Slavic Studies


Students concentrating in Slavic Studies choose from a range of paths, depending on their interests and goals for study of Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Studies encompass work on language, literature, art, film, history, and culture. 

Concentration Overview

Concentrators are expected to develop a course of study that will meet their particular needs and interests and are encouraged to combine rigorous language-specific study with interdisciplinary approaches intended to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the area of their concentration.

Most students begin language study (Russian, Czech or Polish) at the introductory level, but some may place into intermediate or advanced levels based on previous study. Students have considerable flexibility in designing their plan of courses beyond the language sequence, and are strongly encouraged to work closely with faculty in making their choices. Russian offers the greatest diversity in course offerings, but Czech and Polish are also well represented. 

Our curriculum includes work on Russian literary, cultural, and historical traditions from the eighteenth century to present day, as well as Czech and Polish 20th century and contemporary culture. The curriculum combines intensive study of language with an interdisciplinary approach to culture studies.  Students have the opportunity to combine work in our department with course work done in related areas, usually history, political science and theater. 

Concentrators frequently do related course work in history, economics, international relations, other literatures or visual arts, and some elect to complete a double concentration.


The Department of Slavic Studies offers standard and Honors programs. All concentrators are strongly encouraged to study abroad in Russia, Czech Republic, or Poland either during the academic year or the summer. Brown has approved programs in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Irkutsk and Prague, and an exchange program in Krakow and Prague. Brown also offers a summer program in St. Petersburg, Russia that is very popular with our concentrators.

  • Language study: a minimum of 6 semesters of Russian (or Czech or Polish) or the equivalent; or a combined total of 8 semesters of two Slavic languages or the equivalent. 
  • 7 courses on the 1000-level dealing with Russian, Polish, or Czech cultures (literature, linguistics, history, theater, political science, economics, international relations)
  • Students’ choice of courses is subject to the approval of the concentration advisor.

Students may choose their courses under many prefixes, including: RUSS, CZCH, POLS, SLAV, COLT, HIST, INTL, and TAPS.

View the list of courses normally taken in Slavic Studies. For the most current course listings, refer to courses@brown.

Concentrators in Slavic Studies are urged to crown their senior year with a Capstone Experience.

Honors in Slavic Studies

Honors candidacy in Slavic Studies assumes an excellent academic record, particularly in the concentration. Additional requirements are the same as those for a standard concentration, plus the writing of a senior thesis (RUSS, SLAV, or CZCH1980).

Concurrent Baccalaureate/Master's Degree

Exceptionally capable students may be permitted in their junior year to enter a graduate program of study leading to earning both a baccalaureate and master's degree at the end of eight or nine semesters.