Slavic Program


As a nation situated on the threshold between Europe and Asia, Islam and Christianity, East and West, Russia offers the fascinating case of a culture whose identity has always depended on its changing relationship with other cultures and nations, including those in Eastern and Central Europe.

If this makes Russia culturally appealing – Russian writers, artists and composers have always absorbed the influence of many other cultures --, Russia today is also one of the world’s economic and political powerhouses and is rich in natural resources: a country whose language, politics, and culture we cannot afford not to understand better.

Studying Russia’s world-renowned art, literature, film, and music – from ancient icon painting to Constructivism of the 1920s, from the novels of Leo Tolstoy (“Anna Karenina”) to contemporary artist Ilya Kabakov – is a great way of getting to know this vast country better – beyond the screaming headlines. And it can help you understand why at times Russia can seem both very familiar and like a world apart at the very same time!

Our program offers courses, in both English and Russian, covering different aspects of Russian and East-Central European literature, art, film, folklore, culture and linguistics. All our courses are taught by dedicated faculty who will give you all the personal attention you may need to succeed.

Of course, there isn’t a better way to get to know another culture than through its language! This is why UCSB offers world-class instruction in Russian language at all levels of proficiency. The Russian language program, overseen by Larry McLellan, M.A., will help you learn communicative skills within the framework of contemporary Russian culture. Audio, video and web-based materials are an integral part of the curriculum.

If you minor or major in Russian language and literature, career options include business, government, law, medicine, travel, education and translation—to name but a few areas where you will find graduates from the UCSB Russian and East European Studies Program.

For a complete list of Slavic courses, see the General Catalog.

Department Chair

Sara Pankenier Weld

Undergraduate Program Advisor

Carol Flores


Phelps Hall, 4206C

Undergraduate Advising Hours
Drop-In Advising (9am-11:30am)
Email or call (805) 893-3112
Advising Appointments (1:30pm-4pm)