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

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.
A number of REECAS students have opted to expand their education by enrolling concurrently in two programs. Both the Evans School of Public Affairs and the Law School offer informal concurrent degrees with REECAS.If there is interest in concurrent degrees with other programs, such as Education, Public Health or Business Administration, students should review program policies for concurrent degrees and speak with the REECAS Chair about the possibility. Students interested in graduating with a concurrent degree will need to apply to and to meet gradation requirements for both programs – many classes are available that can fulfill requirements for both programs.
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.
Please see this page for current tuition rates.
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.  See here for more detail.
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.
Notification regarding scholarships and fellowships are sent the fourth week of March. Financial Awards are made in June.
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.
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.
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.
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.
View the Jackson School application deadline and requirements.
We typically receive 40-45 applications. An offer of admission is extended to approximately 25 students, with about 10-15 accepting each year.
Admission is based on a student’s academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, seriousness of purpose, language ability and “fit” with the program.
You will be notified by March 15. There is then one month to accept or to decline this offer of admission.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Phil Lyon 

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.

REECAS MA Brochure