The MA in Slavic and East European Studies is an interdisciplinary, terminal degree offered by the Graduate School and administered by the Center for Slavic and East European Studies (CSEES). Through the degree, students study several different fields and approaches in order to better understand a country, region, or people of Eastern Europe/Eurasia. It prepares graduates for work in the government, non-profit, and public sector, or to pursue a PhD. As part of the degree, students work closely with their advisor to select courses and develop a specialization, enabling the student to design the degree around their interests. The MA in Slavic and East European Studies is an area-studies degree and can be applied to a number of professional or academic careers. Recent graduates have pursued careers in intelligence/security, non-governmental organizations, U.S. Foreign Service, business, U.S. military, and other governmental agencies, or have joined PhD programs.
For those interested in a career in the public, military, or private sector, the CSEES MA in Slavic and East European Studies is a terminal MA program that provides them with the language skills and regional knowledge to understand and analyze the events, culture, history, and politics of a region or country within Eastern Europe/Eurasia. Those wanting to pursue a PhD receive a foundation in the humanities and social sciences while developing a focused approach to the study of the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
The philosophy behind the interdisciplinary, area studies degree is that students learn about Eastern Europe and Eurasia by studying and using several different fields and approaches. Combining content from across the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools allows students to understand better a country or region and its peoples. Students gain a broader perspective of the region and can assess ideas and problems from a variety of angles. They are able to see how events and ideas overlap and feed into each other in the past, present, and future.
Since 2006, CSEES has produced 54 program graduates with an 87% employment rate!
Outside of the government and military sector, graduates have gone on to careers at law firms, medical institutions, American Councils, Chase, Ford, Georgetown University, The Ohio State University, Battelle for Kids, Kettering Foundation, the Columbus Council on World Affairs, and the Institute of International Finance.
Each CSEES MA student has two advisors:
- The CSEES director, Dr. Jill Bystydzienski, is the advisor on record of all first-year students and advises students on various fields and faculty research interests so that they take full advantage of the interdisciplinary program. In consultation with the director and based on their field of interest, students then select their faculty advisor with whom they will work on their exam or thesis by the end of their second semester in the program; and
- The CSEES assistant director, Eileen Kunkler, functions as the student's program advisor and oversees the student’s progress towards completion of his/her degree, checks the fulfillment of requirements for area of specialization, thesis or non-thesis option, and manages the student’s overall academic experience.
A full list of approved faculty advisors, with whom our students can work, can be found on the MA Student Resources page. If a student would like to work with a faculty member not included on the list, they should contact the director of CSEES, Dr. Jill Bystydzienski, at firstname.lastname@example.org and the office coordinator, Maryann Walther-Keisel, at email@example.com to see if this possible.
Every semester, students should consult the program advisor to get approval that semester's course of study. By the end of the second semester of study, students should have selected their faculty advisor and determined if they will be completing an MA exam or thesis.
The CSEES program does not have its own faculty. Instead, it draws faculty from various departments and colleges who together form the Eastern European/Eurasian area studies cohort at The Ohio State University (OSU). See the faculty associated with CSEES, and their specializations and regions of expertise, on our directory page.
One of the strengths of the CSEES MA program is the number and variety of Eastern European/Eurasian area studies courses offered at OSU, over 300 in total. Each semester CSEES publishes its own course list that displays graduate courses in which CSEES MA students can enroll. If a student wishes to take a course that is not listed, he/she must get written approval from the program advisor.
The following course levels are applicable to the CSEES MA:
Advanced level courses providing undergraduate credit that may be counted toward a major or field of specialization. CSEES MA students may enroll in and receive graduate credit for up to two 4000-level courses;
Courses that are regularly offered for both graduate credit and undergraduate credit. Advanced level courses providing undergraduate credit that may be counted toward a major or field of specialization. Foundational coursework and research providing graduate or professional credit;
Foundational courses and research providing graduate or professional credit;
Intermediate courses and research providing graduate or professional credit;
Advanced courses and research providing graduate or professional credit; and
Research for thesis only.
For a comphrensive list of Eastern European/Eurasian area studies courses offered at OSU or to see CSEES course lists by semester, visit our Course Listings.
Each student has the unique opportunity to design his/her own program of study in consultation with the CSEES director and the student's faculty advisor by selecting a specialization or area of concentration.
Some of the most popular specializations in the past have included but are not limited to:
Russian and (Post)-Soviet Politics and Culture
Central Asian Studies
Gender Studies in Eastern Europe