BA Degree Program Description
Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the bachelor’s level is a degree track within the European Studies Major. REECAS provides interdisciplinary coverage of Russia, East Europe and Central Asia, an area about which the University offers a particularly wide range of undergraduate courses. This interdisciplinary approach allows students a great deal of flexibility in designing a course of study to meet their career goals. Each student’s academic program combines instruction in Russian, an East European language, or a Central Asian language with interdisciplinary area training. The curriculum encompasses courses in many academic departments, including Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Economics, Geography, History, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Political Science, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures and Sociology; in the Schools of Business Administration, Law, Marine Affairs and Public Affairs; and the College of Education. The program is especially strong in the social sciences, history and languages. The social science faculty offers a wide variety of courses, many of which are rarely found elsewhere. In addition, internationally recognized historians offer courses in the social, intellectual and political histories of the region in all eras.
Language instruction is offered on a regular basis through the advanced level in Russian and most of the major modern languages of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Often it is possible to arrange independent study in relevant languages that are not regularly offered. Intensive programs offer the opportunity to do a full year’s language work during summer quarter.
Both the Center for West European Studies and the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies provide students with a stimulating environment that extends far beyond the classroom. They sponsor and co-sponsor conferences, seminars, public lectures and cultural events, bringing to campus specialists from all parts of the world. Students also are encouraged to participate in various community programs involving Russian, East European and Central Asian history, culture and current affairs.
In addition to the European Studies minimum requirements, all students in the program must fulfill existing College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements.
A core of 20 credits to include:
- JSIS 201 – The Makings of the 21st Century (5 credits)
- JSIS A 301 – Europe Today (5 credits)
- JSIS A 302 – European Politics and Cultures (5 credits)
- A survey course on Modern Europe (5 credits)
A 15 credit minimum to include:
- One REECAS survey course
- One global elective course
- One modern REECAS course
Please consult JSIS Student Services for advice on appropriate elective courses.
In the case of students who count a single course under more than one category, it may be necessary to take additional electives to meet the general major requirement of a minimum of 60 credits.
A. Two years of language study or equivalent language proficiency in an area language. Language instruction is offered on a regular basis through the advanced level in Russian and most modern languages of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Often it is possible to arrange independent study in relevant languages that are not regularly offered. Intensive programs offer the opportunity to do a full year’s language work during summer quarter.
B. 10 credits additional approved language coursework at the 300 or 400 level, either taught in the language or involving the language intensively. Third year language courses also fulfill this requirement.
Native speakers may substitute EURO-REECAS courses for these 10 credits.
Senior Research Seminar
JSIS A 494 Senior Seminar (5 credits) is a seminar course of varying content in which students research and write a paper of substantial length. Students learn how to formulate an interesting problem and make extensive use of the university’s resources for research.
JSIS A 495 Thesis Seminar (5 credits) is the course in which students write their senior thesis to demonstrate and to use the knowledge gained in core courses, electives, study abroad and the research seminar. Additionally, students make intensive use of foreign language skills in their research.
UW undergraduates and (non-REECAS MA) graduate students may subscribe to the REECAS-UW listserv to learn more about events, programs, visitors, or other information about the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
One quarter (10 credit minimum, at least 9-10 weeks) of foreign study in a relevant country is required, normally during the junior year. An additional 5 credits is possible, which is usually applied toward the elective credit requirement.
In appropriate circumstances, credit for an internship or work experience and associated independent study may be permitted.
Financial Aid for Undergraduate Study Abroad
Undergraduates may be able to language or study abroad experience through the Gross Scholarship. This scholarship is for exceptional undergraduate students interested in studying in Russia. Priority will be given to undergraduates to travel to Russia to study the Russian language, but funds may also support undergraduate students to travel to Russia to study the country’s history, literature or culture. One award of up to $1000 will be offered toward airfare or lodging.