Two students and their professor look at a Russian exhibit in the library.

Russian Area Studies is a multidisciplinary, integrated study of the largest country in the world—pursued alongside quality peers and faculty—for students with ambitious professional and personal aspirations.

The Russian Area Studies Program is wide and deep, offering the opportunity to graduate with a minor, concentration or major. Our students are enthusiastic and dedicated to commanding “inside and out” knowledge of the world’s largest country and major player in global geopolitical relations. Students in the program are taught and guided by Villanova’s finest faculty members who are recognized and celebrated in their own professional areas such as political science, history, linguistics, Russian language, literature, religion, economics and the arts. 


Our graduates are equipped to enter and excel in such sectors as foreign policy advising, diplomatic assistance, national and state security, energy management, business, NGOs, journalism, academia or the arts.

Every year, we invite motivated and accomplished students to be inducted into the Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society (Epsilon Nu Chapter) and honor a student with the Jeffrey Hahn Memorial Book Award for academic excellence. The Olga Foltz Memorial Scholarship for Russian Language Summer Study is also offered as a competitive prize.

Our Russian Culture Club organizes fun, cultural and educational activities and events.

Russia is an inexhaustibly fascinating country and culture worthy of deep contextual knowledge and respect. In addition to being the largest country in the world, Russia:

  • has been ruled by grand princes, czars, empresses, commissioners and presidents
  • is a nuclear superpower commanding vast natural resources
  • has strategic and geopolitical significance on the world stage
  • has a rich cultural heritage and a linguistic locus of one the United Nation’s six official languages
  • is a realm of extremes: anarchy and totalitarianism, super growth and stagnation, stability and dramatic volatility

Winston Churchill described the USSR as "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”


Mark Schrad, PhD
Director, Russian Area Studies
Professor, Political Science

Jessica Schwartz
Program Coordinator
Political Science
(610) 519-7717