Russian Studies



Taking Russian at Iowa State is your first step toward being able to communicate with the 250+ million people who speak Russian throughout Europe, Asia, and the nine time zones of Russia. Students who minor in Russian Studies become proficient in one of the world’s most widely spoken languages; gain a profound understanding of Russian culture; and explore history and politics of one of the world’s major nations.

The Russian Studies Program offers language courses that range from Elementary to Advanced, as well as coursework (in English and in Russian) on Russian cinema, literature, culture, and society. For those of you interested in the social sciences, the History and Political Science Departments also offer a wide array of courses that satisfy requirements for the Russian Studies minor and provide additional pathways into discovering this fascinating region of the world. For an extra professional edge, explore the ISU-sponsored study-abroad and internship packages, that range from one week to one year and take you from the bustling streets of Moscow to the wilderness of Lake Baikal.



Check out our full list of courses we offer on the ISU Course Catalog, and see this semester’s courses on the ISU Schedule of Classes.



The student learning outcomes linked below are based on the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project). This page outlines the standards of a collaborative effort of nine national foreign language organizations. These outcomes establish a context that defines the central role of foreign language in the learning of every student. The standards, as well as our program outcomes and individual course objectives, suggest a paradigm shift in foreign language education that focuses on students’ ability to use the language in authentic situations.



The Russian program offers both minors in our “classic” and “LCP” tracks. Our classic track spends more time on literature and media as well as civilization. Our Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP) track highlights more current culture and business applications. LCP is only available as a second major or minor.


Study Abroad

Studying Abroad greatly enhances a student’s undergraduate experience. There are many study abroad options for students of Russian at Iowa State.

The WLC recommended provider is SRAS: the most popular destination among our student body has been St. Petersburg. Students can select from a number of SRAS locations (St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Moscow) that are offered during the summer, Semester or Academic Year. SRAS offers intensive Russian language programs (RSL – Russian as a Second Language) at all locations, from beginning to advanced levels. In addition, students can take content courses in English on a range of topics: art history, cross–cultural communication, economy, foreign policy, history, finance and marketing, geopolitics, literature, mass media. There are internship options at all locations.

  • Russian only (beginners to advanced are welcome)
  • Russian language + internship
  • Russian language + content course in English

There are 3 summer sessions available at all SRAS locations: for 6, 8 and 10 weeks. Students bring back roughly 1 credit per week for RSL programs. See this and other programs with Russian as the langauge of instruction below.

NOTE: Study abroad is open to every student, regardless of field of study. Discuss your plans with your academic advisor as well as study abroad advisors on campus to plan your journey.

Still not sure? Contact Mercedes Serracin in LAS Study Abroad for more information.