Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


Sylvania Campus, CT 219 | 971-722-4841 | Faculty

St Petersburg skyline

Why study Russian at PCC?

There are more than 140,000 Russian-speaking immigrants in Oregon and Washington. The U.S. Census indicates that the Pacific Northwest has had the greatest influx of Russian-speaking immigrants anywhere in the nation over the last 20 years, making Russian the most commonly spoken language in Oregon, after English and Spanish.

Russian is also the second most sought-out language by employers in Oregon and Washington. Russian language skills are an invaluable career tool and are in high demand for business, real estate, high-tech, medicine, nursing, dentistry, teaching, education, social work, retail, law enforcement, and government jobs. Knowing Russian can give you an edge when applying for jobs.

Expert faculty

Portland Community College Russian faculty are experts in the language and culture. The Russian program at PCC boasts the largest enrollment in the state for first and second-year courses. All PCC Russian courses are taught using an immersion method. The goal of all Russian courses at PCC is to help students develop communicative competence and proficiency in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing Russian, as well as cultural awareness.

Student honors

Nineteen PCC Russian language students have won the U.S. State Department’s prestigious Critical Language Scholarship and studied for 8 weeks in Russia or another Russian speaking country all expenses paid. This scholarship is the most competitive undergraduate scholarship for Russian in the US and PCC has had the highest number of Russian students win it in the US.

PCC Russian language students have also been recognized in the ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay contest for their Russian language skills. We have had two gold medal winners, three silver medal winners, three bronze medal winners, and five honorable mentions.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
University transfer 2 years at PCC + 2 years at university


What will you learn in PCC Russian classes?

Russian classes at PCC feature:

  • Language immersion with an emphasis on speaking skills
  • A relaxed, fun classroom environment
  • Instructors with Masters and Doctoral degrees in Russian, native/near-native fluency and more than 25 years of teaching experience
  • Full integration of speaking, grammar, writing, listening and culture at every level
  • Partner and small group activities during class every day
  • Inexpensive, instructor-written textbooks – just $80 for a full year.
  • Free Russian tutors to help you learn and practice
  • Course web pages with online activities for extra practice
  • Additional elective courses on Russian culture and literature during winter and spring quarters (conducted in English)
  • Free tuition for senior citizens over the age of 62 who audit

PCC offers a wide range of Russian courses. At the first-year level, we offer First-Year Russian as a three quarter, 4-credit series RUS 101, 102, 103. Beginning level RUS 101 courses are offered in fall and winter quarters. RUS 102 courses are offered winter and spring quarters. RUS 103 courses are offered spring and summer quarters.

At the second-year level, we offer Second Year Russian as a three-,quarter 5-credit series: RUS 201, 202, and 203. This series begins each year in the fall. The Russian program’s 200-level specialty courses focus on Russian culture, film, and literature. Three Russian literature and culture courses are taught: RUS 241 19th Century Russian Literature, RUS 242 20th Century Russian Literature, and RUS 261B Russian Culture. All are conducted in English and no knowledge of Russian is needed.

Remote instruction

While the college is closed to COVID-19, all Russian courses are being taught asynchronously with optional Zoom oral practice sessions. All Russian courses are being taught asynchronously with optional Zoom oral practice sessions. This asynchronous format allows you to learn Russian well on your schedule without having to meet at a set time.

How does learning Russian asynchronously work? Each week you will watch two instructional videos that contain all the regular teaching, written, and oral activities that you would experience in a face-to-face class. We teach the material in Russian immersion, so you hear and speak Russian as much as possible. You can pause the video to complete oral and written activities before the instructor goes over correct answers to provide immediate feedback. Time spent watching each video and completing the activities is equal to the time you would normally be in a face-to-face class. (1 hour 50 minutes twice a week for a first-year course and 2 hours 20 minutes twice a week for a second-year course.)

In addition to the instructional videos, optional Zoom oral practice sessions are held three times a week so that students, who can participate, get live practice and feedback from the instructor on materials being taught in the instructional videos. Other opportunities for live interaction with the instructor include 4 hours of remote office hours per week. Our free Russian tutor works remotely an additional 9 hours a week for extra practice.

Students who took RUS 103 and 203 during spring 2020 report the asynchronous videos feel very much like our normal face-to-face sessions. They like being able to pause them to re-listen to grammar explanations and to take more time on activities. They also enjoyed the optional Zoom sessions when they’re able to fit them into their schedules. Students are attaining the same levels of oral, written, and listening proficiency as they would be in a face-to-face class.

What will you do with a PCC Russian education?

Russian has been designated a language of “critical need” by the U.S. government. Undergraduates who study Russian can use their language skills for careers in:

  • Business
  • Civil service and government
  • Dentistry
  • Education
  • High-tech fields
  • Law enforcement
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Social work
  • Teaching

Degree options for PCC Russian students

PCC doesn’t offer a degree in this subject, but you can take classes that will transfer to a four-year school.


If you aren’t sure which level of Russian class to take, see the Russian placement page.

Next steps

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.