• <a href="/live/image/gid/497/width/650/86496_Russian_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86496"><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/497/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86496_Russian_main_image.rev.1607651010.webp 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/497/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86496_Russian_main_image.rev.1607651010.jpg 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/497/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86496_Russian_main_image.rev.1607651010.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/497/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86496_Russian_main_image.rev.1607651010.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/497/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86496_Russian_main_image.rev.1607651010.jpg" alt="Learning Russian opens doors to careers in business, government, social services, education, journalism, and more." data-max-w="1104" data-max-h="1058" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a> <div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption">Learning Russian opens doors to careers in business, government, social services, education, journalism, and more.</div>

Why Choose a Minor in Russian?

Russian is the primary language of some 164 million people and is spoken as a secondary language by an additional 114 million. One of the five official languages of the United Nations, Russian is also on the United States’ list of strategic languages due to a shortage of U.S. specialists in the language and geographic area. Globally, there is a need for people who speak Russian and understand Russian and post-Soviet cultures. For numerous international political issues—such as cybersecurity, access to oil and gas, the war in Ukraine, nuclear programs in Russia and North Korea, and so on—it’s crucial that the U.S. be able to engage with the Russian Federation and other Russian-speaking nations.

What You’ll Study

We offer a minor in Russian through the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Our language courses are offered at all levels. You’ll also find courses on Russian literature and culture—students with no knowledge of Russian can study the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and Turgenev, while advanced students will find challenging courses to increase their fluency.

Many of our students earn course credit on overseas programs. In addition to general cultural programs that are open to all students, the Kyrgyzstan program is designed specifically for developing advanced language skills through immersive learning.

Outside the classroom, the Keck Interactive Learning Center is a language lab and community area that is packed with linguistic and cultural resources. The Global Languages and Cultures Living-Learning Community is a unique on-campus housing option with an immersive language-based focus. Each year we host a visiting Fulbright scholar who teaches our conversation courses and offers tutoring support. We collaborate with other departments and programs to bring prominent scholars, journalists, and public figures to campus to share their expertise on Russia, the post-socialist world, and U.S.-Russia relations.


Complement Your Education With One of These Majors

The most popular majors for our Russian minors are international affairs, political science, and world languages and literatures.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Martin, in a black blazer and red collared shirt, sitting on an outdoor bench next to a brick wall.

    I decided to study French and Russian based on my passion. In my first semester, I started taking classes based on what captured my attention, which eventually led to me choosing world languages as my major.

    Juan Martín López Meléndez BA ’23
    World Languages | Theatre | La Piedad, Michoacán, México/Fresno, California/Las Vegas, New Mexico
    More about Juan Martín

What Can You Do With a Minor in Russian?

Our alumni use their minor in Russian to secure prestigious scholarships and grants (like the Fulbright and Boren), as well as to get internships and jobs, or continue their studies in graduate school.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

  • 96% 

    Within six months of graduation, 96% of the Lewis & Clark Classes of 2018–2022 were already changing the world through employment (76%), continuing studies (19%), and service work (1%), like the Peace Corps.

  • 54 

    nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body

  • 125 

    of our undergraduate students are Third Culture Kids.

  • 10% 

    of our undergraduate students are from outside the U.S.

  • 2,188 

    As of fall 2022, there are 2,188 degree-seeking students enrolled at Lewis & Clark College.

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate with their bachelor of arts degree in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

The student-led Russian Club brings together anyone who is interested in the Russian-speaking world. Events include visits to Portland-area museums, the symphony, and grocery stores; movie nights; craft and game nights; Russian food cook-outs; and much more.

Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Aaron Schimmel BA '18

    I spent the year after graduation as an English teach in a Jerusalem elementary school. After that I began a PhD in history at Stanford University, where I am currently working on a dissertation that focuses on Jews in the Russian Empire.

    Aaron Schimmel BA ’18
    History | Russian
    More about Aaron
  • Jason Stanford BA '92

    A liberal arts education is all about being curious and making interdisciplinary connections. I could not have written Forget the Alamo without my Lewis & Clark education.

    Jason Stanford BA ’92
    Self-designed Russian Studies
    More about Jason
  • David Salkowski BA '14

    The hands-on mentorship, the thoughtful pedagogy, and, of course, my classmates at L&C holistically prepared me for graduate school.

    David Salkowski BA ’14
    Music | Russian Studies
    More about David

More News and Events →