University of Wisconsin–Madison

M.A. Degree Program

Program Overview

The M.A. Degree Program in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS), administered by CREECA, provides interdisciplinary area studies training for emerging professionals and future leaders. We welcome and encourage applications from Eurasia Foreign Area Officers (FAOs).

The REECAS curriculum is designed to promote:

  • A broad understanding of the cultural, political, economic, social, and historical factors that have shaped the development of societies in Eurasia, Russia, and Eastern and Central Europe
  • Professional-level proficiency in one or more languages of Eurasia and Eastern and Central Europe
  • Knowledge of methodological and analytical approaches of different disciplines that will contribute to a better understanding of the region and prepare students for conducting advanced research.

Course Offerings

For an example of REECAS course offerings, click here.

Departments and Faculty

The M.A. Degree Program in REECAS is an interdisciplinary program. Currently, there are 29 tenure-line professors with a primary teaching and/or research interest in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. Faculty represent 13 different disciplines, including: Communication Arts, Geography, History, Languages and Cultures of Asia, Law, Political Science, Slavic Languages and Literature, Sociology, and Theater and Drama. Check out our Faculty page for faculty profiles and research interests.

Program Admissions

Students entering the Master’s Program must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum total grade point average of 3.0/4.0
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.4/4.0 in related area courses
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Sufficiently high scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

While there is no minimum admission requirement for regional language, students are strongly advised to complete at least two years of language study before entering the program. 

Program Length

Three academic semesters, but students who enter with language skills and commit to intensive summer course work may complete the course of study within 12 calendar months.

Program Requirements

  • One regional language class each term
  • A one-credit “Introduction to REECAS” module their first semester
  • 7 courses (21 credits) distributed across three departments
    • At least two of these courses must be graduate-level seminars (700-900 level) using original language source material in papers
    • Students may elect to write a Master’s Thesis for three of these credits; the thesis may not replace one of the graduate-level seminars.

Total: 22 credits plus one regional language class per term

Language Requirements

Language learning is an integral part of the program, and students will be required to enroll in language courses each term. In order to complete the Master’s Program, students will be required to take two years or the equivalent of a regional language (Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Finnish, Kazakh, Russian, Turkish (Turkish-Azeri), Persian), with at least three years of study strongly recommended. Students who enter with no previous study of language who want to complete the program in three academic semesters need to enroll in a summer intensive language study course the summer prior to enrolling, or after the first year of study. Students already proficient in their main language are expected to choose another Slavic or Central Eurasian language.

Funding and Financial Aid

We strongly encourage qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship through our office. FLAS applications are generally due on February 15 of each year; please check here for updates. Please note that the application form for FLAS is separate from the application for admission. We regret that other sources of funding, such as teaching assistantships and project assistantships, are extremely limited in our program, but we encourage all applicants to consult the CREECA funding page for additional resources.

Application Procedures

For more information regarding the REECAS M.A. Program and its requirements, consult the graduate advisor Jennifer Tishler.


Jennifer Tishler
Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia
210 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706