Russian Area Studies Program

Welcome to Russian Area Studies! Please come in and browse our web site to find out more about our undergraduate concentration.

The Concentration promotes the study of the Russian language, culture and society on three continents. With a rigorous and intellectually challenging program, students in the Russian Area Studies Concentration will become proficient in the language by taking at least two semesters of Russian language at the intermediate level, and will gain well-rounded knowledge of the culture by taking five electives chosen from designated courses in History, Literature, Political Science, Economics, Religious Studies, and Art and Art History. Our dedicated faculty will foster students' knowledge of the Russian area by preparing our students for study there.

Introduced in 1996, the Russian Area Studies Concentration was established to provide undergraduates with a structured, multi-disciplinary understanding of this complex region of the world and Russia's relations with other countries in the area, and to train undergraduates who wish to pursue a professional career in Russian studies in government academia, or business.

Application for the Olga Foltz Memorial Summer Language Scholarship.

Applicants must complete the attached form and submit it to Dr. Lynne Hartnett, the Director of Russian Area Studies, by March 14, 2014. The successful applicant will be notified in writing by April 16, 2014.

Past Recipients of the Olga Foltz scholarship:
Shannon Megrue, Class of 2015 and Matthew Thorp, Class of 2015 were awarded the Olga Foltz Memorial Scholarship by the Russian Area Studies Faculty. Shannon attended the Russian Language Institute at Bryn Mawr College over the summer of 2014. Matthew Thorpe attended a program in Russia,

2014 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

The U. S. Department of State is pleased to announce the scholarship competition for the 2014 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in thirteen critical need foreign languages. The CLS Program provides fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students.  

Applications will be due November 14, 2014.  Students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences, and humanities are encouraged to apply.

The application is available online at

As part of the Scholarship@Villanova series, on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library  Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. will be leading a lecture titled "Understanding Putin's Russia Through the Bottom of the Bottle." During this talk, Dr. Schrad will be looking at developments regarding alcohol politics in Vladimir Putin's Kremlin as a means to understanding the deeper political, economic and social tensions in Russia. These are also ideas that Dr. Schrad explores in his forthcoming book, Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy and the Secret History of the Russian State.

Student Accomplishments

Our RASCON senior, Michael Seyer (Class of 2012) was accepted at the International MA program in Russian and Eurasian Studies (IMARES) at European University in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is a joint program with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. 

Mike received an ACTR (American Council of Teachers of Russian) stipend to master trhe Russian language in St. Peterburg in the summer of 2012.
Matthew Thorp
(Class of 2015) received a full scholarship from the Critical Languages Institute to study Tatar language in Kazan, Russia.

Upcoming Events


Contact Information

Director, Russian Area Studies
Dr. Lynne Hartnett
Assistant Professor of History
Phone: 610-519-7219

Administrative Assistant:

Ms. Joyce Harden
Villanova University
Office: SAC 277
: 610-519-4640

Featured Movies

Dr. Louise McReynolds; Professor of History University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill "Sherlok Kholms in Late Imperial Russia"

Lost In Translation: Divergent Notions of Religious Liberty in Post Soviet Russia


"Theater as a Mirror of Contemporary Russia” Dr. Anatoly Smelyansky Dean of the Moscow Art Theater School Theater scholar, writer, and critic.

"War and Peace in the Caucasus" Dr. Charles King