustration of hot-air balloons, each featuring a different language.
World Languages and Cultures Website

Make the most out of your language-learning experience at Brandeis.

The new World Languages and Cultures website serves as a hub of information, whether you seek to fulfill a Brandeis Core requirement, study a language for your personal interest, find opportunities to engage in language advocacy work or simply meet Brandeisians who study and speak two or more languages.

Visit the World Languages and Cultures website