Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies, BALAS

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies


department website: https://reeec.illinois.edu/

department faculty: Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies Faculty


overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

college website: https://las.illinois.edu/


email: reec@illinois.edu


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 major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies consists of three components: 1) language study (Russian, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Turkish, and more); 2) a multidisciplinary area studies focus; and 3) concentration in a single discipline. Language study can be in Russian or in any of the other languages of the region offered at the University. Students also 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. In addition, the concentration in a single discipline provides students with deep knowledge of a specific field that can qualify them for graduate or professional study. Many students also use this concentration to double major. With this program, the REEES major provides students with an interdisciplinary focus on issues critical to the region and foundational language training necessary for professional specialization in the area.

Students often go on to careers in government service (foreign service, FBI, CIA) or to work at NGOs (environment, human rights, and other international careers) in addition to publishing, editing, writing, translation, international business, law, teaching, and research.

REEES is one of 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 REEES major has a current affairs focus and multidisciplinary area studies that develops students’ skill sets in the humanities, social sciences, and other fields. The major in Slavic Studies emphasizes the study of language and literature, and students develop intensive cultural literacy and communication skills through humanities-oriented training. Many Slavic Studies majors go on to careers in writing and editing, media, or work with international cultural foundations and organizations. Both majors are excellent preparation for law school or graduate school and careers in teaching or research.

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies


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.

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.


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


Minimum required major and supporting course work: Normally equates to 48 hours. Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level in the major must be taken on this campus.


Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours.


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