The Slavic Studies majors have a plethora of diverse and adventurous career opportunities. With the Russian language skills in the student’s artillery, former Slavic Studies majors have gone on to a “spate of fascinating destinations, from Wall Street to Kosovo, from NGOs to the corporate world to the halls of government.” (Richardson) Paul E. Richardson, the publisher of Russian Life, has written an article on the Slavic Studies major’s opportunities. It includes interviews with former Russian majors who went on to use their Russian professionally in interesting ways. Read it here.
The Columbia Slavic Department offers Russian placement exams at the beginning of each academic year. Inquire at the Slavic Department office, 708 Hamilton Hall, for scheduling details. (You can also contact the Department by phone at 212-854-3942.) Students who wish to take a Russian placement exam at any other time, who need a reading proficiency exam, or who have particular questions about placing into/out of Russian language courses, should consult the Russian Language Coordinator.
For placement or proficiency exams in other Slavic languages, contact the following faculty members (you will find their information in the faculty directory):
- Czech: Professor Christopher W. Harwood
- Polish: Professor Christopher J. Caes
- Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian: Professor Aleksandar Boskovic
- Ukrainian: Professor Yuri Shevchuk
Check out the calendar of the Harriman Institute, Columbia's center for the study of East Europe and Eurasia, for upcoming events of interest. The Institute also awards undergraduate fellowships twice a year, for which Barnard students are eligible. Columbia has the Russian International Association at CU. There's also a Ukrainian film club. Finally, Barnard and Columbia undergraduates publish a journal of Slavic- and East European-related articles written by students from around the country -- you don't have to be a Slavic major to get involved!
The Barnard and Columbia Slavic Departments function as a single unit for academic purposes. This means that both Barnard and Columbia faculty teach courses in our undergraduate and graduate programs, advise undergraduate and graduate theses, and make decisions about the structure of our degree programs. As a Barnard Slavic major or minor, you will probably end up taking classes from both Barnard and Columbia faculty, and the professor who advises your senior thesis may be chosen from either school.
However, if you decide to major in Russian or Slavic studies at Barnard, your academic adviser (the person who approves your program each semester) will always be a Barnard faculty member. (Columbia Slavic majors go to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia for academic advising.)
The Barnard Slavic Department is centered in 226 Milbank Hall, with faculty offices opening off the main department office. The Columbia Slavic Department is centered in 708 Hamilton Hall, with faculty offices dotted up and down the 7th-floor hallway. During business hours, office staff is available in both department offices to help you find what you need.
For more detailed information about Slavic studies at Barnard/Columbia, including information on professors, courses of instruction, alumni, events, and other resources, see the main Department website.