Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Major

May be elected as an area major

Effective Winter 2015

The undergraduate curriculum in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies offers broad, interdisciplinary training for students who wish to acquire extensive knowledge of a country or countries of the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe. Proficiency in a language of the region is an important component of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies major. The degree prepares majors for graduate study as well as professional opportunities in areas ranging from government to business to teaching.

Prerequisites to major

One introductory course, usually SLAVIC 225: Arts and Cultures of Central Europe or RUSSIAN 231: Introduction to Russian Culture; or (if authorized by the undergraduate advisor) another 200-or 300-level REEES approved course, with a similar emphasis on breadth of coverage. (Narrowly focused courses, even if they appear on the REEES-approved list, are generally not acceptable as prerequisites).

Requirements for the  major

A minimum of 30 credits, including:

  1. REEES 340, 395, 396, or 397.
  2. REEES 401 or its equivalent.
  3. Electives: At least 20 credits of REEES-approved upper-level (300-400) courses.
    • Geographic distribution: at least one 3-credit course in each sub-area (Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Eurasia) — including at least two of the three REEES survey ("gateway") classes: REEES 340, 395, 396/397 (i.e., may not count REEES 396 and 397 as different gateways)
    • Disciplinary distribution: at least one 3-credit course in each sub-area (arts/culture, history, and social science). Courses (including REEES surveys) may count for both geographic and disciplinary distributions.


Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Language Requirement for the Major. Students must show proficiency at the level equivalent to three complete years of the sequence in Russian or Polish, or two years of the sequence for other languages, as demonstrated either by a placement test or by a grade of B- or higher in the final term. Further, all students in the REEES major must actually complete at least two years (four terms) of relevant university-level language training as approved by the undergraduate advisor — through enrollment in language classes (of 3 credits or more) for a grade, not as an auditor or P/F, and earning a grade of B- or better in the final term. (This training requirement means that students who satisfy the proficiency standards without actually taking classes, e.g., native speakers or those with prior experience or advanced high-school training, may choose either to take language (not literature) courses at the advanced-to-superior level or to begin acquiring a new language, usually a second area language (Russian, East European, or Central Eurasian). In some cases intellectual interests or career plans may justify another language (e.g., Persian, Turkish, German, Greek, etc.).



Honors Plan

Undergraduate majors who have maintained a 3.5 grade point average in the REEES major and a 3.4 overall GPA may apply for admission to the Honors program. Applications for the program, which are available at the program office, are accepted annually in November of the applicant's junior year. In addition to the application, students must submit a current transcript and a sample paper in the discipline in which they intend to write their Honors thesis. A maximum of 15 students will be accepted each year into the program.

Those accepted are expected to meet occasionally in an informal workshop at CREES and to work individually with their thesis advisor to prepare a prospectus. Credit for this preliminary work may be obtained by enrolling in REEES 402 for two credits. During their senior year, students may elect REEES 403 for each term (receiving a Y grade in December), for a two-term total of six credits. Completed theses, which must be submitted by a due-date in late March, will be read by at least two faculty members including the student's advisor. These theses ideally involve substantial use of foreign-language (REE) texts/sources/documents/databases. Grades for theses will be based on the quality of the research, analysis, and writing they display. The letter grade for REEES 403 and the levels of Honors with which the student will be graduated are:

A+ Highest Honors
A High Honors
A- Honors
B+ or below No Honors

Students with questions about the program are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the  undergraduate academic advisor online at

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