Ukrainian Studies Program

The Ukrainian Studies Program is a new initiative jointly organized by REEEC and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. This exciting program allows students to study the Ukrainian language, and culture, as well as take part in other programs including the Ukrainian region. Ukrainian Studies is generously supported by the Chicago Foundation for the Advancement of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Illinois.

The program grew from the Ukrainian Research Program, a unique initiative developed within the University of Illinois’ Summer Research Laboratory. Beginning in 1982, Professor Ralph Fisher, the first Director of the Russian and East European Center, with professors Maurice Friedberg, Head of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Marianna Tax Choldin, Head of the Slavic and East European Library, Nick Holoniak, distinguished scientist-inventor, Nicholas Britzky, well known painter and educator, Bohdan Rubchak, a literary critic and poet, and the distinguished Professor Dmytro Shtohryn established the foundations of the Ukrainian Research Program. These individuals strove to create a research community, in which they and fellow interested scholars could conduct serious research on the Ukrainian region, and organize international conferences and panels. Since the first initiative, twenty-six annual conferences have been conducted, attended by approximately 3000 participants from five continents. There have been over one thousand speakers from twenty-five countries (including nearly 300 from Ukraine) who delivered more than 975 papers in English, Ukrainian, German, and Russian. Currently, there exists three published volumes of the conferences’ selected papers.

In 2014, the Ukrainian Research Program and Professor Dmytro Shtohryn’s chairmanship ended. Dr. Oleksandra Wallo, former language coordinator in Illinois’ Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, took on the role of chair of the new Program of Ukrainian Studies. The current chair of the Program in Ukrainian Studies and language coordinator in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is Dr. Roman Ivashkiv.

Opportunities in Ukrainian at the University of Illinois


An undergraduate student would be able to obtain a major or minor in Russian, Eastern European, Eurasian Studies with a language fulfillment in Ukrainian. The minimum hours of required major and supporting course work for the REEES major is 48, distributed among three components. The minimum number of hours required for graduation is 120. Twelve hours of advanced-level (300 or 400 level) courses in the major must be taken on the Champaign–Urbana campus. A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60–75 hours). For more information on the major or minor, please see corresponding links.


UKR 101 and 102: Basic Ukrainian (101 is taught in the Fall semester, 102 in Spring) These are fun, updated courses that use the best elementary-level textbook in Ukrainian on the market as well as lots of authentic cultural materials—Ukrainian proverbs, stories, jokes, songs, video clips, and cartoons.

UKR 201 and 202: Second-Year Ukrainian (201 is taught in the Fall semester, 202 in Spring) These are intermediate-level courses that use a DVD-ROM with video and audio as a primary resource. Lots of conversation practice as well!

If you are unsure of what level you need, please take a placement test. (Email Dr. Roman Ivashkiv at

UKR 113: Introduction to Ukrainian Culture. This is a general-education course taught entirely in English. It will introduce you to Ukrainian geography, history, politics, folklore, literature, art, music, film, and everyday life.


Slavic Studies Major with a Concentration in Ukrainian Studies and a Minor in Slavic Language, Literature, and Culture with a Concentration in Ukrainian. These programs are truly a unique opportunity available only at a handful of universities in North America. The requirements for the minor are very reasonable (Min. 18 credit hours), which means that adding a Ukrainian minor to your major program of study is easy, especially if you already have some knowledge of the Ukrainian language. For any questions relating to the minor, please email Dr. Roman Ivashkiv.


The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures now offers a formal placement/proficiency test in Ukrainian, which can help place you in the right course of the Ukrainian language and/or fulfill the foreign language requirement in your program. Tests are offered in the beginning of each semester. For more information, contact Dr. Ivashkiv.


In the fall semester, the weekly Ukrainian Conversation Hour has been meeting on Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 PM (from September to November), at the Espresso Royale in the Business Instructional Facility (515 E. Gregory Dr.). It has been open to anyone who can speak at least a little Ukrainian and wants to meet some other students and/or speakers of the language. Run by Dr. Roman Ivaskhiv.


Join the Ukrainian Student Association on campus and ask to be added to their mailing list to receive more information about Ukraine-related events and Ukrainian get-togethers in Urbana-Champaign! Contact the Association’s President, Ulana Stasula, to be added to the mailing list.

For information about upcoming events relating to the Ukrainian region or within the Ukrainian studies program, please watch the REEEC calendar.