Students work with Russian Flagship advisors to create individualized study plans for meeting program requirements.

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Requirements Overview

Students admitted to the Russian Flagship Program work with an advisor on an individualized study plan for meeting these requirements. Those students who cannot follow the established curriculum in the recommended sequence will commit to summer study, in order to bring their proficiency level up to target levels for each year in the program. All students are required to enroll in a minimum of 3 credits per semester (3 contact hours per week) of Russian language coursework throughout their course of study at UW-Madison as part of the program’s criteria for satisfactory progress.

Domestic (UW-Madison) Requirements

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Prerequisite Coursework

Russian Flagship prerequisite coursework includes first- through fourth-year Russian or the equivalent. These courses can be completed at UW-Madison or elsewhere. (For example, if a student studies Russian in high school and places into second-year Russian, he or she would enroll in Slavic 203 and apply for admission to begin the Russian Flagship Program at that level). Students do not need to complete prerequisite coursework before they apply for admission to the Russian Flagship Program.

The majority of Russian Flagship students begin their study of Russian at UW-Madison and condense the prerequisite coursework into two academic years and two summers: Students complete second-year Russian (Slavic 203-204) during an intensive summer at UW-Madison and fourth-year Russian (Slavic 321-322) during an intensive summer study abroad program. Students must complete these prerequisites before enrolling in advanced Russian Flagship coursework.

Please note that Slavic 315-316 can be taken concurrently with either Slavic 275-276 or Slavic 321-322 (during the academic year only).

wdt_ID Course Credits Semester
1 Slavic 101: First-Semester Russian 4 Fall
6 Slavic 102: Second-Semester Russian 4 Spring
7 Slavic 203: Third-Semester Russian 4 Fall (or Slavic 117-118 during Summer)
8 Slavic 204: Fourth-Semester Russian 4 Spring (or Slavic 117-118 during Summer)
9 Slavic 275: Third-Year Russian I 3 Fall
10 Slavic 276: Third-Year Russian II 3 Spring
11 Slavic 315: Russian Language and Culture I 3 Fall
12 Slavic 316: Russian Language and Culture II 3 Spring
13 Slavic 321: Fourth-Year Russian I 3 Fall (or Study Abroad during Summer)
14 Slavic 465: Advanced Readings in Russian Literature & Culture 3 Spring (or Study Abroad during Summer)

Advanced Coursework

wdt_ID Course Credits Semester
1 Slavic 433: History of Russian Culture 3 Fall
2 Slavic 434: Contemporary Russian Culture 3 Spring
3 Slavic 699: Russian Across the Curriculum Tutorial 1 Fall or Spring
4 GNS 471: Advanced Topics in East European and Central Asian Languages and Cultures (Intercultural Introduction to Kazakhstan) 1 Spring

Students choose one of the following courses:

wdt_ID Course Credits Semester
1 Slavic 560: Capstone Seminar in Russian Literature & Culture 3 Fall
2 Slavic 555: Advanced Russian Listening & Speaking 3 Spring


Tutoring is a critical component of the Russian Flagship Program that provides students with 1-4 hours per week of extra practice and focused, small-group or individualized attention as they progress through the program and work to meet proficiency goals.

wdt_ID Level in Russian Type of Tutoring Hours per Week
1 1 Group 1-2
2 2 Group 1-2
3 3 Individual, Group 2
4 4 Individual, Group 2
5 5+ Individual, Group, Russian Across the Curriculum 2-3

Kazakh Language

Russian Flagship students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of instruction in Kazakh prior to participation in the Russian Overseas Flagship capstone program at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The requirement can be met by successfully completing one of the following:

Co- and Extracurricular Activities

wdt_ID Required Optional
1 Social events, lectures, conversations with visiting scholars, films in Russian, or other special activities organized by the Russian Flagship Program Russian House (Russkii dom) in the International Learning Community, part of University Housing
2 ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest (NPSREC) Campus and community events not organized by the Russian Flagship Program
3 Peer language and culture exchange with students from Kazakhstan and related programming


Russian Flagship students must participate in regular assessments of their developing proficiency in Russian, used to determine if students are reaching targeted levels of proficiency, and to identify areas of focus for Russian Flagship tutoring.

Overseas Requirements

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Pre-Capstone Study Abroad

Russian Flagship students are required to complete a minimum of 6 weeks of study abroad in an approved intensive Russian-language program at the secondary or post-secondary level prior to application to the Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF) capstone program. This pre-capstone study abroad program must include at least 20 hours per week of formal academic instruction in Russian and a homestay with a Russian-speaking family.

Most students fulfill this requirement by participating in a UW-Madison summer study abroad program to a Russian-speaking country. The UW-Madison study abroad program includes summer, academic year, and semester programs in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The programs, offered by American Councils for International Education in partnership with UW-Madison, are designed to maximize linguistic and cultural immersion in a Russian-speaking society, with an emphasis on the development of practical speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

Russian Overseas Flagship Capstone Program

The Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF), located in Almaty, Kazakhstan and administered by American Councils for International Education, is an academic year study abroad program that provides students the opportunity for intensive, professional language training and development. The program offers Russian Flagship students access to courses and academic resources at well-respected centers and universities for the study of Russian language and culture.

Students on the ROF have the opportunity to direct enroll in courses on an audit or for-credit basis.

Russian Flagship students at UW-Madison must apply for admission to the Russian Overseas Flagship. Applications are usually due in mid-January for the following academic year. Students must plan far in advance to apply for the program and to meet Russian proficiency and pre-capstone study abroad eligibility requirements. (Participation in an intensive Russian-language study abroad program at the secondary level or beyond for a minimum of 6 weeks is required for students to be eligible to apply to the ROF. This pre-capstone study abroad program must include at least 20 hours per week of formal academic instruction in Russian and a homestay with a Russian-speaking family.)