Major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

The aim of the REEES major is to provide students with a knowledge base in one discipline that will permit them to qualify for graduate study, an interdisciplinary focus on issues critical to the region, and foundational language training necessary for professional specialization in the area.


The minimum hours of required major and supporting course work for the REEES major is 48, distributed among three components. The minimum number of hours required for graduation is 120. Twelve hours of advanced-level (300 or 400 level) courses in the major must be taken on the Champaign–Urbana campus. A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60–75 hours).

Component 1: Language Requirements (6 hours)
Completion of three years of college-level study of Russian or another language of Eastern Europe or Eurasia, or equivalent proficiency. This stipulation may be partially satisfied through fulfillment of the LAS two-year language requirement if a regionally appropriate language is chosen for that purpose. A third year of study, however, is demanded beyond this. If a non-Russian, East European or Eurasian language is selected to meet the LAS requirement, then the three years of Russian, East European or Eurasian language study specified here must be taken in addition to those completed to satisfy the LAS requirement. Only the hours earned in the third, most advanced year of language study are calculated into the degree here, as these represent proficiency beyond that required by all LAS BA degree programs and as the first two years of language study are a prerequisite for the third.

Students taking third year Russian may either take Russian 301 and 302 or Russian 301 and 305 (Business Russian) to fulfill component 1.

Component 2: REEES Core Courses (24 hours)
  • Required —3 hours REES 200—Introduction to the Cultures of Russia and Eurasia
  • Required —3 hours REES 201—Introduction to Eastern Europe
  • Required —3 hours REES 495—Senior Seminar
  • Optional —6 hours REES 493—Senior Thesis
  • 15 hours: Choose one course from each of three departments other than the department used for component 3 below (the Center maintains a list of applicable courses). The courses comprising the remaining hours of component 2 may be from the same discipline as those under component 3; however, a course may be counted toward the total for only one component. Language course that concentrate on the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing cannot be counted as part of this component; however, Russian language courses may be used as part of component 3 as described below.

Component 3: Courses in a Single Discipline (18 hours)

It is not required that these courses be on the study of Russia, Eastern Europe, or Eurasia. Among those disciplines that are most commonly used with this specialization are anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, Slavic language and literature, and sociology. Among disciplines also used are business administration, comparative literature, education, English, fine arts, French, German, journalism, linguistics, mathematics, music, philosophy, psychology, and various natural sciences. Others are permitted. Consult with your advisor. If foreign language courses are used for component 3, the 20 hours must be taken in addition to the 3 years of college-level Russian, East European or Eurasian language study outlined under component 1 above.

Department Distinction

To qualify for departmental distinction, a student must attain at least a 3.5 GPA in the courses taken for Component 2 and complete a senior thesis in consultation with a faculty member affiliated with the center. Students who wish to qualify for distinction in this major should consult with the Center director at the beginning of the junior year or earlier to prepare a suitable plan.