Why study Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies?

The interdisciplinary study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia creates informed citizens with in-depth understanding of this geopolitically and culturally critical world region, central to political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues of the present and the future. The University of Kansas Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (REES) program covers a broad geographic region, home to rich and diverse cultures that have had an enormous impact on today's world.

Our program, collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature, offers you a unique opportunity to study both contemporary politics and medieval history, environmental problems and great works of literature and art, as well as multiple other related subjects. It offers opportunities to study abroad in a variety of culturally rich, exciting places. Crucially, it prepares you for a wide range of careers in research, business, government, and the nonprofit sector, with the opportunity to make a profound impact on both national and international level.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Admission Criteria

Most applicants hold Bachelor's degrees in the social sciences or humanities with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher. Students with professional degrees are also eligible to apply. Some students may consider completing the M.A. or M.A./JD degree in conjunction with academic or professional study in another department or school.

Eligibility criteria for admission to REES graduate programs follow Graduate Studies' admission policy. Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here

Application Materials & Procedures

For all domestic or international applicants, please visit the REES Application page. Submit all graduate applications online. Applications to begin the M.A. program should be submitted by January 1 for admission for the following fall semester. Applications may be accepted off-cycle; please consult with the graduate advisor.

If you wish to learn more about graduate programs in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at The University of Kansas, please visit the REES Program websiteor contact Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Vitaly Chernetsky at crees@ku.edu. 

 Send all other requested application materials to:

The University of Kansas
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 320
Lawrence, KS 66045


The Foreign Affairs Studies (FASt) concentration within the existing MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies is a concentration that (1) emphasize REES in Global Context and (2) places a greater emphasis on social sciences within REES coursework. The required GIST 710 Interdisciplinary Methods for Global Context emphasizes social science methodology.

The audience for this concentration is primarily Foreign Area officers (FAOs) and others already in the workforce who need an intensive program that can be completed in a year. An intensive area studies program also serves career needs of former Peace Corps volunteers and others who have the required language proficiency and first-hand knowledge of the given region.  To this end, the course sequences and availability make it possible to complete the FASt concentration in 12 months. The FASt REES runs Fall (12 credit hours) – Spring (12 credit hours) – Summer (6 credit hours), not necessarily in this sequence. See the program website for a sample schedule. 

The 30 credit hours are broken down as follows: 

  • 3 methodology seminars (9 Credits), including the Capstone project writing seminar REES 898 and 

    REES 899 

    2 courses in your area of concentration (6 Credits - history; political science; philosophy and religion; literature and the arts; geography/economics/business)

  • 4 disciplinary courses outside of your area of concentration (12 CR)
  • 1 advanced language course at 500 level or above (3 CR)

If a student chooses political science or geography/economics/business as area of concentration, GIST 710 Interdisciplinary Methods for Global Contexts is required along with another elective in this area.

If a student chooses literature/arts, history, or philosophy/religion as an area of concentration, GIST 710 can be used to replace the distribution requirement in political science or geography/economics/business.

25% or more of coursework in GIST 898 and GIST 710 must pertain to REES geographical area.

M.A. Degree Requirements

A Master of Arts degree is awarded in 3 tracks: Russian, East European, and Ukrainian.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. At least 1 course in a REES-area advanced foreign language.
  2. 3 courses for a total of 9 credit hours, in the department or subject group of the student's special interest; at least 2 of these courses must be area specific.
    The 5 thematic areas are
    • Literature and the Arts
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy and Religion
    • Economics, Business, Geography
  3. 1 area course in each of the other 4 subject groupings, for a total of 12 hours.
  4. Successful completion of REES 898 and REES 899, an interdisciplinary M.A. seminar (6 credit hours), develops advanced research skills. REES 898, which is normally taken at the beginning of the degree program, emphasizes learning the tools and methods necessary to study this region of the world. In REES 899, students write an interdisciplinary research paper using materials in the student’s chosen target language. Before enrolling in REES 899, the student must have completed an advanced language course in the target language.
  5. Pass a comprehensive examination in addition to regular course examinations. Information about opportunities and requirements for graduate work with a Russian or East European concentration in any department at KU may be obtained from the department.

Requirements may be modified in special cases with the director’s approval, particularly for students with special needs such as Experienced Teacher Fellows, Foreign Area Officers, or candidates for degrees in the professional schools. All students are encouraged to study abroad.

Plan of Study

The plan of study is designed by the student in consultation with the advisor.