Master’s Program in Regional Studies, Davis Center, Harvard University, Application Deadline December 31

Master’s Degree in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA)

We believe that when we integrate various academic disciplines, we gain insights into society and culture that are not possible within a single discipline. Our Master’s Program in Regional Studies was established in 1948 to embody this belief. Since that time, over 550 alumni have pursued careers in government, academia, business, and non-governmental organizations. Between 16 and 20 students are enrolled in the program at any one time. Students take courses with our Faculty Associates, tap into our network of scholars and alumni, use our library, and attend our seminars and other activities.We offer financial aid awards are based on academic merit and financial need.

A limited enrollment in the program (~10 students per program year) facilitates individual guidance and personal attention. Each student works individually with the Academic Coordinator to develop a program of study, taking into account his or her career goals, previous training, experience, and academic qualifications.

16 half-courses (semester courses) are required for graduation; typical course load is 4 courses per semester. The 16 half-courses are distributed as follows:

• Two half-courses in four of the following six disciplines:

• Economics

• Government (Political Science)

• History

• Upper-level Russian

• Any level non-Russian language of the region

• Linguistics

• Literature

Note: at least two of the four disciplines must be in the social sciences.

• One half-course addressing questions of national identity and state structure of the region (this course may also count toward a discipline requirement, where appropriate)

• Approved electives to bring total credits to 16 half-courses

Master’s Thesis
The thesis is intended as the capstone of the two-year program. It is supervised by a Harvard faculty member and is based to a significant extent on sources in one or more languages of the region. Many students conduct in-country thesis research between program years with the help of a research travel grant from the Davis Center. The thesis carries a letter grade and counts as two half-courses.

Russian Language Qualifying Exam
Before graduating from the program, all REECA students must pass a 3-hour exam translating excerpts from the Russian press and scholarly journals into English using a dictionary. The Russian Language Qualifying Exam is offered three times each year, and students may take it more than once.

Download printer-friendly REECA program overview with all topics from menu at left. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Contact: Donna Griesenbeck,, 617.495.1194.

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