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World Languages & Cultures

Language and Area Studies: Russian/Area Studies (BA)

Offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences, the BA in Language and Area Studies is designed for students with a strong interest in a region of the world and in a language of that region. This innovative program achieves a balance between humanities and social sciences courses, combined with an advanced level of foreign language study.

Admission to the Program

To be considered for freshman admission, an applicant should have earned at least a 3.00 average in secondary school. Students from other regionally accredited collegiate institutions, and students in other programs at American University who have completed the freshman year, should maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) to be considered for transfer to the program.

University Requirements

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 51 credit hours with grades of C or better.
    • Students may, where appropriate, and with Faculty Advisory Committee approval, select special topics courses to fulfill requirements.
    • Student may also apply up to 3 credit hours toward the major from an approved internship.
    • Study abroad course credits may be used toward the major with the approval of the Faculty Advisory Committee.
  • Proficiency in the appropriate foreign language demonstrated by achieving a B (3.00) average or better for all coursework in the foreign language taken in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Course Requirements

Foundation Courses (9 credit hours)

World Politics

Intercultural Communication

One intercultural communication course from the following:

Comparative Politics

One comparative politics course from the following:

Foreign Language Courses (18 credit hours)

  • 18 credit hours of coursework in a single foreign language at the 300 level or above.

Area Studies (21 credit hours)

Humanities Courses

15 credit hours, with 12 credit hours at the 300 level or above, in humanities courses, including 3 credit hours from the Department of History (HIST-xxx) and an additional 3 credit hours of coursework with a strong historical component, from the following. Other appropriate area studies courses may be substituted with the approval of the major advisor.

Social Science Courses

6 credit hours of coursework in social science courses, selected from the following. Other appropriate area studies courses may be substituted with the approval of the major advisor.

Senior Capstone (3 credit hours)

  • Students enroll either in an SIS comparative seminar or in an approved topics or seminar course in World Languages and Cultures

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors in the major through the University Honors Program, students must meet the requirements detailed on the Honors website and have been enrolled as either a first-year student between Fall 1989 and Spring 2014, or as a transfer or self-nominated student through Spring 2015. The University Honors Program should not be confused with the AU Honors Program, which begins in Fall 2014 and has separate requirements, also detailed on the Honors website.

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

For More Information

Please contact:

Courtney Pollack
(202) 885-1452
pollack@american.edu