May 21, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Major

The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies program.      

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies (REEE) major is an area studies major with an interdisciplinary focus and combines linguistic training with a range of content courses in the humanities and the social sciences. While most students choose to study Russian, with careful planning it is possible for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies majors to count another relevant language studied elsewhere (such as Ukrainian, Georgian, or Uzbek) toward the major.

A major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies can lead to graduate work in a wide range of fields. Recent graduates of the program have successfully competed for entrance into graduate schools and have pursued careers in teaching, library science, government work, medicine, law, journalism, international business, and charitable or non-profit organizations. Our majors have also garnered an array of prestigious fellowships, including multiple Fulbright scholarships, several Critical Language Scholarships, a Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship, and a Beinecke Scholarship.

Note(s) on Requirements

  • Students who choose to apply a language other than Russian toward the major need to attain a level of reading proficiency in that language comparable to RUSS 305 .
  • RUSS 101  and Winter Term Russian do not count toward the major.
  • Students who come to Oberlin with prior knowledge of the Russian language still need to take 10 courses to complete the major. The additional course(s) can be Russian and Russophone literature and culture or REEE social sciences courses.
  • REEE 446  and RUSS 411  may be repeated for credit if the topic changes.
  • The social sciences requirement must be fulfilled with courses from at least two different departments.
  • Normally, private reading courses do not apply to this major.

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

  • A minimum of six courses toward the major must be taken at Oberlin.
  • All majors are encouraged to spend a semester or summer abroad on an academic program in an area where Russian or another relevant language is spoken.
  • Normally, no more than three full courses (12 credits) can be counted toward the major from any given semester-away program or 8-10 week summer language program; however up to four courses (16 credits) overall could be combined from different programs to count toward the major.

Course of Study

Entry-Level Course Suggestions

Students interested in pursuing a REEE major are encouraged to take RUSS 101  or Winter Term Russian in their first year and to explore the many 100- and 200-level content courses (including first-year seminars) in the humanities and social sciences that are taught in English and are related to Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.

Study Away

A high priority of the program is to prepare undergraduates for study in various Russophone countries. While travel to Russia itself is currently suspended, students who want to study Russian in an immersive environment can apply to a range of semester and summer programs in Russian-speaking areas such as the Baltics, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. These include the Bard-Smolny program in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan); the American Council for International Education programs in Yerevan (Armenia), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Almaty (Kazakhstan); Middlebury’s Russian-language school (currently in Astana, Kazakhstan); SRAS programs in Poland, Latvia, Georgia, Armenia, and Uzbekistan; and a range of programs in the Baltic states. For further information on these and other possibilities, contact members of the REEES faculty or the Office of Study Away.

Preparation for Post-Graduate Education

Students planning to do graduate work in REEE fields are strongly encouraged to do further work beyond the specific major requirements.

Honors in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

We encourage qualified majors to consider participating in the Honors Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Criteria for admission normally include the following:

  • by the beginning of the sixth semester:
    • overall GPA of at least 3.25
    • major GPA of at least 3.50
  • by the end of the sixth semester:
    • completion of RUSS 305 or RUSS 306
    • completion of at least one literature course in translation

Detailed Major Requirements

Language Requirement

Three semesters of Russian language study beyond RUSS 101  or Winter Term Russian (or the equivalent) are required, as well as RUSS 305 . Through careful consultation with the REEES faculty, REEE majors may use another relevant language that they have studied elsewhere to fulfill the language requirement.

Students take each course listed below.

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Major Course Lists

Senior Capstone Requirement

Return to the summary of requirements.

Instead of taking REEE 446 , when appropriate a REEE major may substitute an upper-level course in history, politics, or sociology in which the student engages at an advanced level with texts in Russian or (with approval) another relevant language. Interested students should consult with REEES faculty about this option.