Master of Arts in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies


The REES MA program is designed as a 30-hour, 2-year degree program in which students may specialize in a specific area of interest (literature and arts, history, political science, philosophy & religion, or economics, business, & geography. To meet the national need for Russian, East European & Eurasian specialists in all sectors by producing students with superior training in language and area studies, providing professional mentoring, enhancement, and opportunity for study and research abroad. REES supports students in their research and intellectual enhancement so that they can become and remain superior teachers, scholars, and mentors. 

Our graduate program in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (REES) offers future professionals a comprehensive and interdisciplinary knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and countries of the West Slavic (Poland, Czech Republic) and South Slavic (Balkan) regions. Students develop language competency appropriate for a range of careers in the government, business, law, international development and non-profit sectors. 

The KU REES program is interdisciplinary and draws on over 60 faculty members and courses from 17 different KU departments and schools. Most REES M.A. students have completed an undergraduate major in the social sciences or humanities prior to beginning their graduate study, but successful REES graduate students have come from any number of other academic disciplines including business, law, and the sciences.

KU is situated in Lawrence, Kansas, and is a vibrant college town. The state's flagship university has many resources for academic and financial support. Lawrence has an active arts community, and there are many opportunities for cultural engagement, health & wellness activities, and professional development. Feel free to review KU's comprehensive Guide to Graduate School. 


Requirements for the degree include 30 credit hours distributed as follows:

  1. Completion of a 6th semester language class, i.e., the second semester of an advance language class
  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: 1) Literature and the Arts, 2) History, 3) Political Science, 4) Philosophy and Religion, 5) Economics, Business, Geography
  3. 1 course in each of the other 4 subject groupings for a total of 12 credit 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. The examination procedure for REES MA students consists of an MA Portfolio, which is further described here.

Students have the option of fulfilling their special interest requirements via elective courses across departments. They may also use these credits towards graduate certificates in other units with overlapping requirements. The University of Kansas offers a variety of certificate programs, such as Cyber Security or Peace and Conflict Studies.

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