SMU is one of few universities in Texas offering Russian language. Having existed for more than 50 years, the SMU Russian program has a rich tradition. Russian language courses are taught in the context of culture and new developments in Russia which makes language acquisition engaging, effective, and exciting. The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers a minor in Russian area studies (an ideal pairing with a major in international studies, business and history), study abroad opportunities during the summer or regular semester, and cultural enrichment activities supported by the SMU Russian Club and the Russian American Center of Dallas.
Why Study Russian?
1. Russian is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and one of the six official languages of the United Nations along with English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Arabic.
Russian is spoken by 293 million people. There are more Russian speakers in the world than there are speakers of German and French combined. Russian is the official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is widely spoken in some other former Soviet Republics and in many countries of Eastern Europe.
2. Russia continues to play an important role in global economy, politics, and culture
Russia is the world’s largest producer of natural gas, second largest steel producer, third largest producer of oil, and fourth largest in the mining of coal.
3. Knowledge of Russian is a valuable and marketable skill in the workplace
Russian language skills can be combined with other disciplines such as law and business, politics and government, science and technology, engineering, and computers. Russian language graduates pursue exciting careers in such diverse areas as foreign and government service, international business, public relations, news media, tourism, law enforcement, education, and social work. The growth of U.S.-Russia trade and cultural agreements has opened new areas of employment in banking, manufacturing, sales, technical consultation, contracts, negotiations, office management, and translating. The demand in the workforce for bilingual and multilingual individuals is very strong.
4. Russia has a rich cultural and scientific history
Russian scientists and mathematicians have been at the cutting edge of research in a variety of scientific pursuits, especially in geology, geophysics, chemistry, engineering, and aeronautics. Over a quarter of world’s scientific literature is published in Russian.
“Does Russia Matter?” (Russian Life)