Ukrainian Language Program

Ukrainian is the second largest Slavic language, with some 46 million speakers living in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, as well as North and South America and Australia.

Studying Ukrainian gives motivated students a unique opportunity to discover the psychology, history, and culture of the land that for centuries had been a battleground of three rival European Empires: Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and the Ottoman.   

With many possibilities for travel and study in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, and other centers of independent Ukraine, the time has never been better for students to develop Ukrainian language abroad and at home.  Explore the rich and diverse heritage of Ukrainian literature from its exuberant folklore through the powerful poetry of Shevchenko to the lean precision of the twentieth century avant-garde; from the legends and history of Kyiven Rus to the glory and turmoil of Cossackdom to the haunting legacy of Chernobyl. With Ukrainian you have an important tool for understanding the growing political and economic power of Ukraine in the Eastern European context, as well as the acute problems that plague many post-Communist nations. 

The Department offers a full year of Ukrainian, followed by special courses and tutorials depending on student interest.  Harvard is a center of Ukrainian studies and there is an unusually rich offering of courses in literature, history, and government. Summer study is convenient at Harvard, and study abroad in Ukraine is encouraged.