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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 18 credit hours in the following areas:

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

Russian Area Studies offers a major as a specialization of a Global Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) major.  The major in Russian Area Studies provides an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to deepen students' understandings of the history, culture, religion, politics, literature, and society of Russia.   Students may sign up for the major and choose their Russian Area Studies specialization through the Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies in 36 Garey Hall.  The GIS Chair and the  Program Director of  Russian Area Studies will work closely with each student to develop their individual interests, abilities, and career goals while fulfilling the requirements for their major.   

The specific requirements for the major in Russian Area Studies can be found on the GIS website. 

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.

Students are expected to complete twelve credit hours, or four 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 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.

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.

Contact Information

Rev. Joseph Loya, OSA, PhD
Director, Russian Area Studies
Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Phone: 610-519-7243

Ms. Joyce Harden
Administrative/Events Assistant
Office: Garey 036
Phone: 610-519-6302