Russian Studies Certificate program

Undergrad certificate

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. 

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

RUS 201 Russian Language and Cultures in Action I The first of two intermediate-level Russian courses, this course continues to develop students' communicative competence in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It also develops students' cross-cultural awareness and competence while building their communicative strategies. Prerequisite: RUS 102 or placement. Offered Fall.

RUS 320 The Russian Mindset: Cultural Perspectives A topical approach to Russian culture and civilization, this course is designed to provide an examination of Russian socio-political and cultural history, art themes, geographical composition, and human settlement. The role and effects of leaders and personas in Russian history (Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Stalin) will also be analyzed. Students will further develop language skills by practicing grammatical structures and lexical items required to describe and analyze cultural products, practices, and perspectives. Prerequisite: RUS 202 or equivalent. Offered Spring.

RUS 351 Russian Identity through Film This course is an intermediate-language course exploring the topic of Russian identity through contemporary Russian films. Adhering to the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (produced by ACTFL), the course will allow students to develop cultural competences and make connections with other disciplines such as political science and history. Students will further develop language skills by practicing grammatical structures and lexical items required to narrate plots, summarize films, describe characters, and analyze film themes. Prerequisite: RUS 202 or equivalent. Offered Fall.