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 241Great Russian Writers-19th Century, RUS 242 Great Russian Writers-20th Century and RUS 261B Russian Culture. All are conducted in English and no knowledge of Russian is needed.

Remote instruction

All Russian courses are being taught in a 50/50 mix of synchronously and asynchronously. We teach in Russian immersion, so students hear and speak Russian as much as possible. The first class of each week will be held live on Zoom at the time stated in the class schedule. It will feature both teaching of new material and lot of breakout room practice of that material with other students. Attendance at these weekly Zoom classes is required. These live Zoom classes will allow students to practice and get immediate feedback from the instructor. These sessions will not be taped, but asynchronous instructional videos will be available for extra support and for students who may be absent.

The second class of the week will be a two-hour instructional video that will be structured the same way as the Zoom classes and contain all the regular teaching, written, and oral activities that students would experience in a face-to-face or Zoom class. (Videos for second year courses are 2 hours and 20 minutes long.) Students pause the video to complete oral and written activities before the instructor goes over correct answers to provide immediate feedback. 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 and help.

Students who have taken remote Russian classes since spring 2020 really the combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. They love interacting during the Zoom classes each week and then being able to complete the asynchronous class video any time before attending the following week’s Zoom session. I’m happy to report that students have attained the same levels of oral, written, and listening proficiency as they would be in a face-to-face class. So, please do not let learning Russian remotely deter you from beginning your Russian language journey fall 2021! We would love to have you as part of our program!

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.