Polish is the official language of Poland and one of the official languages of the European Union. Polish is spoken by more than 50 million people around the world, including large Polish communities in Brazil, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Learning Polish can help give students a competitive edge when applying to jobs or graduate programs. In addition to developing Polish language skills, students also explore Polish history and culture, which stretches back hundreds of years.

Below is information on:


Polish Courses

Courses on Polish culture and politics are offered by visiting faculty through the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies. There is a longstanding exchange with the Jagiellonian University that brings one scholar to the University of Rochester each semester. A list of recent and upcoming courses is available here

Polish language courses are offered at four different levels:

  • POLS 101: Elementary Polish I:Introduction to the basic structures of the language and the vocabulary of everyday situations. The emphasis is on spoken Polish.

  • POLS 102: Elementary Polish II:Further introduction to the basic structures of the language and the vocabulary of everyday situations. The emphasis is on spoken Polish. Prerequisite: POL 101 or instructor's permission.

  • POLS 151: Intermediate Polish:Designed for students with previous study of the language. A reading, writing and conversation course conducted in Polish, with emphasis on everyday use of Polish language. Systematic vocabulary building and grammar review. Reading of selected texts like newspaper articles, poetry, use of film clips and various video material. Prerequisite: POL 102 or instructor's permission.

  • POLS 201: Polish Review: The main objective of this course is to refine the participants' language skills and to familiarize them with the history, literature and culture of Poland. The course will require a working knowledge of Polish language necessary to discuss the content of the source materials. It will focus on group discussions based on source materials and papers prepared by it's participants.Prerequisite: POL 151 or instructor's permission.

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Polish Clusters

The college currently offers two Polish clusters in the humanities academic division:

Polish Language (H1POLS001)
This cluster introduces students to basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Polish Studies (H1POLS002)
This Cluster will focus on Polish language and literature and also includes introduction to Polish history and current political and cultural issues in Poland.

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Study Abroad

Students interested in a more immersive engagement with Polish language and culture can participate in a study-abroad program hosted by the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Located in ancient Kraków, one of the most beautiful European cities, the Jagiellonian University offers foreigners a unique opportunity not only to study Polish language, culture, and society, but also to experience over 600 years of its history, magnificent architecture, and art. For more information about this program and the scholarships available to UR students, click here. For information on how to apply to the program, click here.

Alternately, students can also participate in a three-week summer program in Kraków cosponsored by the UR Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies and the Jagiellonian University Summer School of Polish Language and Culture.

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Language Placement Information

Students who have no or limited background in Polish can take POLS 101. Heritage speakers and those who have previous experience learning Polish should contact Małgorzata Wojciechowska at wmalgorz@ur.rochester.edu for an interview and/or a placement test.

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For more information about Polish language instruction, contact Małgorzata Wojciechowska at wmalgorz@ur.rochester.edu. For general questions about the Polish program, contact Bozenna Sobolewska, the Skalny Center Program Coordinator, at bozenna.sobolewska@rochester.edu.


Małgorzata Wojciechowska, Visiting Instructor of Polish

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