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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2024
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Russian,East European, and Eurasian Studies Certificate

Contact Information
Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies
4415 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Phone: 412-648-7403


REEES is one of a select few National Resource Centers for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies funded by the US Department of Education. REEES has 72 affiliated faculty members and has programs with 14 Arts and Sciences departments and five professional schools. Our many areas of focus include subjects such as the transformations of post-communist societies, history, foreign policy and international relations, anthropology, music, film, and contemporary culture and literatures. Recognizing that regional boundaries are constantly contested and redefined, our geographic scope includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Western Balkans, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Mongolia, and Turkey.  REEES currently offers Certificates in Advanced East European Studies, Russian Studies, or Soviet Studies, which may be earned in conjunction with most masters and doctoral programs in the School of Arts and Sciences and a number of professional schools.

Requirements for REEES Certificates

The requirements for each of the REEES graduate certificates are as follows:

  • Completion of six approved Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies courses, including four courses from at least two departments other than the student’s home department, for a total of 18 credits.
    • Graduate students should complete a minimum of 6 unique credits of coursework. In other words, at least 6 credits of the course work used to complete the requirements of any graduate level certificate in UCIS must be in addition to the credits used to complete the student’s primary degree program. In consultation with the academic advisor, students may fulfill these standards through one of the following options:
      • Students may contextualize non-credit bearing internships that are required in various graduate degree programs as credit bearing experiences for UCIS certificate programs. Prior approval must be received from the academic advisor to pursue this option.
      • Students who can add content courses without affecting their tuition bill will be encouraged to do so.  
      • Students who are exempt from the language requirement because of previous coursework or heritage language skills may use language course credits towards the requirement for additional work beyond the graduate degree.
    • The 6 credits may be comprised of the following combinations:
      • Two language courses (* see notes below)
      • A language course (* see notes below) and a content course
      • Two content courses

* Language courses may be used in the following circumstances: 

For certificate programs that require three years of language proficiency, students may count language courses in the third year (i.e. grammar, conversation, courses taught in target language) that are above the intermediate level.

For students in any certificate program who are exempt from the language requirement due to previous coursework or as a heritage speaker, the introductory courses in a second language (either LCTLs, or a commonly taught language with a clear and stated relevance to their research or professional goals) will count.

For students completing two graduate level UCIS certificates, at least nine (9) credits of the course work used to complete the certificate requirements must be in addition to the credits used to complete the student’s primary degree program. At least 3 of these credits must be in content coursework. All 9 cannot be language course credits.

  • Demonstration of language proficiency equivalent to three years of college-level study in a language of the former Soviet Union (plus Mongolia) or Eastern Europe (including Turkish). 
  • Completion of a research paper of at least 15 pages in length, based substantially on primary sources in one or more languages of the REEES world area.
  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in REEES-related coursework.

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