Where to Start with RPSS

The program in Russia and Post-Soviet Studies (RPSS) explores the history, politics, culture, and language of a vast, diverse region. You may concentrate your major or minor in RPSS.

It is an interdisciplinary program, so you will take courses from several different disciplines.

Where to Start?

The "gateway" course to RPSS is RPSS 201 - Introduction to Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. If you are considering a degree in RPSS, this is a great course to start with. This course is not required by either the major or minor, but it can be one of the courses to meet a Literature & Culture in Translation requirement. It will introduce you to some of the key facts, debates and myths in and about the region. It will also introduce you to the interdisciplinary approach of studying a topic. It also can count for a COLL 200.

Both majors and minors will take at least two Russian language courses over the 300 level. In order to take these advanced language classes, you need to have credit for Russian up through RUSN 202 - and credit for the introductory classes will not count towards your major. If you have not studied Russian before coming to William & Mary, you need to begin your study of the language right away. If you have studied Russian elsewhere, contact the Russian Studies Program Director for placement.

We encourage all our students to study abroad. W&M sponsors a summer program in St. Petersburg, which will give you six weeks of intensive language study, plus a course on Russian literature or culture.

Finding Courses

Not all courses eligible for the ES major or minor are offered every year. Check the Undergraduate Catalog to see which courses are approved as meeting degree requirements. Then use the Dynamic Schedule or Open Course List to see which ones are offered in the next semester. It is not required that an ES minor have an advisor to help navigate the dgree requirements. If you have questions, talk to your advisor, or see the Program Chair.