The Department of Russian and East European Studies regularly offers courses on Russian history and politics, supplemented by courses in economics and anthropology.

Our philosophy is interdisciplinary, combining a background in the social sciences with courses in Russian language, literature and culture. Through the Oberlin Center for Russian and East European and Central Asian Studies (OCREECAS), you can take short intensive courses taught by visiting specialists in the field.

New students considering a major or minor are encouraged to include an introductory course in Russian history, politics, sociology, literature, or culture in their first semester. We strongly encourage students to begin Russian language study in their first year, either in the fall or through the Intensive Elementary Russian course regularly offered during winter term. Potential majors should meet with the chair of the Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee (REES) to ensure appropriate course selection and to choose an area of focus: chronological, thematic, methodological, or disciplinary.

A chief goal of the REES program is to prepare you for research or study in Russia or Eastern Europe. We highly recommend study abroad for a semester or a year in one of our Oberlin-affiliated programs in such Russian cities as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, or Irkutsk, and in the Czech Republic, Poland, or Hungary. We emphasize building a strong foundation in Russian language and culture so you can function and communicate adequately at home and abroad.

To enrich your academic experience, you can live in or spend time in Oberlin’s Russian House, a small coeducational residential hall for up to 15 students. Russian House serves as a campus hub for all things Russian: concerts, discussion groups, lectures, and other programs for those studying Slavic cultures. Native speakers of Russian participate as visiting scholars or artists in residence, giving you keener insight into the language and customs.

You can benefit from participation in OCREECAS, which promotes awareness of the region to the Oberlin community. OCREECAS staff also works with the REES Committee to develop curriculum and supervises internship, research, service, and employment opportunities for qualified students and recent graduates.