The master’s degree in Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA) is a two-year program offering advanced training in the history, politics, culture, society, and languages of this expansive region. The REECA master’s degree offers an excellent foundation for any career that requires broad area expertise, a high level of proficiency in at least one language of the region, and superb research, writing, and communication skills. REECA students may examine the region through a variety of historical and contemporary lenses, for example, in relation to neighbors such as the European Union. REECA alumni pursue careers in a variety of fields, including government service, non-profit management, academia, and the private sector.
The REECA program is based at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, which marshals a rich and diverse array of resources to advance the interdisciplinary study of this world region. The Davis Center’s faculty associates, representing 13 disciplines at 5 Harvard schools, offer over 100 language and area studies courses each year. Harvard’s library and archival resources on the region are unmatched outside of Russia. The Davis Center hosts a full schedule of seminars, conferences, and special events that engage a dynamic and collegial scholarly community. REECA students also benefit from the offerings at other Harvard regional centers, for example, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
REECA students enjoy superior financial aid, including academic year tuition grants and stipends, summer and academic year Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships, and support for research travel and professional development.
Admission to the REECA master’s program is highly selective and takes place in a single round of competition each year. Applicants are expected to demonstrate the potential for outstanding academic achievement at the graduate level and must present a superior undergraduate record, excellent academic references, a writing sample, and a compelling statement of purpose that makes clear how the REECA program fits in with their overall academic and/or career goals. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is recommended; however, applications without GRE scores will be given full consideration for admission.
The most competitive applicants have completed substantial prior coursework in language and area studies of the region, especially history and the social sciences. Entering students typically have completed the equivalent of three or more years of college-level study of at least one of these languages: Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, or Ukrainian. Experience in the region is highly desirable, whether studying abroad, working, or pursuing independent research.