College of Liberal Arts Logo Temple University | College of Liberal Arts


Why Study Russian?

Russian Major, Minor and Certificate at Temple

Russian faculty at Temple

Placement and FL Exemption Testing

Russian language course resources

Study Abroad in Russia

Other Resources for Studying Russian

Resources for Russian Cultural Research



Why Study Russian at Temple?

Almost everyone studies French, German or Spanish. You can stand out by studying a less commonly taught language, like Russian!

1. Russian is a WORLD language : The Russian Federation has a population of just under 150 million people which constitutes slightly more than 50% of the population of the former Soviet Union. Of those 150 million, slightly more than 120 million identify themselves as ethnic Russians. (There are many more ethnic Russians in other countries of the former Soviet.) Russia spans eleven time zones and covers about 1/8th of the world's land surface. It is the largest country in the world, almost twice the size of the United States. Put simply, Russia is huge.

2. The Russian Economy is Booming : Russia is the largest or one of the largest producers of numerous natural resources and raw materials including petroleum, diamonds, gold, copper, manganese, uranium, silver, graphite, and platinum. Russia is the second largest steel producer in the world, after Japan and has an enormous timber reserve. Russia is the world's largest producer of natural gas, third largest producer of oil and fourth largest in terms of the mining of coal. Russia has an estimated 40% of the world's total reserves of natural gas, and Russia's proven oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's and Russia is the TOP oil producer in the world. Russia is a tremendous potential market for US goods and services. Experts expect an increase in demand for American made equipment related to the energy sector, timber, and food processing equipment, as well as aircraft, air traffic control equipment, among other economic sectors. American companies have been quick to realize the potential of the Russian market; some of these are listed at In the year 2000, the Russian government held currency reserves valued at $30 billion and the Russian trade balance was in surplus to the tune of $50 billion: BUSINESS IS BOOMING!

3. Learn about one of the world's most fascinating cultures : Russia is the place that gave birth and and room for flights of imagination for some of the world's most prominent writers, artists, musicians, directors of the stage and screen: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pasternak, Akhmatova and Brodsky, Repin, Kandinsky, Malevich, Popova, Chagall, Chaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stanislavsky and Tarkovsky ... to name just a few!

4. Russian at Temple is not too hard : Students spend no more time on homework for a Russian class at Temple than they do for Spanish, about 1.5 hours a day. Students who come to class and do the homework regularly get good grades. Russian classes are FUN: The alphabet is not hard at all; students learn it in about a week or two with our new CD-ROM.

5. Our language program is well run: Our program is small: all students get lots of attention from their instructors. No one is left behind.

6. There are great study abroad options: We encourage students to go on study abroad and recommend programs through the American Council of Teachers of Russian (, Council on International Educational Exchange (, and the School for Russian & Asian Studies ( See Temple’s Study Abroad Program ( or one of the Russian faculty for more information.

7. Russian combines well with many other disciplines: business and Russian, science and Russian, political science or history and Russian, English and Russian, another foreign language and Russian, engineering and Russian, mathematics and Russian, music and Russian. Russian provides you with opportunities your non-Russian studying classmates don't have. For instance, a student majoring in biology and Russian can go to Russia on study abroad and work with Russian biologists in a laboratory in Russia, then get a fellowship to study fresh water ecology in Lake Baikal and Lake Tahoe and then go on to Medical School.

8 Studying Russian helps you succeed after graduation: Students who study Russian have a higher rate of acceptance for graduate study in law school, business school, medical school, and other professional programs.

9. Students of Russian go on to great careers. Former students of Russian are now working or have worked: as engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (with Russian cosmonauts training for the Space Shuttle), at banks operating in international markets, as professors of Russian literature at small colleges and large universities, in the peace corps, in major accounting firms (in Russia and in the US), in large and small law firms, in press offices in Russia, Europe and America, in the State Department and Commerce Department of the federal government, in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Russian high schools, for non-profit agencies such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the National Foreign Language Center, or the US-Russia Business Council. Some former Russian students have worked for the American Council of Teachers of Russian and the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) both in the US and in Russia.

10. The US Government needs more "linguists" with Russian-language expertise: Commerce Department, FCC, ITC, FBI, CIA, NSA, Energy Department, State Department, among others, are all hiring!

11. The alphabet is cool: It has 33 letters, 10 of which are vowels, and the last letter of the alphabet looks like a backwards R, which is of course very very cool:


Аа Бг Вв Гг Дд Ее Ёё Жж Зз Ии Йй

Кк Лл Мм Нн Оо Пп Рр Сс Тт Уу Фф

Хх Цц Чч Шш Щщ Ъь Ыы Ьь Ээ Юю Яя


If you want to see more information about “Why Russia Matters,” click here.

If you have questions about Russian at Temple
please contact the advisor for the Russian major:





Department of French, German, Italian, and Slavic Languages
Anderson Hall 525 | 1114 West Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
tel: 215-204-1760 ~ fax: 215-204-7752 ~ email: