Skip to Content


Q. How do I declare a major or minor?

A. Make an appointment with a REEES adviser. Jenifer Presto, Director of REEES, Katya Hokanson, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, or Julie Hessler, Associate Professor of History all advise incoming majors. The adviser will help you form a plan of study so you can complete department and university requirements in a timely fashion. Contact information can be found here. After you have met with one of the advisers, you may sign up for the major at the REEES office, PLC 175.

Q. If I study abroad or at another institution in the United States, can I use those courses to fulfill the REEES major?

A. Yes, you may use any language courses that you take at other institutions (including institutions in Russia) toward your REEES language requirement. In addition, you may use up to four other courses to fulfill requirements for the major (two toward the minor). No more than two (one for the minor) may count toward your field of concentration, though. Remember that courses taken abroad also fulfill university requirements.

Q. How can I tell if a course is eligible to be used for the major?

A. Courses that are listed on our website are eligible for the major; if a course is not listed, 40% of its content must be related to Russia, Eastern Europe, or former Soviet Eurasia. This 40% includes independent work done by the student; thus, even if course content is less than 40% REEES-related, the student may add readings or write a paper that brings the total content to 40% or more. One of the REEES advisers, such as Julie Hessler, Jenifer Presto or Katya Hokanson, must approve the use of the course for the major.

Q. I have already taken a Slavic or East European language. Do I still have to take three years to fulfill my major requirements?

A. If you have already achieved third-year competency, you may make arrangements with Yelaina Kripkov, Senior Instructor of Russian, to have the language requirement waived or reduced. This may involve taking a language placement exam.

Q. How can I graduate with honors?

A. You must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in the major and write an honors thesis with a faculty advisor and secondary reader. If you are thinking about the possibility of writing a thesis, meet as soon as you can with the faculty member you would like to work with to explore possibilities and get suggestions for setting up a timetable.

Q. I am interested in continuing my studies at the graduate level. Is there anything special that I should do or keep in mind?

A. The first, most important thing is to consult with an adviser about what might strengthen your application. Advanced knowledge of Russian or another regional language is always beneficial (four years are better than three, as is the greater fluency that students obtain from study abroad). Beyond that, you will want to consider whether your interests and career goals lend themselves to an interdisciplinary program (Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, International Business, etc.) or to a traditional academic discipline, such as Russian history, Russian literature, or geography. The latter type of program will require more advance planning on your part, since you should try to take as many courses in the particular field (in all likelihood, your concentration in REEES) as you can. In addition, you may want to consider developing a minor or double major in the discipline in question, so that you come away from your undergraduate studies with a strong knowledge of Russia and/or Eastern Europe and the methodological and theoretical background in a specific discipline.

Q. How can I type a paper in Russian or another Slavic language using my own computer?

A. See the following website for instructions on how to do it — it’s easy!