UChicago was one of the first universities in America to recognize the importance of Russia. Samuel Harper, son of the University’s first president, was a prominent Russianist and began building the University Library’s Russian collection, one of the world’s best and largest. Interested students can get involved in faculty research projects such as a study of the economy and material culture of Russia from 1600 to 1725. Most concentrators spend time in Russia in a Russian-language study program.
Students gain competence in the Russian language as a tool for further work, some knowledge of one or more of the social sciences as they relate to Russian materials, and a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Russian history, politics, economics, or associated subjects.