department of slavic
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
One of approximately twenty doctoral programs in Slavic Studies in the U.S., the Slavic Department at the University of Pittsburgh has six full-time tenured faculty members. In both the undergraduate and graduate areas, the Slavic Department teaches courses in Polish, Serbian, Slovak, and Ukrainian, but remains primarily Russian-oriented, this fact reflecting, on the undergraduate level, the interests of most potential majors and, on the graduate level, the current needs of the field. At present the undergraduate major is offered only in Russian, with the possibility of a self-designed major in Polish and Slovak. The Russian major stresses language proficiency, the study of major periods and authors, and the culture of the former Soviet Union. The M.A. program in literature and culture, together with a Russian and East European studies certificate, is suitable for students planning careers in government, business, or teaching. The Ph.D. in literature and culture is offered only in Russian.
Owing to an exceptionally strong auxiliary program in Russian and East European Studies, under the aegis of the University Center for International Studies, the University of Pittsburgh has a program of faculty and student contacts and exchanges with Eastern Europe, including Russia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria.
The Slavic Department has been fortunate over the past six years in making nationally prominent appointments while maintaining coverage of core graduate areas. The Slavic Department's strong commitment to its undergraduate program is reflected in a high student retention rate and the quality of its undergraduate majors and minors. Its equal dedication to the graduate program has ensured a record of unusual success in job placement for its Ph.D.s. All tenured faculty teach at the undergraduate level. Beginning language courses, such as First- and Second-Year Russian, are typically taught according to a lecture-recitation format, with senior faculty or other experienced instructors in charge.
For the past several years the Department has offered intensive summer language programs in Russian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Hungarian, and Romanian. More than half of the participants in the summer programs come from schools outside the University of Pittsburgh system. Proceeds from the Summer Institute enable the Department to underwrite the Ivan Elagin graduate fellowship, which provides one year of support for an incoming graduate student without teaching responsibilities.
The U.S. Slovak community has contributed financially to the establishment of a full-time faculty position primarily in the Slovak area. The creation of that position makes the University of Pittsburgh unique among higher educational institutions outside Slovakia, additionally providing expanded coverage in the areas of Slovak culture, cinema, folklore, and linguistics.
A recent gift from the Polish National Alliance has placed Pittsburgh in possession of one of the richest collections of Polish library materials in the United States.
Community support of the Serbian program has enabled the Department to offer courses not only in Serbian language, but also in Serbian literature and culture.