The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Language Learning

At UMass, you can engage in learning the Russian language at any stage, whether you a complete beginner, an Intermediate or Advanced speaker or a Heritage learner (i.e. if you grew up speaking some Russian). 

Our language courses will help you to be able to: 

  • "I study russian" posterWrite and converse in Russian at the Intermediate Mid to High level, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines, and at the Advanced Low to Mid level after at least one semester of study abroad;
  • Comprehend contemporary Russian—written and spoken—to a degree permitting the understanding of texts and ideas relevant to disciplines beyond language study; 
  • Analyze complex texts through critical close reading and respond to them in literate English;
  • Engage in research in the field using primary and secondary sources; and
  • Generate original ideas and insights using knowledge of the Russian language and critical skills acquired through the study of Russian history and culture.

Language Courses

Elementary Russian (Russian 110 and 120): 
Beginning of four-skill language course. Russian spoken in class, grammar introduced gradually. Regular written assignments and language lab exercises to develop proficiency in all four language skills. No previous language experience required.

Intermediate Russian (Russian 230 and 240)
For students with some previous study of Russian (Russian 110 and 120 or outside study). Focus on solidifying linguistic performance by creating with the language to produce unrehearsed, meaningful exchanges of information. Refining of structural knowledge and expansion of vocabulary within the context of Russian culture. Authentic texts and films are used to create context for reviewing and expanding grammar, syntax and vocabulary knowledge.

Advanced Russian (Russian 301 and 302)
For students who completed two years of Russia or an equivalent. This course aims at developing students' vocabulary and ability to use complex grammatical and syntactic structures, as well as their ability to speak and write about community, cultural differences, current events, literature, and films. 

If you are in doubt which course is a good fit for you, please contact Professor Evgeny Dengub ( who will help you make a selection.

The UMass Russian language program is coordinated with the language programs at Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. If a class at the University does not fit your schedule, you can always take this class at either of the colleges. The full schedule of 5 College Russian and REEES classes is available

If you would like to test out of the language requirement, contact Professor Evgeny Dengub (