Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Center

David Cooper, Director of Center
104 International Studies Building, 910 South Fifth Street, Champaign
PH: (217) 333-1244
http://www.reeec.illinois.edu

There are two "Russian" majors (and minors) at the University of Illinois. What is the difference between them and which is the right one for you?

The major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies has a multidisciplinary area studies focus. Students take courses in a variety of disciplines (history, sociology, political science) and develop a broad expertise in the history, politics, and culture of the region that includes Russia, but also many other countries, from the Czech Republic to Estonia to Uzbekistan. Language study can be in Russian or in any of the other languages of the region offered here. Students often go on to careers in government service or to work at NGOs.

The major in Slavic Studies enables students to specialize in one of five concentrations: Russian Language, Literature, and Culture; Polish Studies; South Slavic Studies; Czech Studies; Ukrainian Studies. Unlike the major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, which has a multidisciplinary area studies and current affairs focus, the major in Slavic Studies emphasizes the study of language, literature, and culture in their historical context. Students develop intensive cultural literacy and communication skills through humanities-oriented training, and many go on to careers in writing and editing, media, or work with international cultural foundations and organizations. The major is an excellent preparation for law school, business school, or other graduate study, as well as careers in the N.G.O. world, teaching, or research.

That said, the majors are only as different, or as similar, as you make them. You can choose literature as your primary field for the REEEC major, or take social science courses to develop broad area expertise in your supporting coursework for the Russian language and literature major. Both are excellent preparation for law school or graduate school and careers in teaching or research.

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES). These programs involve students in the study of an important and complex world area in a manner that draws together the approaches of different disciplines, while at the same time building knowledge in a single discipline. A student will construct an individual program of study, depending on the student's interests and career goals, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor of the Center.

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.

Major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Major in Sciences and Letters Curriculum

E-mail: reec@illinois.edu

Degree title: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Minimum required major and supporting courses equate to 48 hours.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Twelve hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this 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). Please see your advisor.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction: To qualify for departmental distinction, a student must have at least a 3.5 GPA in the courses taken for Component 2 (see below) and must 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.

Component 1: 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.6
Component 2: Russian and East European studies core courses, including:24
Intro to Russia and Eurasia
Introduction to Eastern Europe
Senior Seminar
15 hours: Choose one course from each of three departments other than the department used for component 3 below. 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 courses that concentrate on the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing cannot be counted as part of this component.
Component 3: Courses in a single discipline. Among those disciplines that are most commonly used with this specialization are anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, Russian 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 your advisor. 218
1

The Center maintains a list of applicable courses on its web site.

2

If the study of a language is used for this component, 20 hours must be taken beyond the requirement of 6 additional hours outlined under component 1 above.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies allows students in diverse fields to complement their programs with a study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Programs of study can be tailored to the needs and interests of individual students, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor.

E-mail: reec@illinois.edu

Web address for department: www.reec.uiuc.edu

The equivalent of three semesters of college-level language study in Russian or another language of Eastern Europe or Eurasia. This stipulation may be satisfied through partial fulfillment of the LAS two-year language requirement if a regionally appropriate language is chosen for that purpose. If a non-REEE language is selected to meet the LAS requirement, then the three semesters of REEE language study specified here must be taken in addition to those completed to satisfy the LAS requirement. Only those hours earned in the second and third semester of language study are calculated into the degree, as the first semester represents a prerequisite for the other two. 6-8
Courses on Russia, Eastern Europe, or Eurasia from at least three different academic units. (Literature courses are acceptable for this requirement; language courses are not.) No more than 6 hours may be counted from any one unit; 6 hours must be at the 300- or 400-level. 15
Total Hours 221
1

The Center maintains a list of applicable courses.

2

No more than 9 hours may be taken at the 100-level.

 
 

REES Class Schedule

Courses

REES 115   Intro to Polish Culture   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as POL 115. See POL 115.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Literature and the Arts
UIUC: Western Compartv Cult

REES 116   Intro to Russian Culture   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as RUSS 115. See RUSS 115.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Literature and the Arts
UIUC: Western Compartv Cult

REES 200   Intro to Russia and Eurasia   credit: 3 Hours.

Survey of the societies and states formerly constituted as the Soviet Union. Interdisciplinary and team-taught. Combines lectures, discussions, and films covering the history, political science, economics, sociology, and culture of the area.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

REES 201   Introduction to Eastern Europe   credit: 3 Hours.

Interdisciplinary survey of Eastern Europe focusing mostly on the 20th century to the present, exploring issues of nationalism, socialism, post socialism and EU accession. Focuses on Central Europe and the Balkans, but also references the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Students will learn about the region using perspectives and methodology from historical, economic, political, sociological and anthropological texts.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

REES 296   Special Topics   credit: 3 Hours.

Topics in the interdisciplinary study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours.

REES 390   Individual Study or Research   credit: 3 Hours.

Directed reading or research on selected topics. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor supervising the work.

REES 493   Honors Senior Thesis   credit: 3 Hours.

Undergraduate honors thesis. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: REES major with senior standing and 3.5 grade-point average; consent of instructor supervising the work and the REEEC director.

REES 495   Senior Seminar   credit: 3 Hours.

Interdisciplinary seminar normally taken in the senior year. Involving faculty in a number of disciplines, this course approaches understanding Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia and the methodologies of its study through questions of identities, cultural values, and change. Taught in conjunction with REES 550. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: Declared major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing.

REES 496   Topics in REEE Studies   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Topics in the interdisciplinary study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 9 undergraduate hours or 12 graduate hours.