Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Study Abroad in St. Petersburg: Courses

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Recommended credits are shown in parentheses. Courses are subject to change at the discretion of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

Russian Language and Liberal Arts Program

Course level is determined by a placement test once in St. Petersburg. Students are advised to obtain approval for several different levels of Russian from their academic advisors in the U.S. before traveling to Russia in order to ensure that they can receive credit for the level that they test into.

Russian Language Courses (one course required each semester)

Russian 101/102 (9) | Elementary

Beginner college level course in Russian grammar, conversation, phonetics and writing practice.

Russian 201/202/203 (9) | Intermediate

Vocabulary, grammar, composition, phonetics and techniques of written expression with further development of vocabulary and pronunciation.

Russian 301/302 (9) | Advanced

Structural exercises in grammar, use of different categories of language (commercial, administrative, journalistic, familiar, colloquial, formal) and extensive written work.

Elective Courses - Taught in English (at least one course required each semester)

Choose up to three elective courses. These must be confirmed two months before arrival.

Art History 303 (3) | History of Russian Art

The history of Russian art from the 11th-century icons to the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the works discussed are visited in local museums such as the Russian Museum. Students will learn about the role of the church and historical events which influenced the development of Russian art. 

History 305 (3) | Russian History from Kievan Rus to the Revolution

The founding and expansion of the Russian State from Kievan Rus through czarist Russia to the eve of the revolution. The geography of Russian lands, the foundation of Kievan Rus and the adoption of Christianity; the Mongol conquest and rise of Moscow; the Time of Troubles and appearance of the new Romanov dynasty through to its demise together with the Russian Empire following two revolutions. 

History/Political Science 315 (3) | Contemporary History of Russia: The Communist Phase

Russia’s historical background from the October Revolution to the collapse of the USSR. The seizure of Russia by the Bolsheviks in October 1917 through the Civil War (1918-1922), Stalin’s role and that of his Communist followers. Problems of reforms under Communist domination (N.S. Khrushchev, M.S. Gorbachev), the mellowing of the Communist dictatorship, growing corruption of elites and the final demise of Communist dictatorship.

Literature 307 (3) | 19th-Century Russian Literature

Reading key works in translation, students trace the history of classical Russian literature from 11th-century beginnings to the turn of the 20th century. A major focus is on 19th-century works and biographies of writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol and Chekhov.

Literature 309 (3) | Contemporary Russian Literature

Focus is on major themes of Russian literature since 1917, with students reading (in translation) highly regarded works written both in Russia and abroad by authors such as Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn.

Political Science/Sociology 311 (3) | Contemporary Russian Life

Major elements of contemporary Russian life: law, economics, government, healthcare, art and education. Topics include the “non-Russian nationality” question since 1985 and economic effects of Perestroika, the role of the Russian Orthodox Church, and international relations of Russia with the CIS and with the world.