Slavic Languages and Literatures Undergraduate Program

The department supports the study of Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, theory, and criticism. It prepares majors to think widely about the role of Slavic material in the modern world as well as its impact on history and culture. All students are required to choose from a list of courses taught in Russian as well as from some higher-level courses taught in both Russian and English.


The major requires students to enroll in core literature and culture courses taught in Russian, to follow a series of three (or two accelerated) intermediate-level Russian language courses, and to complete electives in the department. In their senior year, students will complete a Capstone project under the supervision of a faculty member and participate in an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) through the language center to assess their speaking ability in Italian. The Proficiency Notation appears on the official Stanford transcript and provides evidence of both oral and written advanced-level language proficiency. In addition, successful students will also receive an official certificate from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). More information can be found here.

Russian and Philosophy Subplan

Students may also enroll in the Philosophy and Literature subplan (65 units) and complete, under the supervision of a faculty member from the Department of Slavic, one of the following (a) take one of the officially-designated Philosophy and Literature capstone seminars listed above; (b) write an honors thesis (see “Honors Program” for instructions); or (c) write a 5,000-word paper on a topic of their choosing, serving as the culmination of their work in the field. To make time to write the paper, students must enroll in a 3-unit, letter-grade independent study with a faculty member (or affiliate) in the Philosophy and Literature Focal Group. The paper must involve both philosophy and literature, and the topic must be approved by the faculty member by the add/drop deadline.

Russian Languages and Literature Subplan

The Slavic Languages and Literatures field of study (60 units) is designed for those students who wish to gain command of Russian or any other Slavic language and to study the relevant national literary tradition. Emphasis is placed on the linguistic and philological study of literature, as well as the history of Slavic and East European literature and related media in the broader context of cultural development. This major also welcomes students with an interest in Russian and Slavic linguistics. Majors who concentrate in Slavic Languages and Literatures must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or better in order to receive credit toward the major.

Slavic Studies Subplan

The Slavic Studies track is for students who want to obtain command of the Russian or any other Slavic language and to pursue a broad, interdisciplinary study of Slavic literatures and cultures in a historical context. Emphasis is on the relation of the Slavic literary tradition to other arts, including film, as well as the disciplines that have enriched the historical understanding of literature: history, anthropology, art history, political science, and sociology. Majors in the Slavic Studies must earn a GPA of 2.0 (C) or better in order to receive credit toward the major.

Honors Program

The department’s honors option offers motivated Slavic majors the opportunity to write a senior honors thesis. For more information, please read a description of the program.


The department also offers a minor with three subplans in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Students can choose one of the following subplans:

Russian Language

Russian Language, Literature, and Culture

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Each offers a different focus within the Russian language, culture, and geography. These subplans are designed for students who, while pursuing a major in another program, seek a comprehensive introduction to Russian culture through Russian language courses, a combination of minimal proficiency in Russian and courses in the history of Russian culture, or a multidisciplinary introduction to Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. Students who have chosen one of the minor subplans in Slavic may use 5 units from a PWR course taught by a Slavic faculty member towards their electives with permission from their advisor. Up to 5 units may count from SLE towards all Slavic Languages and Literatures minors.

Courses taken through Stanford’s Education as Self-Fashioning or Structured Liberal Education programs, or in other departments may be counted toward the minor pending approval by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

While the department’s core courses are taught in Slavic, students may choose from an array of literature, culture, and intellectual history courses in English for their electives. Courses taught in English offer those in the process of acquiring the language the opportunity to study Slavic masterworks and historical and cultural moments in translation. They frequently also provide the possibility for students who wish to read and discuss texts in Slavic to meet in separate sections to do so.


Declaring involves a few steps. First, complete the declaration worksheet for your major or minor. Remember that this form is simply a way to begin the conversation with your advisor and that you will not be bound to any electives that you initially choose. Next, meet with your advisor, discuss, and agree on a potential plan. When the declaration worksheet is complete, you can then declare on Axess. Finally, you must submit the approved declaration worksheet to the Undergraduate Student Services Officer for the DLCL.


The Slavic program is flexible in that its programs may also be combined with the programs in Russian, East European and Eurasian history, Jewish Studies, Film Studies (Russian and East-European film), modern Russian theater, International Relations, Stanford’s Overseas Studies, the Special Languages Program, and the Honors Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities.

Stanford students are in a privileged position in relation to Russian and, more broadly, East European and Eurasian Studies, because of Stanford's tremendous faculty resources that are without peer in the US. The Green Library and the Hoover Institution libraries and archives possess the premiere Russian and East European collections, which our undergraduates and graduate students use in their research.

The At Home Abroad House, 574 Governor’s Avenue, is an undergraduate residence for upper-class students devoted to developing an awareness and understanding of global languages and cultures, including Slavic. It hosts visiting representatives of Slavic intellectual, artistic, and political life, and offers a language table that gives residents an opportunity to practice their Slavic skills outside of class in a casual setting. Activities of the At Home Abroad House include dinners and conversations with faculty, artists, and scholars from around the world, seminars on timely, international issues featuring special guest speakers, cooking classes, screenings of films and documentaries, resident-led events and activities that promote language and cultural exchange, and off-campus excursions to museums, historic sites, arts and culture events, restaurants, and more. The assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

Profile Photo - Dominick Lawton

Dominick Lawton
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Bldg 240, Rm 107
dlawton [at] (dlawton[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Profile Photo - Judy Nugent

Judy Nugent
Undergraduate Student Services Officer
Pigott Hall, Bldg 260, Rm 128
(650) 723-1967
dlclstudentservices [at] (dlclstudentservices[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Undergraduate Peer Advisor

Profile Photo - Kat Rjavinski

Kat Rjavinski
krjavins [at]