Degrees & Certificates

M.A. – REECAS M.A. Program

The M.A. degree in Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies (REECAS) involves interdisciplinary study which allows students a great deal of flexibility in designing a course of study to meet career goals calling for area expertise.

Each student’s program combines instruction in at least one language with interdisciplinary training. The Master of Arts Degree program ordinarily lasts two years and is designed to either provide a terminal degree for students preparing for careers in government and non-governmental organizations, journalism, business, teaching at the pre-college level or to provide area training for students wishing to pursue the Ph.D. degree in a discipline.

The curriculum, which is especially strong in the social sciences, history, and regional cultures, encompasses courses in a wide range of departments, including Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media, Communications, Economics, Geography, History, International Studies, Linguistics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Political Science, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature and Sociology; as well as in the Schools of Art, Business Administration, Drama, Law, Marine Affairs and Public Affairs; and in the College of Education. Independent study may be arranged to do work in other fields where there may be no regularly offered area courses.

Language instruction is offered on a regular basis in Russian through the advanced level, all three Baltic languages, and in most major modern languages of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Often it is possible to arrange independent study in relevant languages that are not offered regularly. Intensive programs offer the opportunity to do a full year’s language work during summer quarter.

Scott Radnitz, Ellison Center Director


A summary of the curriculum is provided below. A detailed description of the entire program curriculum, policies and procedures can be found in the REECAS handbook.

JSIS A 504 Survey of Eurasia (5 credits) An introduction to scholarly approaches to studying the REECAS region, methods, library resources, and analytical writing and should be taken in autumn quarter of the first year.

JSIS 594 International and Area Studies (2 credits) Exposes you to the four-fold thematic intellectual rubric of the school and to the wide range of teaching and research agendas represented at the Jackson School and should be taken in the autumn quarter of the first year.

JSIS 511 Research Design and Methods for International Studies (5 credits) Review of the approaches to posing and answering research questions in the disciplines affiliated with international studies. Explores epistemological approaches and associated methodologies to prepare students to effectively read across the literature of international studies, develop their own research design based on a research question, and write a research proposal.

JSIS A 515 Thesis Seminar (2 credits) A thesis development seminar concluding with student presentations at the REECAS Symposium and should be taken winter quarter of the second year.

Geographical focus You should focus on a REECAS covered region including Russia, East Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Baltic States. A geographical focus should inform your coursework in their major and minor.

Major and minor disciplines You must take 15 credits in your major discipline and 10 credits in your minor discipline. Majors and minors can include history, economics, geography, political science, literature and culture, and others.

Elective (5 credits) This course may be from any discipline as long as it is relevant to the REECAS region.

Capstone Research Project You must complete a thesis under the guidance of your Masters Supervisory Committee.

Comprehensive Oral Exam Your Masters Supervisory Committee will examine your capstone research project and conduct your oral exam during your graduation quarter.


Please note that the REECAS M.A. program application does NOT require GRE scores. 

Two years of instruction (or equivalent proficiency) in a REECAS language such as Russian, Czech, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, etc. is a prerequisite for entry to the REECAS MA program.

Once admitted to the M.A. program, students must complete two years of additional language study, completing one of the following options:

  • Two more years of the prerequisite language.
  • Two years of a REECAS language other than the prerequisite language.

The UW Language Learning Center administers ACTFL exams in students’ final quarter of study to measure language proficiency. Native speakers of REECAS-area languages are exempt from the language proficiency exam. However, they are encouraged to take an additional language as part of their studies.


M.A. in REECAS Handbook 2023-24

M.A. in REECAS Handbook 2022-23


Applications must be submitted by January 31 for admittance to the autumn quarter cohort. We only accept students into the M.A. program during autumn quarter.

You can find information about the application requirements and process on our website.



The Jackson School houses 14 outreach centers. These centers provide opportunities for educators, students, and the community to learn about the world. Some of them have specific scholarship opportunities and other resources that may be useful. Here are those you might find particularly useful: