Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian Language Program

The Department of Slavic Languages offers Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) placement tests the week before the first day of classes in the fall. The test is comprised of the written and oral parts. Students who wish to schedule the test before the start of the fall semester, or to take a BCS test at any other time in the fall to register for spring semester, or who have particular questions about placing, should contact Aleksandar Bošković

The Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at Columbia University, named after the great 19th Century Serbian-Montenegrin prince and bishop-poet, Petar Petrovic-Njegoš, was founded in 1997 with the goal of supporting instruction in Serbian language, literature and culture at Columbia University. As part of its overall fundraising effort, the Njegoš Endowment sponsors a wide range of lectures and cultural events related to Serbia, the Serbian People, and the Serbian population in the United States.           

Columbia University has a long history with Serbian studies. Serbian has been taught at Columbia since 1918, and the Harriman Institute in the School of Public and International Affairs continues to provide courses and cultural events that bring Serbian studies to both the University community and the general public. Notable among the University’s Serbian connections have been Nikola Tesla and Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin. Tesla’s lecture on the rotating magnetic field as a means for the electrical distribution of energy and discoveries in the realm of high frequency engineering and coupled tuning were invaluable to the growth of modern electrical engineering, and he was awarded an honorary LL.D. from Columbia in 1894. Pupin graduated from the college in 1883, and after obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Berlin, he returned to Columbia in 1889 as a lecturer of mathematical physics in the newly formed Department of Electrical Engineering, where he became a professor in 1901 and a professor emeritus in 1931. Pupin’s research pioneered carrier wave detection and current analysis, and his accomplishments included invention of the Pupin coil and replication of Roentgen's production of x-rays. He was also a consul of the Kingdom of Serbia in New York. Pupin Hall has been named a National Historic Landmark for its association with experiments relating to the splitting of the atom and the Manhattan Project.

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The South Slavic Cultural Society looks to fill a gap in the Columbia University Community, not only for those of South Slavic descent, but also to students with a keen interest in the region by seeking exposure to the unique and vibrant cultures that make up its entirety. We hope not only to provide a safe space for these students, but we also hope to educate the community at large about our culture.

We are absolutely committed to promoting the remarkable and diverse cultures of South Slavic nations by providing a welcoming environment for students to interact and to be able to discuss the social, political, and economic issues impacting these countries today.

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