REES Certificate

The 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 REES advisor will assist in selecting courses, language training, and arranging internships or study abroad to fit students' academic and personal interests. Upon graduation, both the academic degree and the "Certificate in Russian and East European Studies" are posted on students' transcripts. While working toward the REES undergraduate certificate, students can also participate in extracurricular activities including the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) and student clubs focusing on language and culture.

Certificate Requirements:

5 REES-related area studies (non-language) courses (15 credits)
- Courses must be taken in at least three departments, including up to two courses in the student’s major department (if available).
- For the most recent course lists, click here
- For a list of courses that also fulfill general education requirements, click here.

2 years of college-level study in a language of the former Soviet Union or East/Central Europe, or demonstration of equivalent proficiency.

Languages offered regularly at Pitt include:

  • Russian
  • Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
  • Polish
  • Slovak
  • Ukrainian
  • Hungarian
  • Modern Greek
  • Turkish       

Additional languages offered through the Summer Language Institute include:

  • Bulgarian
  • Czech
  • Arabic (does not fulfill REES certificate language requirement)
  • Persian (Farsi) (does not fulfill REES certificate language requirement)

*Heritage speakers of any language in our region can pass out of the language requirement if they can demonstrate intermediate level proficiency.

Capstone project
- Must be at least 10 double-spaced pages on a topic related to the REES world area
- REES offers an annual capstone course through which students are able to complete their capstone project, and which will count as one of their 5 area studies courses.

Study Abroad:

Pitt offers a range of study abroad courses that can be used to fulfill certificate requirements. 

Short-term summer study abroad courses, taught in English and offering 3 to 6 Pitt credits:

  • Czech Republic and Poland: Economy and Policy (ECON 0905) in Prague and Krakow, May
  • Romani (Gypsy) Music, Culture, and Human Rights (MUS 1362, URBNST 1901) in Prague and Budapest, 6 credits, May–June
  • Architecture and the City in Central Europe (HAA 1907) in Vienna, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Prague, May.

The intensive Summer Language Institute (SLI) is a great option to study languages of our region. Study abroad options are available for Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak (

*For those students interested in pursuing graduate or other advanced regional studies, a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in International and Area Studies/Russian and East European Studies Track is also available.