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The Master of Arts Degree Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies offers training to graduate students preparing for academic and professional careers with a focus on the region of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The enhancement of language ability to the level of professional competence and the acquisition of on-site experience and analytical skills appropriate for an area expert are goals of the M.A. program. Students may focus their programs on one or more countries of the region, but are expected to achieve a wide range of area knowledge as well as disciplinary and professional skills.

Applicants to the REES M.A. program must have completed a bachelor's degree. The admissions committee does not focus on one criterion to the exclusion of others, nor do we have minimum requirements for any criterion, though successful applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25, and a verbal score of at least 160 and quantitative score of at least 150 on the GRE revised General Test. (Applicants to the Business Administration or Law dual degree programs may substitute GMAT or LSAT scores.)

REES M.A. Requirements

REES M.A. Worksheet
REES M.A./M.P.P. Worksheet

The normal program of study for the REES M.A. takes two years and includes the following requirements:

  • Minimum Credit Requirement. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours: 15 of these must be in REES-approved courses at the 500-level and above, and 9 more credits must be in REES-approved courses at the 400-level and above.
  • Introductory Proseminar. REEES 600, Introduction to Graduate Study in REES. First-year M.A. students must take REEES 600, a course on academic reading and writing in different disciplines. (1 credit)
  • Core Colloquium. REEES 601, REES Graduate Core Colloquium. Required every semester for all REES M.A. students, usually for one credit each term. For dual-degree students, only required during first year (both fall and winter).This ongoing course will draw on and discuss area-related issues, including programs (Noon Lectures and Center events); Center “gateway” and other course lectures; visiting speakers; with occasional separate meetings on development and current state of REES. All students are expected to attend CREES Noon Lectures.
  • Course Distribution. For examples of REES-approved classes, see CREES courses.
    • Geographic Distribution. At least one 3-credit course in two of the CREES regions (Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Eurasia). With permission, students may fulfill this requirement with a graduate independent study/directed reading course to accompany a Center “gateway.” (9 credits)
    • Disciplinary Distribution. At least one 3-credit course in each core field (arts/culture, history, social science). (9 credits)
      Note: courses may count for both geographic and disciplinary distributions. Students may “place out” of either disciplinary or geographic distribution requirements if their previous training includes a substantial concentration in the relevant area or discipline (e.g., a student who focused intensively on Russia, and now at UM wants to focus on Eastern Europe or Central Eurasia; or a history major who now wishes to focus on literature). Students may not “place out” with a single course from a previous undergraduate institution; prior “substantial concentrations” require grades of B or better in at least three clearly relevant university-level courses.
  • Language Proficiency. All students in a REES M.A. or dual-degree program must either attain a level of proficiency in one REE-area language one year beyond that required for the REES B.A. (i.e., fourth-year Russian or Polish with a grade of B- or better; third-year for other languages) or achieve the level required for a B.A. plus an additional year in a second REE language. All M.A. students will complete CREES-approved language tests upon matriculation and at graduation.
  • Language Training. M.A. students who are not enrolled in a dual-degree program are expected to enroll in a 3- (or more) credit language class (for a grade) every semester. Dual-degree students are strongly encouraged to do so. In case of necessity, students may substitute an intensive summer course for one semester. Students may satisfy this requirement by taking advanced language classes (e.g. 5th-year Russian or Russian 499). For native speakers and those already possessing advanced-to-superior proficiency in one area language, this requirement also enables the acquisition of a second language, usually from the REE area (Russian, East European, or Central Eurasian), to be pursued for the duration of the program. In cases with compelling intellectual or professional rationales, and with permission of the director, this training may involve other languages (e.g., Persian, Turkish, German, Greek). Effective Fall 2013: A maximum of eight credits of upper-level language training can be applied to the 30-credit minimum.
  • Research Seminar. Participation in a REES-approved upper-level graduate seminar. (3 credits)
  • Master's Project. A thesis or final project/practicum integrating area expertise with disciplinary or professional work must be submitted and approved by two CREES faculty associates. This project should be tailored to a student's own interests and academic or career goals. 


M.A. students should meet with the CREES Advisor at least three times throughout the course of their degree: once at orientation, again near the end of their first year to discuss plans for the thesis and for guidance in selecting a thesis advisor, and early in their final semester to conduct a degree audit. Additional appointments can be scheduled as necessary. 

Schedule an advising appointment


Individuals may apply online through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Online applications with the statement of purpose will go directly to Rackham and CREES. GRE scores are sent to Rackham, code 1839.

  • All applicants are required to mail a complete set of official academic records/transcripts from undergraduate and postgraduate institutions to Rackham:    

        Rackham Graduate School
        Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
        915 E. Washington Street
        Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

  • Official documents must be provided by the institution awarding the degree. Academic records certified by notary publics are not official.
  • Submit your application before sending your academic records/transcripts to Rackham. This will to allow your documents to be processed more quickly.
  • If you do not obtain a U-M ID number before mailing your academic records/transcripts to Rackham it is important that you inform us of any name changes. This includes Former Last Name and Former First Name that appear on your academic records/transcripts. This information will enable Rackham to match your records to your application quickly.

If you do not have a University of Michigan ID number you can obtain one by registering as a Future Grad Student.

Application Requirements

Prospective students must submit an online application, which will go directly to Rackham and CREES. Official transcripts must be mailed to Rackham and CREES. GRE scores are sent to Rackham, code 1839.

REES MA application checklist

Your completed online application and supporting documents (including academic records/transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation, etc.) should be submitted early enough to arrive two to three weeks prior to the deadline.

Financial Aid

Applicants to the REES M.A. program who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are encouraged to apply for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships. For information about additional funding opportunities, see Student Funding.

For more information, contact

The annual application deadline is January 15.