S&T’s Russian language classes appeal to students with diverse academic interests and combine well with a broad range of majors. Students take them for many reasons — from a passing interest to graduation requirements to career enhancement. 

Graduates discuss benefits of Russian minor

“I decided to take Russian courses because I wanted to effectively use my humanities courses towards my aerospace degree…and the other main nation in space is Russia, so learning the language seemed like a no-brainer.

“When I started taking the classes, I never thought of minoring in Russian. I ended up pursuing a M.S. degree in aerospace engineering and found myself still wanting to take extra Russian courses. It was fun, yet challenging in all the best ways. I kept taking classes and before I knew it, had taken most of the courses to obtain a minor!

“I know for a fact this helped me land my current job. My supervisor is Belarusian, and I think when he saw the Russian minor, it really sealed the deal for my employment.  I'm sure it also helped me get my first two internships. I feel that one random fact about me has given me an edge.” 

Casey Smith, AE’15, MS AE’17
Aerospace engineer at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

“My time in S&T’s Russian program was one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. I began the classes as a challenge and to learn a new language, but found I was also learning about another culture and adding a level of depth to my education. Having this knowledge has allowed me to view my studies from a different perspective and given me new insights.

“Dr. Ivliyeva’s teaching style encourages independent thought and having confidence in your work. These two things were especially important for me when applying to graduate schools — a nerve-racking experience that was made more bearable by knowing that my work was the best I could do. I feel my decision to complete the Russian minor was one of the best I have made, and one that will continue to benefit me going forward.”

Tim Maninger, Psyc’19
Graduate student in human-robot interaction program
Tufts University

“I decided to enroll in Russian classes because I thought studying an exotic language would be a welcome break from the routine of mathematics courses.

“I would heavily encourage all S&T students to consider adding a foreign language to their curriculum. In today’s interconnected world, it’s vital for any engineer hoping to have an impact to also possess cross-cultural communication skills, which my time in S&T’s Russian program certainly gave me.” 

Owen Smith, Phys’17
Winner of 2018-19 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award and Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement award for a university teaching opportunity in Tuymen, Russia

"I started taking Russian because my degree required me to take a foreign language, and I wanted to try learning a language that was challenging and unique. I was nervous at first, but I realized very quickly that Dr. Ivliyeva's style of instruction made for an excellent learning environment and that any challenges along the way would be overcome.

"Once my degree requirements were met, I realized I wasn't ready to part from Russian. I was grateful to have found something in addition to Psychology that I felt passionate about, and I decided that pursuing that passion through obtaining a minor in Russian was important.

"People ask me on occasion how a minor in Russian relates to my major in Psychology, and ultimately I think it's about being committed to communication and understanding. Learning Russian taught me much more than just the language — it taught me about another culture, about other perspectives, and about the many elements that go into effective communication, understanding, and teamwork. These skills are very important both in Psychology and in life. Additionally, my time in the Russian program gave me the opportunity to receive the 2020 ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award, which is an honor. I’m very grateful to have this reminder of my growth and my work in the Russian language.

"I believe that my minor in Russian will make me stand out from others through my passion and commitment to a unique subject, and it has provided me with invaluable skills that I can continue to utilize in all areas of life."

Ashley Worley, Psyc’20

Russian Minor Requirements

A Russian minor will consist of nine hours beyond the 12-hour B.A. foreign language requirement selected in consultation with a faculty advisor. The additional nine hours must be at the 2000-level or higher, with at least two of the courses at the 4000-level.

For more information View Catalog

Dr. Ivliyeva with Samuel Araujo, EMgt’19, who received the 2019 American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) annual Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award for his passion and commitment to Russian language and literature.

Dr. Irina V. Ivliyeva, professor of arts, languages and philosophy, leads Missouri S&T’s Russian program offering courses at all levels of Russian language, literature and culture. Ivliyeva joined Missouri S&T in 1997 after teaching for eight years at the Moscow Power Engineering University (MPEI).

Ivliyeva has received 27 Missouri S&T Outstanding Teaching Awards. In 2019 she received the Sustained Excellence in Outstanding Teaching Award that recognizes faculty members who have received Outstanding Teaching Awards for at least nine out of the last 10 years.

She was named Missouri S&T Woman of the Year in 2012 and an Honorary Knight of St. Patrick in 2011. She currently serves as chair of S&T's Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ).

Ivliyeva holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the Vinogradov Russian language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, and a master’s degree in philology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Her research interests include Russian word formation synthesis, comparative semantics, teaching with technology, and second language acquisition.

Ivliyeva has authored three monographs and dozens of articles and book reviews appearing in linguistic journals. She has organized linguistic panels, served as panel chair and panel discussant, and delivered her papers at numerous professional regional, national and international conferences. 

Want more information?

For questions, contact Dr. Irina V. Ivliyeva, professor of Russian 

Contact: or call 573-341-4627