Slavic Studies

Slavic Studies

(Barnard equivalent: Slavic and East European Literature and Culture, Slavic and East European Regional Studies*)

This flexible major track provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies within the Slavic field. Students are encouraged to choose one target language (Czech, Polish, Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, or Ukrainian), though there are possibilities for studying a second Slavic language as well. Generally, the major has one disciplinary focus in history, political science, economics, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music. In addition, this program allows students to focus on a particular Slavic (non-Russian) literature and culture, or to do comparative studies of several Slavic literatures, including Russian. Students should plan their program with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible, since course availability varies from year to year.

*Barnard students please note: The degree requirements for the B.A. at Barnard differ from those at Columbia, and the structure of the major and minor for Barnard undergraduates is therefore also different. Barnard students should check the major and minor requirements listed on the website of the Barnard Slavic Department.
 

Degree Requirements

For the Major in Slavic Studies

The program consists of 15 courses, 6 of which meet language requirements. Of the remaining 9 courses, 2 should be history courses targeting Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, or Eurasia, 2 should be literatures or culture courses in Slavic, and the other 5 should be relevant electives, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.

Students may also opt to include a second Slavic language in their program, in which case they may count up to two language courses as electives toward their major requirements.
The course requirements are distributed as follows:

  • Six semesters of coursework in one Slavic language (from First- through Third-year Russian, Czech, Polish, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, or Ukrainian) or the equivalent
  • Two relevant courses in Russian, East/Central European or Eurasian history
  • Two relevant literature or culture courses in Slavic, preferably related to the target language
  • Five additional courses with Slavic content in history, political science, economics, literature, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music. Two of these electives may be language courses in a language from the region (second Slavic language, Hungarian, or Romanian).

Altogether students should complete 4 courses in a single discipline (other than language study), including, if appropriate, the required history or literature/culture courses.

Thesis: There is no thesis requirement for Slavic Department majors in Columbia College or the School of General Studies.  (All Barnard students, regardless of major, are required to write a senior thesis.) However, any student who wishes to be considered for Departmental honors (see below) must complete a thesis. Columbia students who wish to undertake a thesis project should confer with the director of undergraduate studies during the registration period in April of their junior year and register to take the Senior Seminar (RUSS UN3595x) fall term of their senior year. Those who opt to expand the thesis into a two-semester project register for Supervised Individual Research with their thesis advisor (RUSS UN3998y) in the spring. (Senior Seminar may be used to satisfy one elective requirement; the optional second semester of thesis work, however, is in addition to the 15 courses required for the major.)

NOTES:

  1. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities that now exist to spend a semester or summer studying in Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, or the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Consult the coordinator of the relevant language program for information about programs and other resources.
  2. Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward major or concentration requirements.
  3. Students graduating in May 2008 or earlier should meet with the DUS to clarify how their existing coursework satisfies the newly reorganized requirements.

 

For a Concentration in Slavic Studies

The program consists of 10 courses, 4 of which meet language requirements. Of the remaining 6 courses, 1 should be a history course targeting Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, or Eurasia, 1 should be a literature or culture course in Slavic, and the other 4 should be relevant electives, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.

The course requirements are distributed as follows:

  • Four semesters of coursework in one Slavic language (Elementary and Intermediate Czech, Polish, Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, or Ukrainian) or the equivalent
  • One relevant courses in Russian, East/Central European or Eurasian history
  • One relevant literature or culture course in Slavic, preferably related to the target language
  • Four additional courses with Slavic content in history, political science, economics, literature, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music.

Altogether students should complete 3 courses in a single discipline, including, if appropriate, the required history or literature/culture courses.

NOTE: Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward major or concentration requirements.
 

Departmental Honors

Students who have a grade point average of at least 3.6 in courses taken for the major and who have submitted a senior thesis of outstanding quality will be considered for departmental honors. Normally no more than 10 percent of the graduating majors may be awarded departmental honors in any given year. For more information, consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than the change-of-program period in the fall term of your senior year.