The Russian Area Studies program’s paramount priority is to nurture students’ awareness and competent responsiveness to the challenges of global citizenship—while valuing an open and respectful posture towards diversity in world populations and cultures. 

The mission of the Russian Area Studies program is to provide and sustain a substantial and creative multidisciplinary curriculum which educates Villanova students towards cultural literacy regarding Russia in the following areas: history (especially transitional periods); politics; international and domestic policies; religions; linguistics, literature and the arts; economics; state, society, nationalism and ethnic identities.

  • to provide undergraduates with a structured, multi-disciplinary understanding of this complex region of the world and Russia's relations with other countries of the world.
  • to train undergraduates who wish to pursue a professional Russia-related career in government, academia or business.
  • to foster greater knowledge of Russia by preparing our students for study in Russia and by encouraging Russian citizens to visit Villanova.
  • to serve the University community and the larger community beyond campus by enhancing a knowledge and understanding of the Russian region through conferences, lectures and cultural events.
  • to inculcate cultural literacy and promote global learning skills through study opportunities and structured encounters with Russians here and abroad.

Graduates in Russian Area Studies will be able to:

  • Communicate and research in Russian at least on a basic level.
  • Apply perspectives, methodologies, and theories from multiple disciplines in the construction of a comprehensive view of the culture, history and contemporary issues of Russia.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Russian civilization from its origins to its present reality—with a view to understanding the strengths, complexities and dilemmas of the Russian cultural experience—and thus to ponder the eternal problems of human experience and the meaning of our shared humanity.

The Russian Area Studies program embraces diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental to its mission. We are committed to advancing cross-cultural understanding in the teaching and learning experience and to developing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the program. A community that welcomes and respects individual difference—in age, gender, national origin, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, as well as in cultural, political and religious beliefs—strengthens each and every one of its members. The faculty of the Russian Area Studies Program especially appreciate and value diversity in beliefs—given our commitment to a fair, balanced, and objective understanding of a region with a history, politics and culture that has long been controversial and misunderstood.

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