Courses and Programs

The Department of Russian and East European Studies

The Department of Russian and East European Studies offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Russian and Eastern European languages, literatures, cultures, social sciences, economics, arts, and more. The Department’s programs include a selection of undergraduate majors and minors and a language certificate in Russian. The Department also administers a Dual M.A. Degree in Russian and East European Studies, in collaboration with the European University in St. Petersburg. Although the Department does not currently offer the PhD, students interested in graduate study in Russian and Eastern European topics a number of other P.D. Programs at Penn to pursue such a specialization. See the Department’s Graduate webpage for more information. 

The Department sponsors a range of lectures and other events, including an annual undergraduate research conference, the Slavic Bazaar, and an annual faculty research symposium.

Information on courses and events can be found on the Department of Russian and East European Studies website. For more information, please contact the department chair, Dr. Mitchell Orenstein

The Lauder Institute in conjunction with the Wharton School and the Penn Law School

The Lauder Institute offers an MA in International Relations that may be pursued in combination either with the Wharton School’s MBA or the Law School’s JD program, with Russia serving as one possible area of concentration. Students of the Lauder Institute pursue intensive language study as well as a tailored curriculum of specialized courses and programs focusing on the political, economic, social, and cultural contexts in which international business is conducted.

For more information, refer to the Lauder Institute website, or contact Dr. Maria Bourlatskaya.

The History Department

The History Department offers regularly repeating undergraduate survey courses and seminars in Russian and Soviet history and culture. Interested undergraduates might try the introductory courses HIST 048 (the survey course on Imperial Russia) and HIST 049 (the survey course on Twentieth-Century Russia and the Soviet Union). More advanced undergrad courses include: HIST 413 Individuals and Collectives in the Soviet Union, 1945-1991; HIST 202 Russia in the Age of Anna Karenina (seminar); Russia's Orients (seminar).

The History Department likewise offers a regular cycle of graduate level seminars in Russian and Soviet history. Regularly offered core courses are: Issues and Themes in Imperial Russian History and the Graduate Reading Seminar on Soviet History.

Syllabi and course descriptions may be found at the History Department website and on the individual webpages of Prof. Holquist and Prof. Nathans.

The History Department also runs the Penn Russian History Seminar, with invited scholars working on topics from throughout the region.

For more information, contact Prof. Nathans or Prof. Holquist.

The Political Science Department

The Political Science Department offers an undergraduate course on Russian politics, PSCI 217, and occasionally courses on comparative postcommunism. These courses can be taken for graduate credit (usually at the 500 level) by making arrangements for additional readings and assignments with the instructor. See the departmental website for current course listings. Contact Prof. Sil for more information.