The Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES) at Georgetown University offers one of the nation's preeminent Master's degree programs and hosts a rich outreach program of events on the area from central Europe to the Pacific and the Baltic to the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas. Founded in 1959 to prepare scholars who understood the Soviet Union and could analyze its secretive system, the Center has evolved in the wake of the Soviet Union’s demise and today incorporates a variety of scholarly disciplines for the study of this culturally rich region.

With an active program of community outreach, CERES provides a broad and deep understanding of Eurasian, Russian and East European affairs to audiences at Georgetown and throughout the Washington community. In addition, CERES oversees Turkish studies at Georgetown University and hosts several programs with the Institute of Turkish Studies.

CERES is part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), founded in 1919 to educate students and prepare them for leadership roles in international affairs. SFS remains committed to intercultural understanding and service in the global arena, ideals held by SFS’ founder and first dean, Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Today, SFS offers eight interdisciplinary Master’s programs designed to teach students to think about, analyze and act in the twenty-first century with imagination, good judgment and compassion.

Learning Goals

The CERES MA provides a solid grounding in the languages and cultures of the region and interdisciplinary depth in the social sciences. Students in the program will achieve:

  • knowledge of the region from broad disciplinary perspectives and using a variety of methodologies;
  • the ability to integrate a theoretical with practical knowledge of regional affairs;
  • a thematically focused-curriculum that develops expertise;
  • proficiency in at least one regional language;
  • original research utilizing the student's language of proficiency;
  • effective oral presentation and critical writing skills.


The MAERES (formerly REES MA) curriculum is designed to take 4 semesters to complete. It requires:

  • 42 credit hours of coursework, including two core courses (Introduction to Area Studies and the Capstone Seminar) and two advanced language courses;
  • a presentation of the student's research before CERES faculty and students prior to graduation.

The M.A. curriculum is organized across five disciplines:

  • Anthropology-Sociology
  • Culture
  • Economics
  • Government
  • History

Together with the CERES directors, students plan a directed program of study that includes coursework in at least four of the five fields.

Students complete a total of fourteen courses, including the two core seminars and two advanced language courses. The other ten courses are selected according to the student's academic interests and the multidisciplinary requirement.

Curriculum Sequence

Language requirements

Students are tested in reading and oral proficiency in a language of the region upon entry to the program and placed in the appropriate level of language classes. Completion of two courses at the advanced level is required for graduation, except for native speakers of a language of the region.

Georgetown offers Persian, Polish, Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian language courses that fulfill the advanced language study requirement (six credits). Other language study opportunities are available through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area and through summer intensive language study programs in the US or abroad.

Public Presentation of Research

The Capstone Seminar requires that the student make a public presentation of the research project to CERES students and faculty. Students writing a thesis will present their research during their last semester of study.

Joint Degrees

MAERES (REES MA)/Government PhD

CERES and the Department of Government administer a joint degree program in which students may receive an MA in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a Ph.D. in Government. Students experience substantial time and cost savings by applying certain coursework and the comprehensive examination to the requirements of both programs and may take advantage of the opportunities provided by both programs, including access to financial aid and student teaching.

MAERES/Law Center JD

A new joint-degree program, offered in conjunction with Georgetown's Law Center, will begin in the academic year 2003-04. This four-year joint degree program in international studies will lead to the Juris Doctor (JD) and MA in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. Students experience substantial time and cost savings by applying certain coursework to the requirements of both programs and may take advantage of opportunities provided by both programs, including access to financial aid.

Accelerated BSFS/MA or BA/MA

Students currently enrolled as undergraduates in SFS or the College may apply to pursue the joint undergraduate-MA degree. Prospective applicants should meet with their undergraduate Dean and the Associate Director of CERES to discuss the program.


CERES graduates work with the rapidly changing regions of Europe and Eurasia, holding positions in the US and foreign governments, international agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Recent graduates enjoy careers at American Councils for International Education, Bank of Japan, CIA, Civilian Research and Development Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, Freeport McMoRan Corp., International Rescue Committee, Moscow Times, Qatar Foundation, Social Impact, Inc., Taylor-DeJongh, US Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, US Department of State, US Senate, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Advising and Internships

Career advising is an integral part of each student's experience. CERES directors provide individual counseling throughout the course of study to ensure the academic program is integrated with professional objectives. Many students hold career-related internships while in the program, including at organizations in the Washington, DC area that offer regionally related internships.

CERES students benefit from professional and discipline-specific career services through the School of Foreign Service Graduate Career Center (GCC), which offers workshops, recruiting events and one-on-one counseling to ensure that students have the skills and resources they need to find the career they desire.

Entry Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies program is based on:

  1. completed Graduate School of Arts & Sciences application form (see below for link)
  2. official transcript(s) of the applicant's academic record that demonstrates graduation from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 average or better
  3. A 500-word statement of purpose
  4. an academic or professional writing sample in English (approximately 10-15 double-spaced pages in length with footnotes and a bibliography)
  5. three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty who have taught you in class
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the general verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing tests (the GRE code for GU is 5244; CERES does not have a department code)
  7. For international applicants only: TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or IELTS score of 7.5. These scores are required of students who completed their bachelor's degree at a university where English was not the primary language of instruction. (TOEFL code for GU is 5244).
  8. current resume
  9. application fee

Please have official transcripts sent to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Office.

Language Requirement

Applicants should submit evidence that they have completed the equivalent of at least three years of study of an appropriate language of the region at the college level or that they are native speakers of one of the languages of the region. This level of language proficiency is keyed to the program requirement, that students who are not native speakers of a language of the region complete two courses of advanced language study and the requirement in some courses that students conduct research in a regional language.

Some background in the Eurasian, Russian and East European area or in related disciplines is helpful but not essential.

Applicants must apply online. For general information about the applications process, please see Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website.

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Last updated October 12, 2018
This course is Campus based
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2 years
2,065 USD
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