Russian Studies Certificate program

Gain a competitive advantage in your career.

The demand for bilingual professionals in the U.S. is rising exponentially. Russian is a language you shouldn't overlook. Considered critical to Wisconsin, the U.S. economy and national security, learning this language will give you skills sought by numerous employers from government agencies to international businesses.

UW-La Crosse offers a certificate program in Russian. The program uses a communicative approach to help students develop speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. In addition to learning to communicate in Russian, students gain knowledge and appreciation of Russian culture from the customs of native speakers to perspectives related to history, film, civilization, literature, and political science. 

Russian language

Russian is a Slavic language spoken by hundreds of millions of people. It is primarily spoken in the Russian Federation, commonly referred to as Russia, and throughout the former Soviet Union. Understanding of Russian language is valuable in the business and government sectors. Russia is a large country with vast natural resources and a history of innovation in science and technology. It is also an important market for U.S. goods and services. All these points make the understanding of Russian valuable to diverse employers doing business and government work globally.

I stay motivated to continue learning Russian because of a wonderful, patient instructor and because of my career aspirations, which include utilizing the language at some level ... Russian adds a uniqueness to my personality and my knowledge.

Annie Thurs

Jobs with Russian language

The globalized nature of today’s world means college graduates must be prepared to interact with speakers of other languages in various economic contexts, both within the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S, the growth of bilingualism and multiculturalism has created an increased interest in college graduates with strong language and intercultural skills. In 2019, the American of Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) released data confirming that nine out of ten employers rely on employees with foreign language skills and 56% of employers expect an increase in foreign language demand.

Russian is an asset in many careers

  • International security
  • U.S. government agencies
  • International business
  • STEM fields
  • Aerospace industry
  • Cybersecurity
  • Military careers
  • History and cultural research
  • More

Work abroad

Because the curriculum in the Global Cultures and Languages Department emphasizes internationalization and intercultural competence, graduates are also well-equipped to join the workforce abroad. Many opportunities are available after graduation to teach English or work for non-profit organizations around the world through global programs such as the North American Ambassadors Program, Fulbright Scholars Program, Council on International Educational Exchange and many more.

What distinguishes UWL's Russian Studies Program?

'Exemplary program'

Russian Studies is part of UW System’s Collaborative Language Program, which was recently included in the America’s Languages Guide to Exemplary Programs and Practices in U.S. Language Education — a list of exemplary and accessible language programs at all U.S. education levels.

Instruction by a native speaker of Russian

Natalia Roberts has taught Russian in the program since 2004. A native speaker of Russian, she has received several awards for excellence in teaching.

Gain both linguistic and cultural competence

The Department of Global Cultures and Languages is committed to developing students’ linguistic and cultural competence, including effective communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Courses include in-depth study of film, literature, linguistics, history, art and culture.

See the world

Students are encouraged to study abroad, so they can improve their language proficiency and further develop their cross-cultural preparation. Students return to campus having earned credit toward their programs of study and can also earn UWL General Education credit.

Join a student group

Students can join language clubs or conversation groups to practice speaking and share cultural experiences with international students and native speakers. Advanced language students can volunteer as tutors at the Global Cultures and Languages Language Resource Center

Earn retroactive credits

Students can start at the introductory level or, based on their language proficiency, earn retroactive credits from previous Russian classes.

Sample courses