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MA Degree Program

Degree Program

CREEES’s one-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) provides students with a strong grounding in historical and contemporary processes of change in the Russian Federation, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.  Core requirements provide intellectual cohesion, while electives and the capstone project give students the flexibility to pursue their own academic and professional interests drawing on Stanford’s excellence in teaching and research and rich library and archival resources.  The REEES MA program prepares students for a range of professional and academic careers. 

All students in the MA REEES program must complete a minimum of 48 academic credit units.  All course work applied to the 48-unit minimum must focus primarily with REEES, be taken at the graduate level (usually 200-level, and above), and be approved by the CREEES Associate Director,  ensuring that planned course work satisfies requirements towards the degree.  Students may enroll up for up to 18-units per quarter In the Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters (56 units, total, in given academic year). The MA program is typically completed in one academic year; in some cases, longer periods of study may be permitted. Details regarding REEES MA degree requirements can be found in the Stanford Bulletin.

Core Requirements

  1. Core Courses: Students must complete 3 core courses during the Autumn and Winter Quarters in the 2023-2024 academic year - 1 core course in the Autumn Quarter and 2 core courses in the Winter Quarter. CREEES MA students must enroll in the required core courses for 5 units, for a letter grade, and with the REES course subject code.  Core course offerings change every year.  The core courses for the 2023-24 academic year are:
  • Autumn Quarter 2023 Core Course (1): REES 224A: The Soviet Civilization (Instructor: Amir Weiner)
  • Winter Quarter 2024 Core Courses (2): REES 303: Dissent and Protest in Post-Soviet Culture (Instructors: Yuliya Ilchuk & Dominick Lawton) -and- 

REES 231B: Understanding Russia: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order (Instructor: Kathryn Stoner)  -or-  REES 219: A New Cold War: Great Power Relations in 21st Century (Instructor: Michael McFaul)

  • Spring Quarter - No core course enrollment required


  1. Core Seminar Series: All students are required to enroll in REES 200. Current Issues in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Autumn and Winter quarters (2 units, total). The goal of this seminar series is to survey current methodological and substantive issues in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, acquaint students with Stanford resources and faculty, and present professional development and career options.


  1. Interdisciplinary Course Work: Students take 1-2 elective courses per quarter. Courses in REEES that count towards the MA degree program requirements must be completed and distributed among at least three disciplines.  A list of pre-approved courses for each academic year can be found in the Stanford Bulletin. Students can petition to have courses that do not appear on this list counted towards the degree.

  2. Language Study: Students study Russian, an East European or Central Asian language, or a language from the Caucasus each quarter they are enrolled in the MA degree program. The Stanford Language Center can offer over a dozen area language courses.

The CREEES Associate Director works with each student to design a course of study that optimally meets the student's academic and professional interests, needs, and goals.

Capstone Thesis

The capstone thesis is a central component of the CREEES MA program, which allows students to produce a work of original scholarship during their year in the program. Students must complete the capstone thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor, and in consultation with the CREEES Director and Associate Director. Students work on the thesis over the course of their entire time in the program, participating in a series of capstone-focused workshops throughout the year. They also enroll in the REES 300. MA Capstone Seminar for 1 unit in Spring Quarter.