Slavic Languages and Literature

What is Slavic Languages?

At UCSB, the Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Slavic Languages and Literature. The major requires six quarters of language study and provides the opportunity for students to learn to communicate in Russian both orally and in written form and to develop a thorough knowledge of Russian grammar. Students will also be exposed to many aspects of Russian and East European culture including literature, folklore, film and the visual arts. Many students combine the major in Slavic Languages and Literatures with majors in other disciplines such as linguistics, political science, history, business economics, communication, law and society, biology and others. Students who intend to pursue a graduate career in literary or library science are advised to take courses on literature, media and culture. Students who wish to enter such fields as political science, business, or economics, the teaching credential program, or a master's program with a teaching emphasis, should study political, linguistic and social issues of contemporary Russia.

The emerging nations of Central and Eastern Europe (such as Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the nations of the former Yugoslavia) have a diverse heritage whose contribution to European culture has long been underestimated. By studying Russian, students achieve a greater awareness not only of the literature and culture, but also of the role the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union play in our current political and economic life. Learning the language is key to unlocking the cultural, historical, and contemporary significance of this important area of the world. The department embraces an interdisciplinary approach and encourages students to take classes on Russian and East European subjects in the history, political science, film studies, art history, and women’s studies programs.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Slavic Languages?

Students who enjoyed foreign languages in high school are natural candidates for this major. The knowledge of multiple foreign languages is helpful when students seek careers in the Foreign Service, in international companies, and in teaching. To understand a foreign language, the student must have excellent knowledge of English, as well. The study of other languages and cultures offers students communicative skills and cultural understanding that are increasingly valuable in many fields: business, education, government, law enforcement, media, social services and the service industry, among others. Many students choose a double or secondary major and combine a foreign language with a complementary field like English, history, international studies, journalism, political science, business, international marketing or education.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?

Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.

Comparative Literature
Art History
Film Studies
Phonetics and Phonology
Language and Society
History of Culture
Literature of Central Europe
Women Writers
To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.


General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities.  Slavic Languages majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields.  Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include:

Travel agencies
Tour operators
International news agencies
Individual print and broadcast media organizations
Computer science
Environmental science
Aeronautical engineering
Health care
American English teacher in Russia
To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn


Graduate and Professional Schools

Graduate Schools
Information regarding graduate programs.

Education Portal
This site offers information and links to programs of your interest.
The most comprehensive source of graduate school information.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Experience Search Strategies

UCSB Career Services "Job Links"
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

Expert advice for finding jobs at home and abroad.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
The Association represents American scholarship in the field of Russia, Central Eurasian, Central and East European studies.

American Association of Teachers of Slavic & Eastern European Languages
Founded in 1941, exists to advance the study and promote the teaching of Slavic and East European languages, literatures, and cultures on all educational levels, elementary through graduate school.

Association for Women in Slavic Studies
A networking resource for people concerned with the problems, status, and achievements of women in the profession. It also attempts to cover research and teaching in women's studies and questions of gender and family life in Central/Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

UCSB Resources

Slavic Studies Departmental Web Page

UCSB Library Slavic & East European Studies Subject Homepage

Career Resource Room

UCSB General Catalog

UCSB Office of Student Life

UCSB Campus Organizations

  • Russian Club (RU Club)
    Russian Club promotes the appreciation of Slavic cultures and does so by bringing together a student community with like interests through year round events.

UCSB Minors