Slavic Languages and Literature

What is a major in Slavic Languages and Literature?

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.

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