Pathways through the Russian Major

There are several ways to complete the language component of the major requirements (RUSS-301 and one course beyond 301).

Most of the majors who begin their study of Russian at Amherst in the fall of their first year complete the conventional sequence of RUSS-101/102 in the first year, RUSS-201/202 in the spring of the second year,  RUSS-301/302 in the third year, and RUSS-401 in the fall of the fourth year. Only courses numbering 202 an up count for the major, so taking this sequence would result in completing four of the eight courses required for the major, and meeting the one-course-beyond-301 requirement.

Those who start Russian later than their first year at Amherst, or those who would like to move faster in acquiring competency in the language, have the option of advancing through the language sequence by pursuing an intensive summer program. The department's faculty can advise students as they choose a program most appropriate for them. Amherst College does not award credit for summer coursework, but a productive summer of intensive study could allow a student to place out of a year's language courses. For example, spending a summer at an intensive program after completing RUSS-102 may make it possible for the student to take 301 the following fall. (All placement decisions must be approved by the faculty before a student can enroll in a higher-level course.)

The "one-course-beyond-301" requirement can also be completed by taking the sequence of two regularly-offered half-courses, 303H and 304H.

The content requirement — at least one course focusing on material before 1850 — can be fulfilled in courses taught in either English (e.g. RUSS-122) or Russian (e.g. RUSS-302), and, on occasion, in a non-departmental elective (e.g. a HIST course focusing on the pre-Petrine and/or Imperial periods). Majors should consult with their advisors about the specific ways in which their course of study can meet this requirement.