The Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES) Program prepares students to understand the turbulent developments in Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union. The enormous changes of the past two decades and the trends of the vast terrority continue to influence events in regions ranging from North America to East Asia.
SAIS graduates are in great demand by employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Economics knowledge, analytical abilities, regional expertise, diplomatic skills, language proficiency and the capacity to apply theory to real-world problems give our students a distinct professional advantage.
“The past two decades of upheaval have taken the inhabitants of Eurasia on a dizzying roller-coaster ride—from the heights of optimism to the depths of despair and part-way back. Today, Russia seeks internal arrangements that can satisfy both the needs of its citizens and the great-power ambitions of its leaders. Russia and its neighbors are striving to define their places in a radically altered international order. By providing exceptional opportunities for study and interaction with Washington experts, the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program prepares students to discern the underlying trends in this epochal drama.”Bruce Parrott, -Russian and Eurasian Studies
Students may be admitted to the Washington, D.C., campus or the Bologna Center.Using the syllabus for the RES M.A. comprehensive exam, RES students choose their courses and two discretionary comprehensive exam fields based on their interests. Prior to graduation, students must also pass the Russian-language proficiency examination and the RES written M.A. comprehensive examination. All concentrators are encouraged to participate in the non-credit Current Affairs Seminar.
Students are not required to have proficiency in the Russian language prior to admission to SAIS. Students who enter SAIS with Russian proficiency will take a placement or a waiver exam in the first weeks of study.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) Cooperation
The RES Program has been running a student exchange program with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) for the last three years. Starting in 2013, the RES Program is trying a new approach to this exchange program. Based on the student feedback, the program will work with MGIMO to provide RES students assistance in locating summer internships in Moscow and housing for the duration of an internship. The RES Program also will cover the cost of roundtrip airplane tickets for selected students.
RES provides partial funding for one or two internships in the countries of the former Soviet Union each summer. Some students take language immersion trips to the post-Soviet states.
All interested SAIS students are invited to the biweekly meetings of the Russia-Eurasia Forum for discussions with scholars and experts from other institutions.The work of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program is complemented by the activities of SAIS’s Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI), which has become a major clearinghouse for public analysis and discussion of contemporary developments in southern Eurasia. CACI events are open to RES students.
RES also holds a biweekly non-credit Current Affairs Seminar to discuss ideas and events of interest in informal setting. In addition, several times a year, RES alumni visit the school to discuss career options and “Life After SAIS.”
Each year one or two students are offered a position as a research assistant to the RES Program Director or other faculty members. Students are encouraged to talk with the director about their research interests. In some instances, advanced students may arrange an independent research project for course credit with the director’s approval.