Are graduate studies available for this program? No
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? Yes; a minor in the Russian language is also available
Emphasis within the major: social science-based approach to institutions, geography, history, peoples of the Russian Federation and areas that historically have been the Russian Empire; Russian language, study abroad
Popular second majors: political science, history, environmental studies
Students in this program become proficient in the Russian language.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
The Russian studies program trains students to analyze and interpret the territory, people, history, language and cultural practices of the Eurasian landmass from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Founded more than 50 years ago, the Russian studies program at Stetson University offers students the opportunity to learn about the varieties of history, geography, politics, economics and culture in the countries that once formed part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In courses that focus on Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, students learn not only about the diversity within this fascinating region but also about how Russia and its neighbors fit into global patterns of political, economic and cultural development.
Russian studies students become proficient in the Russian language by taking a broad array of courses at Stetson University and by spending a semester or summer in language study in Moscow, St. Petersburg or other cities in the Russian-speaking world.
The skills acquired through studying the languages, cultures and social sciences of the region have allowed Stetson University students to enter leading graduate programs and to find employment immediately after graduation in business, government and the nonprofit sector in the United States and abroad.
What makes the program distinctive?
One of the most exciting aspects of Russian studies is its artists and lecturers series. The series has brought to campus artists and lecturers such as NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, Russian poet and cultural figure Yevgenii Yevtushenko, ABC News and National Public Radio Russia correspondent Anne Garrels, Center for Political and Strategic Studies director and granddaughter of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower Susan Eisenhower, Soviet entrepreneur and Russian presidential candidate Sviatoslav Federov, and Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the United States, Zamira Sydykova.
For half a century, Stetson University has been designated as a member institution of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida that focuses on study of the Russian area.
Academics and Research
Students work closely with faculty on research projects, particularly as a part of their senior research project.
Facilities and opportunities
The home of the Russian studies program is the Russian Studies Center, a facility that contains classrooms, a library of books, periodicals and films, a language computer lab and television viewing areas.
Preparation for graduate study
We have an excellent track record of placing students in top-ranked Russian studies graduate programs. Our students' success stems from the broad and deep program of study, from excellent language preparation and from close scholarly collaboration with faculty.
Awards and Recognition
Dr. Eugene Huskey is the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair at Stetson, and Dr. Michael Denner is the editor of the Tolstoy Studies Journal and director of the Stetson University Honors Program. The Russian studies faculty and their areas of research include:
- Michael A. Denner, Ph.D., Northwestern University; Leo Tolstoy, 19th and 20th century Russian prose classics, Asian intellectual influence on Russia, avant-garde aesthetic theories, Russian Formalism, intellectual history, Soviet film and film theory (website)
- Eugene Huskey, Ph.D., London School of Economics; comparative politics, Russian and Central Asian politics, Russian presidency and bureaucracy, Russian law, politics in Kyrgyzstan
- Paul D. Steeves, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Russian history, religion, art and architecture, religions of Russian and former Soviet Union, Russian pacifism (website)
- Olga K. Winfrey, M.A., Kiev State Pedagogical University; Russian language
Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.), which provides funding for equipment, room and board and travel.
Undergraduate awards and honors
The department awards the Zenkovsky Prize for the outstanding student of Russian language. The department also has a Russian Club and Dobro Slovo honorary chapter.
Beyond the Classroom
Our students have recently interned with Human Rights Watch, Moscow; the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; and the independent voting watchdog group, Golos.
Russian studies graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers, including Naval intelligence officer, judicial clerk, author and English teacher in Russia, Peace Corps volunteer, employee of Lockheed-Martin at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and English teacher in Kyrgyzstan. Many alumni have gone on to graduate studies at top-tier institutions including University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Florida, Oxford University, Georgetown University and University of Chicago, and have attended law school at Georgetown University and Florida State University.