Russian and East European Studies certificate is an interdisciplinary credential that combines foreign language training and multidisciplinary area studies courses. Through this stimulating program, students develop a broad understanding of the historical and cultural processes shaping states and societies in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Additional benefits include: enhanced career opportunities, specialized advising, access to scholarships and study abroad opportunities.
Students in any major who wish to add a Russian, East European, or Eurasian focus to their regular undergraduate degree can enroll in the REES Certificate program. Courses taken for the certificate program may also fulfill general education requirements and some major requirements, and often do not increase students' overall course load.
The Capstone Course in Russian & East European Studies
This course is designed as a capstone of the multidisciplinary knowledge that you have accumulated in pursuing a certificate in Russian and East European Studies. The objective is to provide you with the opportunity to draw on and synthesize all of the skills and knowledge gained in the various courses and seminars that you have taken up until this point, and apply them to a topic of particular interest to you. The course will culminate in an analytical/research paper on a topic in Russian and East European Studies to be chosen by each individual student. The paper will draw on methodologies and literature from multiple disciplines, especially political science and anthropology.
During the first half of the course, readings will be focused on research methodologies, and class time will be devoted to discussion about varying approaches to research in Russia and Eastern Europe. Students will simultaneously define their own topics for research, identify source material, and begin data collection/proposal development.
During the second half of the course, students will complete a research paper, drawing on sources from multiple disciplines and employing a range of methodological techniques in the social sciences and humanities. Class time will largely be dedicated to working on research papers, including one-on-one or small group consultation with the instructors.
The Related Concentration, administered in collaboration with the European Studies Center, is designed to let students explore their interest in both the REES and ESC world areas so that it fits comfortably alongside their majors or minors. It appeals particularly to pre-professional students who wish to broaden their international experience while minimizing language requirements. It is crafted to offer comparative study of your intended professional field—pre-medicine, pre-law, business, engineering, and health and rehab sciences—while capitalizing on your existing European/Eurasian language credits. This individualized, interdisciplinary credential provides a context for studying abroad and complements most academic plans and majors.
This is an interdisciplinary, research-based degree offered by the University Honors College in collaboration with REES. Although requirements for this degree are rigorous, the personal, academic, and professional benefits are enormous.
In collaboration with Pitt’s School of Education, REES offers 3-credit pre-professional internships for Pitt undergraduates interested in secondary social studies education with a particular focus on the cultures, people, history, and contemporary issues of East Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Preference will be given to undergraduates who are currently enrolled in one of our certificate programs or the related concentration. Learn more about PAGE.
New Course Offerings: Water in Central Asia
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities' Humanities Connections program, REES in collaboration with the Asian Studies Center will offer a cluster of three new undergraduate courses beginning Spring 2019 to strengthen interdisciplinary connections among Pitt faculty and students across the humanities, social sciences, and pre-professional programs in business and engineering. This innovative, humanities-centered course cluster will consist of—Central Asian Water Past: Climate Change in the Preindustrial Era, Central Asian Water Present: Engineering in the Industrial Post-Empire, and Central Asian Water Future: Encounters in the Anthropocene. The courses will be integrated into the Sustainable Development Certificate for students in the College of Business Administration; the Engineering for Humanity Certificate for students of Engineering; and REES’s emerging Central Asian Studies Initiative, aimed primarily at Arts & Sciences students. All courses will incorporate high-impact experiential learning activities, including mentored research projects and virtual peer-to-peer exchanges with students at Nazarbayev University, Pitt's partner institution in Kazakhstan.