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The Russian Area Studies Concentration is open to all undergraduates at Villanova University. To complete the requirements for the concentration, a student must take 21 credit hours in the following areas:

  • at least two semesters of Russian language at the intermediate level;
  • five electives chosen from designated courses in History, Literature, Political Science, Economics, Religious Studies, and Art and Art History;

Languages: Proficiency in Russian language is required by the successful completion of at least two semesters of Russian at the intermediate level, or by demonstrated proficiency at that level. Beyond the required level, students may take advanced language courses in Russian conversation and composition.

Electives: Students are expected to complete fifteen credit hours, or five courses, in designated electives, which include:

  • Land of the Tsars and Commissars
  • The History of Imperial Russia
  • Russia and the USSR in the Twentieth Century
  • Politics and Government of Russia
  • Russian Foreign Policy
  • The Cold War
  • Russia's Relations with the Islamic States
  • The Russian Drama
  • The Russian Short Story
  • The Russian Novel
  • Russian Film
  • Religion in Russia
  • Icon History and Making
  • Russian Culture in Context (summer)

Senior Research Project: The research project offers an opportunity to synthesize knowledge obtained in the electives and to engage the student in a research project on a topic of particular interest to the student.

The Concentration and the Core Curriculum: The requirements of the Russian Area Studies Concentration can also satisfy, wholly or in part, many requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core curriculum, such as the foreign language, diversity, and integrative sequence requirements.

Study Abroad: Living in Russia offers invaluable training and experience in the Russian language, culture, and the contemporary situation. Students in the RASCON are encouraged to participate in one of the many available, accredited study abroad programs in Russia for a summer or semester. Villanova's own undergraduate exchange program with Moscow State University and with Nizhny Novgorod University, introduced in 1999, provides Villanova students with a unique opportunity to study and live in Russia's third largest city.

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.

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Contact Information

Acting Director, Russian Area Studies
Dr. Joseph Loya
Assistant Professor of History
Phone: 610-519-7219

Administrative Assistant:

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