The Department of Russian Studies offers a well-rounded curriculum that includes three years of language instruction and a wide range of literature and culture courses taught both in Russian and in English.

Students can benefit from participation in the weekly Russian tea, the Russian Club, from conversations with the native speaker who serves as the departmental language fellow, and from many other extracurricular activities. Students who are considering the option of majoring in Russian are urged to begin the study of the language in their first year.

Vassar’s Russian Department
The first of its kind in the United States

In 1907, Vassar College became the first among the original Seven Sisters colleges to offer a course on Russian history. In 1939, Vassar instituted regular courses in Russian, again first among its peers. By 1945–46, students were majoring in Russian studies. Distinguished faculty member Catherine Wolkonsky joined the faculty in 1946. She helped redefine the way the Russian language was taught to English speakers. By the time she retired in 1961, there were 254 students majoring in Russian studies.