About

The Department of Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literatures provides graduate- and undergraduate-level courses of study through its four overlapping component programs:

  • Linguistics
  • Russian and Slavic Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Near Eastern Studies

The Department offers:

  • degrees at the AB and MA levels in Linguistics, in Russian, and in Slavic Studies,
  • a dual five-year AB-MA program for Boston College undergraduates,
  • departmental undergraduate minors in Linguistics, Russian, Arabic, and in Chinese.

SELL also coordinates the interdepartmental undergraduate minor in East European Studies and co-coordinates the undergraduate interdisciplinary minors in Asian Studies and in Jewish Studies.

Graduate joint programs with Law or Management are also possible.

For information concerning the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Asian Studies, contact Prof Sing-Chen Lydia Chiang, Coordinator, Asian Studies minor, chiangs@bc.edu.

For information concerning the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in East European Studies, contact Prof Maxim D. Shrayer (Department of Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literatures), Director, East European Studies minor, shrayer@bc.edu.

For information concerning the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies, contact Prof Donald Fishman (Department of Communication), Co-Director, Jewish Studies minor, fishmand@bc.edu.

Department Mission Statement

The Humanities—entailing the study of language, literature, history, philosophy, ethics, and theology—is a body of disciplines dedicated to examining human history, memory, ideas, ideals, and imagination, reflecting on "where we come from" as human communities, and considering “where we are going." Since its establishment in 1968, the lodestar of the department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures has been to serve as a community of scholars and students dedicated to the study of the Humanities—in fields spanning Linguistics, Slavic and East European Studies, and East Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations—reflecting on topics that have special currency in our history, and for our times. With modern challenges rising, and with pressing questions dealing with societies in conflict, globalization, and migration, the study of the Humanities is becoming all the more relevant, indeed crucial to addressing and making sense of growing global complexities. To this end, SELL brings forth intense curricular and disciplinary diversity, a unique dynamic academic ecosystem of sorts, that is reflected in the variety of the department’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Linguistics, Russian, East European and Slavic Studies, and an array of undergraduate departmental and inter-disciplinary minors in Linguistics, Russian, East European Studies, and East Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. This exceptional (some may say “anomalous”) cross and inter-disciplinarity of SELL’s, foundational to the department’s identity and vision, has been a nurturing and welcoming environment to the variegated and prolific activities of both our students and faculty colleagues, contributing to the formation of our students, and supporting the university’s Catholic Jesuit mission and dedication to liberal arts education. It is in this context that our students are trained and inspired, in the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (SJ,) to “hone [their skills] in order to see things expansively, spaciously, universally, with clarity and simplicity, and then walk straight to the goal, peacefully, without worries about what others may think… Our duty as men and women is to go forth as if the limits of our abilities were non-extant. For, we are indeed active partners in the act of creation.” In that sense, our SELL faculty colleagues’ work emphasizes the “whole person” education, opening the mind and heart, spurring character formation in the service of the common good, deepening understanding of others and self, and inspiring creativity, ecumenism, empathy, and diversity of perspectives.