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

Twenty-three PCC Russian language students have won the U.S. State Department’s prestigious Critical Language Scholarship in the last 12 years 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.

PCC Russian language students are regularly recognized in the ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay contest for their excellent Russian language skills. We have had two gold medal winners, four silver medal winners, five bronze medal winners, and six honorable mentions in the last 9 years.

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 online and in-person instruction

At PCC, we teach all of our Russian courses in full immersion, regardless of whether they are remote online classes through Zoom or in-person classes on campus.

Our remote online courses help meet the needs of students who prefer the flexibility of live classes held on Zoom with an asynchronous video option. Our remote courses have two class meetings per week. The first class each week is a two-hour live Zoom session held at the time stated in the class schedule. It features both teaching of new material and a lot of breakout room practice of that material with other students. These live Zoom classes allow students to practice with classmates and get immediate feedback from the instructor, just as they would in an in-person class. Attendance at these Zoom classes is required. The second class of the week is a choice of either attending a second 2-hour live Zoom class or watching and completing the same learning activities asynchronously through a two-hour instructional video. Attendance at the second Zoom class is strongly encouraged, but those who can’t regularly attend two live Zoom classes each week will still be able to learn Russian and do well in the course by attending class once a week through the asynchronous class videos.

Other opportunities for live interaction with the instructor include 5 hours of remote office hours per week. Our free Russian tutor works remotely an additional 6 hours a week for extra practice and help.

Fall quarter we offer three sections of RUS 101 first-year Russian and one section of second-year Russian online remotely using this Zoom class format. RUS 102, 103, 202, and 203 continue in the same remote online format on the same schedule for the entire academic year. In the winter, we offer one additional section of RUS 101 First year Russian. We do not teach RUS 101 in the spring or summer.

For students who prefer to learn in-person, fall quarter we offer one section of RUS 101 First-year Russian course on the Sylvania Campus. RUS 102 and 103 continue in-person on the same schedule for the entire academic year.

Students who have taken remote online Russian classes since spring 2020 really enjoy the synchronous live Zoom classes and the option for an asynchronous format once a week, if needed. They love interacting and having fun during the Zoom classes with their classmates and their instructor. I’m happy to report that students have attained the same levels of oral, written, and listening proficiency as they would be in an in-person class. So, please do not let learning Russian remotely online deter you from beginning or continuing your Russian language journey fall 2023! 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.