Coursework is one component of the Russian Flagship’s rigorous, flexible curriculum. The program is designed to enable students of any major, even those entering UW-Madison with no prior experience studying Russian, to reach a professional level of language proficiency by graduation. For a typical student, this means condensing four years of Russian language coursework into two academic years and two summers, which includes a summer study abroad program to a Russian-speaking country. Students then spend an additional 1-2 academic years completing advanced Russian language coursework at UW-Madison before embarking on a capstone year abroad, the Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF), located in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
It is possible for students to complete the program, including the ROF capstone year abroad, in four years, but the majority of students who begin their study of Russian at UW-Madison need five years to complete the program. Factors that influence this timeline include the student’s prior experience studying Russian, other fields of study, number of majors or certificates, credit load per semester, extracurricular activities, work commitments, etc.
Students work with Russian Flagship advisors to build individualized study plans for meeting coursework and other requirements. Plans can be adjusted, on a case-by-case basis, to accommodate a student’s major, course schedule during a given semester, or other individual needs. Early planning is an important factor in ensuring that students are able to progress through the program in a timely manner.