Frequently Asked Questions » Admissions


How long does the Masters program take to complete?

The program is designed to be completed within two years, but there is some flexibility for those interested in more in-depth scholarship or those who already have fulfilled some program requirements.

Can I get a BA?

Yes. Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the bachelor's level is a degree track within the European Studies Major or the International Studies Major.

Can I get a joint degree?

Both the Evans School of Public Affairs and the Law School offer concurrent degrees with REECAS. Other pairings are possible with consultation with the chair of each department/program.

Outside of classes, are there very many activities relevant to this region on campus?

From film series and concert performances to academic conferences and lectures, the Ellison Center strives to offer a wide variety of programs to appeal to the UW community and beyond.  View our events calendar or subscribe to our mailing list to learn more about Seattle area-events related to this region.

How much does the program cost?

For 2011-12, quarterly tuition for full-time graduate students was $4020 for Washington State residents and $8313 for non-residents.  Students usually attend three quarters a year.  Non-resident students, who are tax-independent, can usually establish in-state residency by their second year.  View information about state residency.

How can I finance my studies?

Numerous fellowship, scholarships, grants, and financial aid options are available.  In addition, two REECAS jobs are usually available for 2nd year students.

Please note the deadline for fellowships: you must apply before you have been accepted into the program.

What are my chances of getting funding?

Approximately one-half of the REECAS students receive some form of financial support. There are two REECAS-specific fellowships, the Ellison (for Russian studies only) and the Culp (for the whole region); they are competitive on a campus-wide basis, but usually at least one incoming MA student gets one of these awards.  Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships cover another 3-5 REECAS MA students, on average, per year.  Teaching Assistant positions, work-study and other on-campus employment covers a few additional students each year.  Thus, about 6-8 students receive support out of the 10-15 in each year of the program.

When will I find out about financial aid?

Notification regarding scholarships and fellowships are sent the fourth week of March.  Financial Awards are made in June.

What are the language requirements for admissions?

Students must enter the program having studied a regionally relevant language for at least two years. They must then complete an additional two years of language study while in the program. Students focusing on Russia must complete 4th-year Russian. Students focusing on other countries in the REECAS region may fulfill their requirement with 4 years of the corresponding language, when available, or by studying an additional language to total 4 years. Native speakers of a regionally relevant language are exempt from this requirement upon passing a proficiency test.

What are the GPA/GRE requirements for the program?

The average student admitted to the Jackson School of International Studies has a GPA of 3.51-3.85 and a GRE score of: 530-700 Verbal, 540-650 Quantitative, 4.5-5.5 Analytical Writing.

Are there other requirements for admission?

Applicants must meet basic Graduate School requirements, which include: 

  • 3.00 GPA for the last 90 quarter (60 semester) graded credits;
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution; and
  • Test results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Applicants also must meet all Jackson School application requirements and deadlines.

Because this is a competitive program, meeting the minimum standards does not ensure admission.

How do I apply?

You will need to apply both to the UW Graduate School and the Jackson School.

GRE scores should be sent to UW – 4854, department code – 2201.

When are applications due?

View the Jackson School application deadline and requirements.

How many applications do you typically receive and how many do you admit?

We typically receive 40-45 applications.  An offer of admission is extended to approximately 25 students, with about 10-15 accepting each year.

What criteria do you use in making admissions decisions?

Admission is based on a student's academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, seriousness of purpose, language ability and "fit" with the program. 

When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

You will be notified by March 15, 2012.  There is then one month to accept or to decline this offer of admission.

Where do students live?

The Office of Housing and Food Services operates single-student apartments, residence halls and family housing units.

The rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Seattle area ranges from $600 to $1100 a month.  Listings can be found on a bulletin board in the Student Union Building (HUB), Student Housing Affairs, UW Daily Classified Ads, Seattle Times Classified Ads, and Craigslist-Seattle.

What do REECAS students do in the summer between their two years?

It is advantageous for students to spend the summer between their two years of study either developing their language skills or gaining work experience through an internship.  There are fellowships available for both opportunities.  Time spent in the REECAS-region is also a wonderful way to begin the research for the Master’s thesis to be completed in the second year of the program.

Are there internships in the Seattle area?

Yes, there are numerous organizations in Seattle that offer internships to our students in business, government and the non-profit sectors.

There are also opportunities to work with faculty as a research or teaching assistant.

About what kinds of topics do REECAS students write their theses?

The following is a sample of recent theses written by REECAS MAs:

  • Remembered History in Baltic National Consciousness: How it Shapes Baltic Security Perspectives
  • Children Left Behind: The Policy and Law of Child Homelessness in Post-Soviet Russia
  • Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islam among the Uzbeks: Its History and Status in the Gorbachev Era
  • Defender of the Bourgeois Faith: Lenin’s Cultural Policy
  • Security Assistance in the Caucasus: Porous Borders and Radioactive Nightmares
  • Politicization of Islam in Central Asia: A Case Study Approach
  • Zhenotdely and Urban Women: Women’s Liberation and the Search for a Novyi Byt in Early Soviet Russia
  • Challenges to the Task of Identity Formation for Independent Kazakhstan and their Origins
  • Overcoming the Past: Negotiation with the European Union in Light of Communist Legacies
  • Preliminary Comparative Study of Russian and Central Asian Turkic/Mongolian Animal Tales

You are welcome to peruse a full list of REECAS thesis topics in the Ellison Center (Thomson 203B).  Current students may borrow them for a week at a time.  Others may borrow theses from the UW library.

What does writing a thesis entail?

Many students begin working on their thesis the summer before their second year.  All students are required to take JSIS A 514-515/Thesis Seminar during spring quarter in their first year and then winter quarter of their second year to develop a complete draft of their thesis. 

A final draft of the thesis must be submitted three weeks before the end of the quarter in which a student plans to graduate. The thesis must be 30-35 pages (8000 words) in length on a subject of students’ choosing and use primary sources in the student's REECAS-area language. Each thesis will be overseen by a committee chair from the student's major and a committee member from the student's minor. For more detailed information about the REECAS thesis, view the Graduation Requirements.

Where are REECAS graduates employed?

Approximately a third of REECAS graduates enter the non-profit sector after graduation.  Another third enter PhD programs at the UW and across the country, and the final third are employed in government or business sectors.

I’ve been accepted, now what do I do?

You can get acquainted with the UW procedures and learn how to set up your e-mail account, to register for classes and to hear about employment opportunities and more.

What if I have other questions?

If you have further questions regarding admissions requirements, you can contact the Graduate Program Assistant, Paula Milligan.

If you have questions about courses of study or the focus for your major, you can contact the Program Chair, Scott Radnitz.

If you have questions about employment, housing or other general concerns, you can contact the Associate Director, Marta Mikkelsen.

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The Ellison Center
REECAS Program
Box 353650
203B Thomson Hall
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4852 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax
reecas@u.washington.edu