Undergraduate Program

The concentration in Slavic Literatures and Cultures offers Harvard students the opportunity to study the great works and cultural traditions, past and present, of Russia and the other Slavic countries, especially Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic. These countries share a rich cultural life as well as a turbulent and fascinating history, from the medieval period through the days of the Russian, Habsburg, and Ottoman Empires, from the twentieth-century dramas of world war and Cold War all the way to present-day efforts to reimagine democracy, dissent, and national traditions for the twenty-first century.

While our tutorials focus on literature, art, and culture, we welcome students with an interest in politics, history, linguistics, anthropology, and other fields; your Slavic curriculum will let you incorporate courses in many disciplines. The Slavic concentration encourages creativity and initiative and will teach you both how to analyze literary works and how to place them in their political and cultural context. Along the way, you will get to read some of the great works of European and world literature, from Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to Nabokov and Kundera. 

The language requirement helps students develop advanced proficiency in Russian or another Slavic language (such as Czech, Polish, or Ukrainian), and use their knowledge of the language to read everything from newspapers and primary historical texts to great works of world literature like War and PeaceCrime and Punishment, and The Master and Margarita.

Some of the strengths of our program include: 
  • The chance to take small courses, including tutorials, taught by Department faculty;
  • Individualized advising and flexible requirements that give you significant freedom in designing your own program of study;
  • The opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on your Senior Honors Thesis or capstone project;
  • A rigorous and rewarding language program that will allow you to communicate your ideas to Russian speakers, read classic works of literature in the original Russian, and follow newspapers, blogs, and other primary texts about contemporary politics and culture;
  • A broad conception of Slavic studies that accommodates students interested in history, politics, art, theater, and many other disciplines. 

For detailed information about the application process to Harvard College, please visit the Harvard College's Office of Admissions site.