Russian is one of the five most widely-spoken languages in the world. Iowa's Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program in Russian provides extensive training in the Russian language and a broad understanding of Slavic history, art, literature, anthropology, politics, geography, religion, and drama.

Russian training can help students seeking careers in medicine, engineering, business, journalism, library and information science, natural and physical sciences, and the social and military sciences. Studying Russian also may be helpful for students interested in law or international relations.

Some government agencies seek job candidates with advanced training in Russian and give preference to applicants who combine language proficiency with a well-rounded background in area studies. Exceptional students may pursue careers as interpreters or in literary or technical translation.

Why Study at Iowa?

Studying Russian in Iowa's Department of Asian & Slavic Languages and Literatures give students the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Slavic culture while learning the Russian language.

Students often use the Russian major to complement broad-based training. Many pursue a double major and develop skills in fields such as international studies, history, communication, political science, and global health.

Course Work

Course work for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Russian includes:

  • Beginning Composition and Conversation I or II
  • Third-Year Russian I–II
  • Fourth-Year Russian I–II
  • Four courses on Russian/East European Culture

Russian majors also are urged to choose electives in economics, geography, history, political science, global health, and international studies, and those interested in focusing on a broader interdisciplinary understanding of the region sometimes choose to double major in International Studies. Russian majors also complete course work required by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program.

Review Asian & Slavic Languages and Literatures in the General Catalog for more information about course work and graduating with honors.

Teaching Licensure in Russian

It is possible to earn licensure to teach Russian through the College of Education's Teacher Education Program.

Minor in Russian

Review Asian & Slavic Languages and Literatures in the General Catalog.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in a Russian major must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Russian majors stage Russian plays and hold festivals, dinners, and open houses, and there is a Russian Circle student group.

Students in this major might enjoy living in the Global Mosaic Living-Learning Community or the Spoken Here Living-Learning Community in the residence halls, where you can broaden your knowledge of international issues, languages, and cultures while living in a close-knit group.

Study Abroad

The university has an extensive Study Abroad Program. More than 80 percent of Russian majors at Iowa study abroad in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir, Russia, through programs such as the American Councils for International Education. These direct institutional programs with Russia’s leading universities offer intensive study programs for the summer, semester, and academic year. Scholarships are available, and student financial aid packages through Iowa may be applied directly toward the program costs in Russia.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Russian (BA)
Teaching Licensure
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan