The MA in REECAS involves interdisciplinary study, which allows students a great deal of flexibility in designing a course of study to meet varying career goals calling for area expertise.

Each student’s program combines instruction in at least one language with interdisciplinary training.

The REECAS MA program ordinarily lasts two years and is designed (1) to provide a terminal degree for students preparing for careers in government, non-governmental organizations, journalism, business or teaching at the pre-college level; and (2) to provide area training for students wishing to pursue a PhD degree.

Required Core Courses

JSIS A 504 (5 credits) should be taken Autumn Quarter of your first year, JSIS A 511 (5 credits) in Spring Quarter of your first year and JSIS A 515 (2 credits) in Winter Quarter of your second year. A decimal grade is given for JSIS A 504, JSIS A 511 and JSIS A 515; all of these courses normally meet once a week. Keep in mind when choosing your courses that all of these courses will involve substantial amounts of work (probably more than many 5 or 2 credit courses).

Other Course Work

The University of Washington has academic resources covering Russia, East Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Baltic States. Generally, REECAS students focus on one of these regions, but arrangements can be made to study more than one of them, including the non-Russian regions of present day Russia.  In total, you must complete 30 credits divided between a major (minimum of 15) and a minor discipline (minimum of 10). Please note that completing the minimum credit requirements would leave you 5 credits short. The remaining credits may be taken in any relevant field (including major and minor fields) other than language study.

Click here to download a pdf of the REECAS MA Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Masters program take to complete?
Can I get a joint degree?
Outside of classes, are there very many activities relevant to this region on campus?
How much does the program cost?
How can I finance my studies?
What are my chances of getting funding?
When will I find out about financial aid?
What are the language requirements for admissions?
What are the GPA/GRE requirements for the program?
Are there other requirements for admission?
How do I apply?
When are applications due?
How many applications do you typically receive and how many do you admit?
What criteria do you use in making admissions decisions?
When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Where do students live?
What do REECAS students do in the summer between their two years?
Are there internships in the Seattle area?
About what kinds of topics do REECAS students write their theses?
What does writing a thesis entail?
Where are REECAS graduates employed?
I’ve been accepted, now what do I do?
What if I have other questions?

Graduation Requirements

Advising Appointment
Graduating students should plan to meet with Paula Milligan within the last two quarters to review their file for graduation. To schedule a meeting, review Paula Milligan’s calendar in Thomson 111 or call the office at (206) 543-6001.
Oral Exam
An interdisciplinary exam will be given by all members of the student’s committee. Generally, sixty percent of the oral examination will devoted to presentation of and questions about the thesis, and forty percent to a general examination of the major and minor fields. In scheduling the oral exam, students need to work out a day and time that is agreeable with all members of their committees. The oral usually takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Scheduling forms are available from Paula Milligan. She will schedule a room for the oral exam and notify all involved. This form must be submitted four weeks before the end of the quarter. The oral exam must be completed by the Thursday of finals week.
The graduate school has a policy and style manual to which all theses must adhere. Students must also adhere to proper procedures for theses that involve human subjects.  Students must be enrolled in the quarter for which they will be submitting their thesis. The final draft of the thesis must be submitted three weeks before the end of the quarter, in order to complete the program within that quarter.  In order to be considered for the Waugh Thesis prize, a final draft should be submitted by May 15th to all committee members.
Once approved, students must submit two signed and bound copies of their thesis to the Jackson School, one to Mark Di Virgilio and one to the Graduate School, by the last day of finals week. A photocopy of your signed signature page must be submitted to Paula Milligan by the Thursday of finals week.
Language Proficiency
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.
Program Evaluation
Before authorization can be given to the Graduate School to grant your degree, you must complete the JSIS evaluation form by the Thursday of finals week.
To receive a Master’s degree, you must complete a Master’s Degree Request four weeks before the end of the quarter to avoid a $250 late fee.You may attend both the UW Commencement ceremony in June as well as the Jackson School’s Convocation Reception.  The latter is usually in the evening a few days before commencement.  Advanced ticketing for both is required.  At the beginning of spring quarter, queries should be directed to  If you will be attending the Jackson School commencement, you will need to fill out a questionnaire from Paula Milligan and send a paragraph statement with biographical information, your thesis title and your post-graduation plans to Mark Di Virgilio at by June 1.

Financing Your REECAS Degree

For University of Washington administered, REECAS specific fellowships, please see our Funding Opportunities page.

The Jackson School administers a number of fellowships, many of which are open to prospective graduate students applying for admission as well as to students currently enrolled at the University of Washington. Prospective students must file a fellowship application in addition to their application for admission.  The Fellowship and Assistantship Division of the Graduate School provides information about resources for loans and fellowships available on campus.

The Grants and Funding Information Service provides links to foundations and to online funding searches.  Current and prospective graduate students may visit GFIS located in the Reference area of Suzzallo Library to search bound volumes of funding opportunities.

The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) offers some financial assistance programs as well.  If you feel that you qualify for the Tuition Waiver program, please contact the Associate Director of the Ellison Center about the nomination process.

American Council of Learned Societies‘ East European Studies Program offers grants of up to $2,500 each for intensive summer study to individuals for Summer Study. Each year the languages vary. These awards are intended primarily for language study in the U.S. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and must have completed, at minimum, a four-year college degree.

Marusia and Michael Dorosh Master’s Fellowship is non-renewable and is awarded annually to a student writing a thesis on a Ukrainian or Ukrainian-Canadian topic in Education, History, Law, Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Women’s Studies or Library Sciences. Because funding is for thesis work only, all other degree requirements must be completed by the time the award is given. Students in non-thesis, course-based programs are not eligible.

Study Abroad

A solid grasp of regional languages is critical to getting the most out of your Master’s degree.  Students are strongly encouraged to spend the summer between their first and second year developing their languages skills or gaining work experience. Many students receive fellowships to study during the summer.
Study Abroad Opportunities

Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity not only to learn a language, but also the culture associated with it.  The Office for International Programs and Exchanges (IPE) at UW has a search function by country, which can greatly assist you in finding authorized program.  Below is a list of additional resources used by UW students in the past:

Domestic Summer Programs

You can earn credit for you language study by participating in one of these summer language programs.

You can also search the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition’s Less Commonly Taught Languages page for specific programs in your language of interest.