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Undergraduate Slavic Degree

The department offers three different concentration options for undergraduate students at the BA level.  Depending on their interests, students can pursue a concentration in Polish Studies, in Russian language, literature and culture, or in South Slavic (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian) Studies.

Language Assessment of Slavic Majors - All majors in Slavic languages will complete degree-level assessment in the final semester of their Slavic major at KU (or somewhat earlier if desired) to demonstrate and document their attainment of the SLL learning outcomes for undergraduate students.


Polish at KU

The University of Kansas has a more than thirty-year tradition of teaching Polish language and literature. The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers yearly regular courses of elementary, intermediate and advanced Polish. Students who already have advanced knowledge of Polish can take independent study courses in Polish Language and Literature after obtaining the consent of the instructor.

KU recommends that students study abroad, and can consult with students to pick the programs that best match their academic and professional interests.

Professor Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova is the Director of the Polish Program. She teaches upper-level courses of Polish and courses in Polish and Czech (West Slavic) literature, culture and cinema. Her research interests include 21st century Polish  prose, the Polish post-1989 Bildungsroman, Communism, memory studies, and trauma theory.


Russian at KU

Russian has been taught at KU since 1943. Students can take up to five years of language instruction (with courses from the Russ 100 through the Russ 600 level).  In addition to work on the language students have the option to take a wide number of courses in the literature, culture, film and structure of the language that are taught in English.  Students are encouraged to plan a semester or academic year of study abroad into their academic program, especially after they have completed Russ 504 on the KU campus.  Students, whose academic schedules allow only a summer of study abroad, should complete Russ 208 before studying abroad. The study of Russian opens up a myriad of career opportunities in fields ranging from business to diplomacy to environmental studies to technology and cultural exchange.

Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian (BSC) at KU

This concentration allows students to focus on Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (formerly known as Serbo-Croatian). Three languages for the price of one! Although Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian have all become official languages of their newly independent states, they remain completely understandable among each other. If you learn one language,you can speak to any of nearly 20 million people in three countries, in the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federation of Serbia and Montenegro.

Career opportunities connected with Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are numerous and so far demand for employees with knowledge of the language(s) has greatly exceeded supply. Possible career paths with this language include commerce, academia, intelligence, security, tourism, NGOs, journalism, diplomacy and foreign service. KU is the only place in the U.S. between the West Coast and the Mississippi River where one can study Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian from the beginning to the advanced level. Moreover, KU offers the only summer study-abroad program in North America for intensive study of Croatian, located in the beautiful city of Zadar on the Adriatic Sea.

In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time


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Upcoming Events

KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad