Department of History

MA in Russian or East European History

The Masters in Russian or East European History is designed for those students with a keen interest in Russia and Eastern Europe who have not yet mastered the relevant languages nor had an opportunity to develop the competitive breadth in understanding this area necessary to competitively pursue a Doctoral degree in the history of Russia or Eastern Europe or in other related disciplines (e.g., anthropology, political science). The program combines language study in any relevant language offered at IU through the summer program and the academic year.  This enables students to take up to 4 levels of language in two academic years in combination with History coursework and a selection of courses in other related disciplines that focus upon Russia and Eastern Europe. Students who complete the program will emerge with both a strong grounding in the relevant research language(s) and an enhanced understanding of the history, politics, and culture of Russia and Eastern Europe. Among the features that distinguish this program are the following:

1) Students take a full offering of history courses in addition to their language work.  IUB has eleven faculty members who focus on the history of this area.  Some are in the history department and others in several additional units on campus. Faculty members in Russian and East European history offer a broad collection of courses that explore the social, religious, political, and cultural histories of the area from the Middle Ages (e.g., Ron Sela) through the early modern period (e.g., Ed Lazzerini) to modern and contemporary history (e.g., David Ransel, Jeff Veidlinger, Maria Bucur).  Occasionally, IU also offers a unique opportunity to take history content courses in the languages of the area for those who have the necessary language preparation. Languages of instruction for such courses in the past have included Russian, Hungarian, and Romanian. 

2) The range of East European languages that IU offers exceeds all other institutions in the US: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (3 levels); Czech (3 levels); Modern Greek (3 levels); Hungarian (3 levels); Polish (3 levels); Romanian (3 levels); Ukrainian (2 levels); Yiddish (2 levels).  For those interested in the history of Russia, our language offerings, starting with Russian itself and continuing with an array of Baltic and Central Asian languages of the former Soviet Union, is unparalleled: Russian (9 levels); Azerbaijani (1 level); Dari (2 levels); Estonian (3 levels); Finnish (3 levels); Georgian (1 level); Kazakh (2 levels); Kyrgyz (2 levels); Pashto (2 levels); Persian (3 levels); Tajik (1 level); Tatar (1 level); Uyghur (1 level); Uzbek (3 levels). Students may apply for funding for the summer and academic-year language programs through the FLAS program as detailed in the following web pages:

Russian and East European Institute

Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center

Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages

(see also for other possibilities for funding through the summer language program)

3) Over 70 faculty from disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools, enhance the multidisciplinary offerings in Russian and East European studies.  By taking only three courses from among the REE offerings outside of history, students enrolled in this MA program will be able to obtain a certificate in Russian and East European studies. For a full list of REE faculty, see

Requirements for MA in History:


30 credit hours, at least 20 of which should be in the History Department, with at least 12 credits in courses focusing on Russia or Eastern Europe

Completion of H601, at least one advanced seminar, and two colloquia.  The remaining credit hours in history can be completed through graduate colloquia, seminars, or readings courses.   Graduate students will be allowed to receive credit for undergraduate courses only in special cases.

Foreign Language: 

Oral Proficiency Examination (Russian at intermediate level or higher), or study of other area language through the 2nd year level

Awarding of MA degree:

Review by the field (Russian or East European) during the fourth semester.  The student’s performance will be based on the GPA (3.0 or higher is a requirement for counting courses towards the degree), fulfillment of language requirements, and a qualitative oral assessment of the student’s work.  The student will be required to pre-circulate to the committee two papers, one of which must be a seminar paper in which the student employs sources written in the student’s chosen language of the area.   

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Russian and East European Institute's Certificate Requirements:

The Russian and East European Institute's certificate program gives students a broad understanding of the geographical area and its peoples while providing the opportunity to examine in depth the aspect of Russian and East European studies that most interests them. Students may focus on the study of Russia, another country or region of the former Soviet Union, or East Central or Southeastern Europe.  This certificate program can be completed simultaneously with the REE MA in History.

At least 18 credits from area studies offerings, one each from at least 3 of the following 4 groups, with at least 9 credit hours outside the history department (for most students 9 of the 18 credits will be fulfilled through courses on East European or Russian history in the history department):

-Social Science (units covered: Political Science, Economics, Business, Law, Public Administration, , Criminal Law, Education, Sociology, Anthropology, History, CEUS, HPER, Jewish Studies; Library and Information Science, NELC; Geography, Folklore, WEST)

-Historical/Geographical (units covered:  History, Geography, Journalism, Music, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, CEUS, Jewish Studies, NELC, WEST)

-Socio-cultural (units covered: Sociology, Anthropology, History, Slavics, Comparative Literature, Music, Linguistics, Art History, Education, CEUS, Jewish Studies, Journalism, NELC, Communication and Culture, Folklore, WEST)

-Literature/language (units covered: Slavics, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, CEUS, Jewish Studies, NELC, Communication and Culture, Folklore, Second Language Studies, WEST)

The choice of courses should be made in consultation with the academic adviser in the Russian and East European Institute.  Please visit REEI in Ballantine Hall, 565 or on the web at

One of the courses taken outside the history department needs to be colloquium/seminar (600-level or higher)

One bound copy of thesis written on a Russian or East European area topic; or a copy of a paper written for a colloquium/seminar