Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Education
College of Education and Human Development

The Russian major offers many means of learning a fascinating language and the ways of life and arts of Russia. Language skills and cultural knowledge are the keys to understanding another people.

Russian is an important language in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, regions that continue to experience fundamental economic and political change. There are new opportunities for employment and learning for qualified Americans. The political changes in Russia and former Soviet states have been accompanied by expanding commercial interest from other parts of the world. Likewise, American-Russian contact in the areas of art, health care, religious life, and sports and between individuals has expanded.

BGSU frequently hosts students, faculty and visitors from Russia. Students have plenty of opportunities to interact both inside and outside of the classroom. By learning another language and culture, students enrich their lives and have a broader life perspective.

Career Opportunities

The need for individuals competent in Russian is expanding in both the public and private sectors, and there is every indication that it will continue to increase. That is the conclusion of an extensive, 1996 report, Russian in the United States: A Case Study in America’s Language Needs and Capacities, which was funded by the Ford Foundation. Despite opportunities opening up for Americans with Russian language skills, the number of qualified persons is declining. Therefore, BGSU graduates with Russian training have good employment prospects.

Students are prepared for careers in such fields as intercultural communications consulting, international office management, international trade, law, library science, politics, teaching, translation and travel. Some of these fields require additional professional training, but international specialization in these fields is impossible without Russian language and culture skills.

Recent graduates’ accomplishments include graduating from the Georgetown Law School, holding federal government positions and working in U.S. firms in Russia. Graduates have also been successful in combining Russian studies with majors in business, criminal justice, international studies, political science and psychology.

Graduates have received higher degrees at institutions such as Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State and South Carolina. Russian students are encouraged to consult with program faculty and the University’s Career Counseling staff on employment, internship and graduate study opportunities.


BGSU is the only public institution in northern Ohio to offer a full, four-year course of study in Russian culture and language. The Russian major provides a quality liberal arts education combined with transferable language and learning skills. Students are able to take advantage of many learning facilities including an excellent library and Language Learning Center. In comparison with others on a national scale, BGSU students have recorded above-average performance on standardized Russian tests. An additional program strength is the individual attention students receive both in and out of class.

Students can take courses with no previous Russian knowledge or receive advanced placement if they have sufficient background in the language. The four-year Russian language and culture core features intermediate to advanced-level courses in reading, translation, Russian for business and journalism. The program also has six culture and literature courses-in English and Russian-a film and poetry course that suit a variety of interests.

The faculty keeps current with developments in language and culture learning, using the best materials, teaching approaches and means of testing. Students find that the faculty accommodates individual ways of language learning.

Students who wish to teach Russian in elementary or high school follow a course of study leading to a degree in the College of Education and Human Development. Although recent BGSU Education-Russian graduates have been successful in finding teaching positions, such students are encouraged to pursue a second subject area to enhance job prospects. The program includes professional education courses, field experience and supervised student teaching. A BGSU Russian faculty member co-authored a textbook on teaching foreign languages in elementary schools.

Special Features

Students can easily acquire a second language or continue with a language they began in high school. Combinations such as Russian, German, French, or Chinese are not uncommon. Likewise, many combine Russian with a variety of areas such as computer science, creative writing, international politics, or sports management.

Students are able to take advantage of cultural and social events by participating in the Russian Club. The club sponsors field trips to performances, cultural events and conferences.

BGSU has a Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society chapter which inducts qualified juniors and seniors.

Study Abroad Opportunity

A quality summer and semester study abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia, has become an important part of the program and one of its strengths. Some students opt to go after one year of Russian. The greatest advantages of BGSU’s summer program are rich cultural offerings that complement classroom work and low cost. Students may apply for University scholarships that are awarded in two competitions each year.

Preparation for College

Students who have high school or other experience in Russian should consult with a faculty member about placement. The study of another foreign language is fine preparation for starting Russian.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

Teacher Education Report Card

Bowling Green State University’s 701 teacher education graduates who took the national Praxis II licensing exam in 2004-05 passed at an overall rate of 88 percent (surpassing the state requirement of 80 percent) and met or exceeded the state requirement for licensure in 13 content or teaching specialty areas.

For individuals identifying themselves as BGSU graduates the pass rate on Praxis III, the professional teacher licensure test, was 99 percent.

For detailed information on BGSU students’ pass rates on the national licensing exam, visit the College of Education and Human Development’s website at

BGSU’s teacher education programs are fully accredited at all levels by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Russian, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: