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Studying Russian at the University of Iowa Russian Program.

Our program offers four levels (8 semesters) of courses in Russian, teaching students to speak, read, understand and write in this fascinating language. In addition, we offer courses on Russian literature, cinema, and culture, such as "Russian Today," "Slavic Folklore," "Tolstoy and Dostoevsky," and "Cult Films of Last Soviet Generation." You may ask... why? Russian is currently the fifth-most widely used language in the world, reportedly spoken by 278 million people. With 164 native speakers, it is the largest native language in Europe. Russian is one of just six official languages of the UN (Along with Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and Spanish), and the Cyrillic alphabet is now one of three official alphabets of that organization. One-quarter of the scientific literature published in the world is published in Russian. Russian is even the 10th-most widely spoken language in the U.S. (of 322 overall). One in every 372 Americans over age five uses Russian in the home.

For all Russian and Slavic courses offered at the UI in the current semester, see

For more information about the Russian language program, please contact Irina Kostina, 634 Phillips Hall or via phone: 319-621-2196 (cell), e-mail:


We encourage Study Abroad

We provide many opportunities for our students to learn Russian during summer intensive courses in Moscow, Sankt-Petersburg, Vladimir.

These direct institutional programs ( The American Councils for International Education, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, PRUE, and others) have connections with Russia’s leading universities and offer intensive study programs for the summer, semester and academic year. Scholarships are available, and students financial aid packages through Iowa may be applied directly toward the program cost in Russia.

Contact Study Abroad Programs:  (319) 335-0353,


Resources for students of Russian

Faces of Russia at PBS  A Website devoted to PBS's three hour series entitled "Faces of Russia". Take a journey into the heart of Russian culture through her art, architecture, music and literature. View movie clips from the series and listen to interviews on many different topics in Russian culture.

The Moscow Times  Daily English language newspaper on-line.

AATSEEL  The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages

AAASS  The American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies

ACTR  The American Council of Teachers of Russian, Russian Page at Bucknell University

Russia Online  A website where students can purchase textbooks published in Russia

All current and former students of the Russian language program can join our Facebook group


Russian minor

For the requirements for a Russian minor, please visit the General Catalog.


Video Links

UI Russian Program's Traditional Kapustnik - Fall 2015


The Art of Making the Russian Pelmeni


Если у Вас нету тёти/ If You Don't Have an Aunt




Created by our first-year students: Max Cremer and Leo Linder 

Language: Russian with explanations in English. 

This fictional video shows how an American student studying abroad in Moscow encounters various situations and makes a Russian friend.


Created by our first-year students: Max Cremer, Nathan Gail, and Leo Linder 

Language: Russian 

This fictional video continues the story about Max, an American student studying in Moscow, his Russian friend Leo and a new study abroad student Nate. Together they go through various situations in student life.


Created by our first-year students: Kyle Adamas, Trevor Johnson, Christopher Schuttloffel 

Language: Russian 

1986. The cold war is almost over. A professor from the USA comes to the Soviet Union. He has no visa. But he believes that his love for the Russian culture will open all the doors. His encounter with the Russian border patrol officers will show us if he’s right.