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Undergraduate Program

slavic and eastern languages and literatures

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Undergraduate Program Description

The Department administers undergraduate majors in Linguistics, Russian, and Slavic Studies, as well as minors in Arabic, Chinese, Linguistics, Russian, and East European Studies. Students may also participate in an interdisciplinary minor in interdisciplinary programs in Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, International Studies, and Islamic Civilization and Societies. Departmental honors require successful completion of honors requirements. For information, contact the Department.

The Department maintains listings of related courses from other departments that satisfy various program requirements. Substitutions and exemptions from specific program requirements, as well as the application of courses from other institutions, require express permission from the Chairperson or the Undergraduate Program Director.

Students fulfilling the undergraduate Core requirements in Literatures should consider Core offerings taught by members of the Department and Cultural Diversity.

References to the number of credits required correlate with the number of full one-semester courses.

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MAJOR IN LINGUISTICS (31 CREDITS)

The focus of the Linguistics program does not lie alone in the acquisition of language skills, but rather in learning to analyze linguistic phenomena with a view toward making significant generalizations about the nature of language.

Students majoring in Linguistics build their programs around a specific area of emphasis. In consultation with the faculty, students design a program of study tailored to the individual's interests and goals. Typical areas of emphasis include philology (the historical and comparative study of ancient languages), psycholinguistics, and language acquisition.

A typical program for this major requires the following:

  • LING3101 General Linguistics (3 credits)
  • LING3102 Syntax and Semantics (3 credits)
  • LING3103 Language and Language Types (3 credits) or LING3104 Formalism and Functionalism in Linguistics (3 credits)
  • 3 credits in Philology
  • 3 further credits in Philology or in Structure of a Language
  • 15 additional credits drawn from departmental offerings, of which two must be 'upper-division' electives 
  • LING4391 AB Comprehensive: Linguistics (1 cr)

Linguistics majors should additionally develop proficiency in at least one foreign language and competence in at least one other language at levels appropriate to their career plans (e.g. French, German, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Russian).

Also desirable: Exposure to a non-Indo-European language (e.g., Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew)—all of which are taught within the Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures Department).

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Minor in Linguistics (departmental)

This departmental minor requires a minimum of 6 approved one-semester courses (18 credits)

  • LING3101 General Linguistics (3 credits)
  • LING3102 Syntax and Semantics (3 credits)
  • 3 credits in Philology
  • 6 additional credits drawn from departmental linguistic offerings

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MAJOR IN RUSSIAN (30 CREDITS, NORMALLY TEN 1-SEMESTER COURSES)

The major in Russian provides rigorous training in Russian language, literature and culture. The major concentrates on acquiring advanced proficiency in Russian language and on comprehending important aspects of the literature, culture and civilization of Russia and the former USSR.  

The requirements for the major in Russian are as follows:

  • 9 credits (normally, 3 one-semester courses) in Russian grammar, composition, and stylistics beyond the intermediate level
  • 9 credits (normally, 3 one-semester courses) in Russian literature and culture, including 2 survey courses for classical and modern Russian literature (SLAV2162 and SLAV2173)
  • 3 credits in Slavic Civilizations or Russian Civilization and Culture (usually SLAV2169 Slavic Civilizations)
  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in Russian literature, culture, advanced grammar and stylistics, history or politics, of which at least 3 credits must be in Russian literature and culture (list of approved courses available from the Department)

The Department also has provisions for a Russian major with a concentration on culture and civilization.

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Minor in Russian (departmental)

The departmental minor in Russian requires a minimum of 18 credits (normally, 6 approved courses):

  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in Russian at or above the intermediate level
  • 6 credits (2 one-semester courses) in Russian literature: one pre-twentieth century and one post-nineteenth century (normally 2 survey courses for classical and modern Russian literature, SLAV2162 and SLAV2173)
  • 6 additional credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in Russian literature, culture, advanced grammar and stylistics, history or politics (list of approved courses available from the Department)

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MAJOR IN SLAVIC STUDIES (30 CREDITS)

The major in Slavic Studies provides broadly based training about Russia and the nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The normal program for this major requires the following:

  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in a Slavic language at or above the intermediate level
  • 3 credits (normally, 1 one-semester course) in Slavic civilizations (usually SLAV2169 Slavic Civilizations)
  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in a Slavic literature, including, but not limited to Russian literature
  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in Slavic history, politics or linguistics (list of approved courses available from the Department)
  • 9 credits (normally, 3 one-semester courses) in Russian and Slavic studies (list of approved courses available from the Department)

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Minor in Arabic Studies (departmental)

The departmental minor in Arabic Studies covers areas of Modern Standard Arabic and Modern Hebrew languages, Modern Middle Eastern literature and cultural history, and Near Eastern Civilizations. The minor requires a minimum of eighteen credits in approved courses (normally, six one-semester courses):

  • 6 credits (normally, 2 one-semester courses) in Modern Standard Arabic above the first semester of intermediate intensive level
  • 12 credits (normally, 4 one-semester courses) in Middle Eastern languages, cultures, literatures and civilizations

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Minor in Chinese (departmental)

The departmental minor in Chinese focuses on acquiring modern language proficiency and knowledge of aspects of Chinese culture, literature and civilization. The minor requires a minimum of 18 credits of approved course work (normally, 6 one-semester courses)

  • 6 credits (normally 2 one-semester courses) in modern Mandarin Chinese beyond the first semester of intermediate intensive level
  • 12 credits (normally, 4 one-semester courses) in Chinese culture and literature, which may include courses taught in translation, language courses in Classical Chinese and Advanced Chinese, and Introduction to Far Eastern Civilizations

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Minor in Asian Studies (interdisciplinary)

For information concerning the Asian Studies minor, contact the Director of the interdisciplinary minor in Asian Studies, Sing-chen Lydia Chiang, chiangs@bc.edu, 617-552-0128.

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Minor in East European Studies (interdisciplinary)

The East European Studies interdisciplinary minor requires a minimum of 18 credits in approved course work (normally, 6 one-semester courses), distributed as follows:

  • 3 credits in either Russian Civilization (SLAV2165) or Slavic Civilizations (SLAV2169)
  • 3 additional credits in Russian or East European history, culture or politics
  • 6 credits in Russian or in another Slavic or East European language at or above the intermediate level
  • 6 credits in approved elective course work from related areas such as: art history, economics, sociology, film studies, literature, linguistics or language, philosophy, or theology. 

For more information on the minor in East European Studies, contact Professor Maxim D. Shrayer, Director, East European Studies minor, shrayerm@bc.edu

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Minor in Jewish Studies (interdisciplinary)

The Boston College Jewish Studies program seeks to examine the multiple dimensions and complexities of Jewish culture throughout its broad chronological and geographical range. The interdisciplinary minor in Jewish Studies consists of a total of 6 three-credit courses (18 credits), including one foundation course, four electives, and a concluding seminar/Capstone course.

For information concerning the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies, visit the Program’s web page, at www.bc.edu/schools/cas/jewish.

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Study Abroad

The Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures requires, in general, at least two years of language study, in addition to coursework (tailored to the individual student's program of study) that would provide cultural orientation. Since the Department offers a wide-variety of majors, there is no particular limit as to how many courses taken abroad will be allowed for major credit.

Individual programs of study are arranged according to the types of instruction available, and the student's goals and background.

Students majoring in Linguistics may profit from any number of study-abroad opportunities, depending on the specific language(s) they elect to focus on. Students of East Asian languages have participated to great advantage in a variety of different study abroad opportunities in Japan, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, Korea, and other nations of Asia.

Junior year is the most popular time to study abroad, but seniors have done so successfully as well. All Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures majors must obtain department course approval before going abroad. Students should consult with the relevant faculty members, depending on their language and area of expertise.

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Office of International Programs

Students taking classes in the Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures participate in Boston College's programs and international partnerships in China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Poland, Russia, and other countries.

For complete information on any of these programs and also on unofficial study abroad, visit www.bc.edu/international.

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Teachers of English to Foreign Students

The Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures offers a number of linguistics courses for training teachers of English to foreign students. The Department of English offers elective and Core-level undergraduate courses of English language and literature for foreign students enrolled at Boston College.

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