Undergraduate Degree in Slavic


Overview

The student completes a minimum of 30 hours of study (29 hours for Russian emphasis) in one of 5 concentrations: German, Polish, Russian, South Slavic (Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian), and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The department encourages students to fulfill core requirements from courses in the SLAV 140/141SLAV 144/145, and SLAV 148/149 series, GERM general education courses, or the REES 110/111/310 or REES 220/221 series. Beyond the minimum required hours, students are strongly encouraged to take additional courses in the Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies department and appropriate background courses in the history, philosophy, and political science of the respective regions.

Language Assessment of Slavic, German, and Eurasian Majors - All majors in Slavic languages complete a degree-level assessment in the final semester of their Slavic, German, and Eurasian major at KU (or somewhat earlier if desired), in the form of an Oral Proficiency Interview test. This test demonstrates and documents their attainment of the SGES learning outcomes for undergraduate students. This test is not an extra work assignment (and lasts under an hour), and its purpose is chiefly for departmental documentation, though students receive an official ACTFL score for their own purposes.

Concentration Overview

We offer students a diverse and challenging program in the language and culture of German-speaking Europe, including literature, the arts, history, business, and politics. Courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels emphasize student involvement with the aim of developing students’ use of the German language, including the ability to comprehend, interpret, and produce spoken, written, and multimedia texts in different genres. Cultural topics are integrated into instruction starting in the first semester. At the 400 and 500 levels, survey courses provide students with a broader perspective on German cultural traditions, while other advanced courses often have a thematic focus.

Courses taken in departments such as the history of art, philosophy, political science, sociology, and theatre will enhance students’ study of the language and culture of German-speaking Europe.

 

First- and Second-Year Preparation

 Students entering KU with previous knowledge of German should contact Professor Ljudmila Bilkic for placement.

The following should be completed as early as possible:

  • GERM 104 - Elementary German I — 5 Credits
  • GERM 108 - Elementary German II — 5 Credits
  • GERM 201 - Intermediate German I — 5 Credits
  • GERM 202 - Intermediate German II — 5 Credits
Required Courses

After completion of GERM 202 Intermediate German II, students must complete 15 credits as follows:

  • GERM 301 - High Intermediate German I — 3 Credits
  • GERM 302 - High Intermediate German II — 3 Credits
  • GERM 315 - Magic, Murder, Monsters: German Literature and the Modern Era — 3 Credits
  • GERM 401 - Advanced German I — 3 Credits
  • GERM 580 - Senior Capstone Course: German-Speaking Europe Today — 3 Credits

GERM 315 must be completed before students can take a course beyond GERM 402 (except GERM 462).

Admission to 400- and 500-level courses after GERM 402 (except  GERM 462) without completion of GERM 315 is only with permission of the Undergraduate Advisor.

Elective Courses

A minimum of 15 credit hours of GERM courses at the 300, 400, and 500 levels must be completed beyond the required courses. 12 of these credit hours must be at the 400 or 500 level. In exceptional cases, undergraduates may take courses at the 600 level with permission of the Undergraduate Advisor and the instructor.

With permission of the Undergraduate Coordinator, 6 credit hours (300-500 level) may be counted toward the emphasis by completing two approved courses offered in English by Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies or offered by other departments with significant content related to German-speaking Europe.

German studies students are strongly encouraged to study abroad and should discuss this opportunity with the Undergraduate Coordinator early in their undergraduate career.

For more details on the German Studies concentration (and other SGES concentration) requirements, including a 4-year study plan, please consult the KU course catalog

Please contact our undergraduate major advisor with any questions you may have.

Concentration Overview

The University of Kansas has a more than thirty-year tradition of teaching Polish language and literature. The Department  offers yearly regular courses of elementary, intermediate and advanced Polish. Students who already have advanced knowledge of Polish can take independent study courses in Polish Language and Literature after obtaining the consent of the instructor.

KU recommends that students study abroad, and can consult with students to pick the programs that best match their academic and professional interests.

Professor Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova is the Director of the Polish Program. She teaches upper-level courses of Polish and courses in Polish and Czech (West Slavic) literature, culture and cinema. Her research interests include 21st century Polish  prose, the Polish post-1989 Bildungsroman, Communism, memory studies, and trauma theory.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

These courses do not count towards the Polish major, but they are prerequisites for further course work in the Polish Studies Emphasis. Students entering KU with previous knowledge of Polish should contact Professor Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova, svk@ku.edu for placement.

  • PLSH 104 - Elementary Polish I (or equivalent) —5 Credits
  • PLSH 108 - Elementary Polish II (or equivalent) —5 Credits
  • PLSH 204 - Intermediate Polish I — 3 Credits
Polish Studies Emphasis Core Knowledge and Skills

The minimum course hours requirement for the Polish major is 30. Prospective Polish majors have to fulfill the core requirements and select additional 12 course hours from the list of electives. Students should consult with the Undergraduate Studies major advisor in selecting elective courses. The Department recommends a maximum of two courses in Polish history.

  • PLSH 208 - Intermediate Polish II — 3 Credits
  • PLSH 504 - Advanced Polish I-II — 3 Credits
  • PLSH 508 - Advanced Polish II — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 506 - Masterworks of Polish and Czech Literature — 3 Credits
Required Electives

Satisfied by 4 courses (12 hours) chosen from the following:

  • PLSH 675 - Readings in Polish Language and Literature — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 144/145 - Survey of Russian Literature in Translation — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 318 - Jews and Slavs in Eastern Europe — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 320 - Graphic Novels as Memory — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 340/341 - Introduction to the Languages and Peoples of Russia and East-Central Europe — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 516 - Film Adaptations of Polish and Czech Literary Works — 3 Credits
  • ECON 560 - Economic Systems — 3 Credits
  • HIST 377 - Everyday Communism in Eastern Europe — 3 Credits
Senior Capstone Seminar
  • SLAV 495 - Senior Capstone Seminar — 3 Credits

 

For more details on the Polish concentration (and other SGES concentrations) requirements, including a sample 4-year study plan, please consult the KU course catalog.

Please contact our undergraduate major advisor with any questions you may have.

Concentration Overview

Russian has been taught at KU since 1943. Students can take up to five years of language instruction (with courses from the Russ 100 through the Russ 600 level).  In addition to work on the language students have the option to take a wide number of courses in the literature, culture, film and structure of the language that are taught in English.  Students are encouraged to plan a semester or academic year of study abroad into their academic program, especially after they have completed Russ 504 on the KU campus.  Students, whose academic schedules allow only a summer of study abroad, should complete Russ 208 before studying abroad. The study of Russian opens up a myriad of career opportunities in fields ranging from business to diplomacy to environmental studies to technology and cultural exchange.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

These courses do not count toward the Russian major requirements, but are prerequisites for further coursework in Russian. Prospective Russian majors (as well as students in Russian, East European and Eurasian Area Studies, and students planning on studying abroad) should complete RUSS 204-208 - Intermediate Russian, rather than RUSS 212-216. Students who have completed 212 and wish to major in Russian should enroll in RUSS 208 for their spring semester.

  • RUSS 104 - Elementary Russian I — 5 Credits
    • or RUSS 110 - Intensive Elementary Russian — 5 Credits
  • RUSS 108 - Elementary Russian II — 5 Credits
    • or RUSS 110 - Intensive Elementary Russian — 5 Credits
  • RUSS 204 - Intermediate Russian I — 5 Credits
Russian Concentration Core Knowledge and Skills

You must take at least 29 credit hours to obtain the Russian major, however, you may take as many additional credit hours as you wish, provided that you have fulfilled your KU Core requirements. Discuss the order in which you take the literature and linguistics courses with your advisor, but you must have at least three credit hours in each area. In general the department recommends that students take no more than one course in the SLAV 140-144-148-240 series. The department also recommends that the literature course for the major be chosen from the course offerings at the 500-level or above.

  • RUSS 208 - Intermediate Russian II — 5 Credits
  • Advanced Russian Language — 6 Credits 
  • Russian Linguistics — 3 Credits (1 Course)
    • SLAV 340 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe
    • SLAV 341 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe, Honors
    • SLAV 522 - The Grammatical Categories of Russian: Linguistic Units, Functions and Meanings
    • SLAV 540 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe
  • Russian Literature  — 3 Credits (1 course, 400+)
Required Electives

Satisfied by 3 courses (9 hours) in Russian literature, linguistics, culture, or advanced language chosen in consultation with the major advisor. Note that only one (1) 100-level course (either SLAV 140/SLAV 141SLAV 144/SLAV 145, or SLAV 148/SLAV 149) may count as a required elective for the Russian emphasis major.

  • Language
  • Linguistics
    • SLAV 340 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe
    • SLAV 341 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe, Honors
    • SLAV 522 - The Grammatical Categories of Russian: Linguistic Units, Functions and Meanings
    • SLAV 526 - The Pragmatics of Slavic Languages
    • SLAV 540 - The Language Landscape of Eastern Europe
  • Culture
  • Literature
Senior Capstone Seminar
  • SLAV 495 - Senior Capstone Seminar — 3 Credits

 

For more details on the Russian concentration (and other SGES concentrations) requirements, including a sample 4-year study plan, please consult the KU course catalog

Please contact our undergraduate major advisor with any questions you may have.

Concentration Overview

This concentration allows students to focus on Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian (known as Serbo-Croatian during the existence of Yugoslavia, 1918-1990). Four languages for the price of one! Although Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian have all become official languages of their newly independent states, they remain completely understandable among each other. If you learn one language, you can speak to any of nearly 20 million people in three countries, in the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Career opportunities connected with Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian are numerous and so far demand for employees with knowledge of the language(s) has greatly exceeded supply. Possible career paths with this language include commerce, academia, intelligence, security, tourism, NGOs, journalism, diplomacy and foreign service. KU is the only place in the U.S. between the West Coast and the Mississippi River where one can study Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian from the beginning to the advanced level.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

These courses do not count as Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian major requirements, but are prerequisites for further coursework.

  • BCRS 104 - Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I-II — 5 Credits
  • BCRS 108 - Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I — 5 Credits
  • BCRS 204 - Intermediate BCS I — 3 Credits
Slavic Studies Emphasis Core Knowledge and Skills
  • BCRS 208 - Intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II — 3 Credits
  • BCRS 504 - Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I — 3 Credits
  • BCRS 508 - Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II — 3 Credits
  • SLAV 508 - South Slavic Literature and Civilization — 3 Credits
Required Electives

Satisfied by 5 courses chosen from the following — 15 Credits

Senior Capstone Seminar

For more details on the South Slavic concentration (and other SGES concentrations) requirements, including a sample 4-year study plan, please consult the KU course catalog

Please contact our undergraduate major advisor with any questions you may have.

Concentration Overview

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REES) concentration offers students the opportunity to undertake the interdisciplinary study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, training the next generation of professionals, policymakers, and citizens to understand and engage this geopolitically vital and culturally diverse world region. 

The REES concentration, offered in partnership with KU’s nationally-recognized Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, allows students to take a wide array of courses across traditional disciplinary boundaries to gain expertise in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The concentration pairs the study of language and culture with courses on the region’s history and politics. Allowing students to choose from a range of offerings based on their interests and culminating in an intensive research capstone experience, the concentration offers a flexible course of study within the Department of Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies and is easily paired with a double major in Global & International Studies, History, or Political Science. 

Prerequisite Language Skills

Students selecting this concentration must complete 4th semester proficiency in a Russian, East European, or Eurasian Language. This entails completion of one of the following courses, or its equivalent:

  • BCRS 208Intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II — 5 Credits
  • CZCH 208Intermediate Czech II — 5 Credits
  • PLSH 208Intermediate Polish II — 5 Credits
  • PERS 220Intermediate Iranian/Dari/Tajik Persian II — 5 Credits
  • RUSS 208Intermediate Russian II — 5 Credits
  • TURK 208Intermediate Turkish II — 5 Credits
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Concentration Core Knowledge and Skills

Introductory course. Satisfied by one of the following:

  • REES 110 - Understanding Russia and Eastern Europe
    • or REES 111 - Understanding Russia and Eastern Europe, Honors
    • or REES 310 - Understanding Russia and Eastern Europe
    • or REES 311 - Understanding Russia and Eastern Europe, Honors
  • REES 220 - Societies and Cultures of Eurasia
    • or REES 221 - Societies and Cultures of Eurasia, Honors
  • SLAV 140 - Understanding Russia
    • or SLAV 141 - Understanding Russia, Honors
  • HIST 117 - Russia, An Introduction
REES Area Studies Electives

21 hours of interdisciplinary area studies courses focusing on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Most courses offered by the Department of Slavic, German, and Eurasian Studies count as electives. Other potential courses are listed below. Please note that is only a partial list. CREES posts a list of eligible courses on its website prior to enrollment each semester, and other courses may be approved in consultation with CREES.

  • ARCH 600 - Special Topics in Architecture: _____ (Socialist Cities)
  • ECON 505 - History of Economic Analysis
  • GEOG 399 - Topics in Regional Studies: _____ (Geography of the Former Soviet Union)
  • GEOG 781 - Environmental Geopolitics
  • GIST 335 - Iran Through Literature and Film
  • HIST 139 - The Global Cold War
  • HIST 333 - Eurometro: Visions of the European Metropolis, 1849-1939
  • HIST 334 - The Great War: The History of World War I
  • HIST 340 - The History of the Second World War
  • HIST/JWSH 343 - The Holocaust in History
  • HIST 377 - Everyday Communism in Eastern Europe
  • HIST 378 - Beyond the Iron Curtain: Soviet Perspectives on the Cold War
  • HIST 481 - From Harem to the Streets: Gender in the Middle East, 1900-Present
  • HIST 568 - Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
  • JWSH 311 - Narratives of Jewish Life
  • JWSH 335 - History of Jewish Women
  • JWSH 338 - Languages of the Jews
  • JWSH 361 - Jewish Film
  • MUSC 488 - History of Opera
  • MUSC 650 - Selected Topics in Music: _____ (Music in Vienna and Prague)
  • POLS 125 - Intelligence: Supporting National Security
  • POLS 301 - Introduction to Political Theory
  • POLS 350 - Contemporary Issues in Comparative Politics
  • POLS 563 - Comparative Political Economy
  • POLS 609 - Topics in Political Theory: _____ (Socialism)
  • POLS 654 - Politics and Government of Russia and the Central Eurasian States
  • POLS 663 - Populism and Nationalism
  • POLS 675 - Russian Foreign Policy
  • REL 107 - Jews, Christians, Muslims
  • REL 502 - Special Topics in Religion: _____ (Eastern Orthodox Christianity)
  • SOC 532 - Sociology of the Middle East
  • THR 302 - Undergraduate Seminar in: _____ (Theatre and Genocide)
  • WGSS 396 - Studies in: _____ (Gendering the Holocaust)
Research Methods and Capstone Experience

Satisfied by one of the following option, typically completed in the senior year, culminating in a final capstone paper. Students are encouraged to select an option based on their interests and the availability of courses. Students taking a methods/capstone sequence in another department may petition to substitute that sequence.

  • Global and International Studies Option:
  • History Option:
  • Literature, Linguistics, and Culture Option:
    • SLAV 495 - Senior Capstone Seminar
    • SLAV 510 - The Russian Literary Genius
      • or SLAV 600 - Biography of a City: _____
      • or SLAV 710 - Introduction to Slavic Languages and Linguistics
  • Politics Option:

For more details on the Polish concentration (and other SGES concentrations) requirements, including a sample 4-year study plan, please consult the KU course catalog.

Please contact our undergraduate major advisor with any questions you may have.


Slavic as Career Preparation

If you study chemistry, you become a chemist. But, if you study Russian (or Polish or Croatian), you don't become a Russian (or a Pole or a Croat).

The career path from studying a language to acquiring a professional is not as obvious as studying in a professional school (journalism, education, business, pharmacy). Your undergraduate preparation in Slavic languages, in contrast, can prepare you for an even wider range of possible employment opportunities.

Job ads for entry level positions often require applicants to have “excellent written and oral communication skills.” Your undergraduate course work in Slavic languages is going to help you develop and hone those skills in the following ways.

Your course work includes many assignments that require you to develop skills in critical reading, writing, and public speaking.  In this way, your course work prepares you for all careers that require reading and gathering complex information, considering the reliability of sources, and synthesizing that information. Your essays on course exams, reflection papers, and research papers prepare you to write effectively and to communicate ideas with clarity and precision.

Your language learning course work will push you to think long and hard about how languages work to express nuances of thought. Learning how to speak another language will teach you to reflect on how people communicate and to become flexible in using multiple resources to get your point across. Learning a language develops your skills at noticing subtle differences and paying attention to detail and accuracy. Reading articles and stories and viewing films from other countries will introduce you to other cultures and other ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

Learning a language is learning another culture. You will learn to recognize its patterns of thinking, experiencing the world, and its systems of values.  Studying the novels, films, and artistic products of other cultures gives you grounded insights into how other cultures think about the world and the experiences of everyday life.   Studying abroad in Eastern Europe and Russia gives you opportunities to learn and live in another culture and to understand what it means to be a global citizen.

The skills that you acquire can lead you to work in business, government and nonprofit organizations, such as:  arts/ cultural organizations, news/ media/ entertainment businesses, community development, environmental and public health organizations, government (Departments of State, Education, Commerce, Finance, Defense; agencies dealing with national security and international law enforcement), libraries and information services, museums and historical societies, and education, to name just a few.

Combining your major in Slavic languages with a second major in another field or professional school will expand your knowledge and skills even further.

An undergraduate major in Slavic can also serve as strong preparation for graduate study in a professional school (law, journalism, information sciences and others) or for graduate study in Slavic languages and literatures.