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Russian & East European Studies

Russian and East European Studies Director: Patricia Zupan (Italian)
Office:Robert A Jones '59 House 110   Phone: 802-443-3072

The Russian and East European Studies program (REES) combines proficiency in Russian language with a solid interdisciplinary background in the economics, geography, history, culture and politics of this region sufficient to achieve a broad understanding of its past and present, as well as its role and place in the world.  REES will prepare majors to understand the specifics of the region from a global perspective, conduct research in Russian, and be able to engage in complex interactions with native-speaking professionals.  Such training will prepare majors to work in the business world, in government and non-profit organizations, in the foreign service, or to continue their education in graduate school.

As a REES major you will be exposed to rigorous language training, achieve a high level of linguistic and cultural competence through Middlebury coursework and the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad in Russia ( You will spend a semester or a year at one of the sites in Russia:  Moscow, Yaroslavl or Irkutsk, taking advantage of the opportunity to enroll in courses along with Russian natives and participate in various internship programs. 


Introduction to International and Global Studies. Students must take IGST 101 before studying abroad. IGST 0101 is not open to seniors except for those who declared the major as sophomores and spent the fall semester of their junior year abroad. Students who declare their major as a sophomore but have not taken IGST 0101, and plan to study abroad for only one semester must take it in the fall of their junior year prior to going abroad.

Regional specialization. Five courses on Russia and/or East Europe in at least three departments (at least one of which should be in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science or Sociology). At least three regional courses must be taken at Middlebury. See available courses here.

Global Courses. Three global courses from the Global list; only one can be at the 0100 level. These global courses are thematic, trans-regional, emphasize connectivity of places and the circulation of ideas and phenomena. Except for students who study abroad an entire year, these courses must be taken on the Middlebury College campus.

Language Study. Satisfactory completion of at least second- and preferably third-level Russian or the Russian School equivalent. Majors must take at least one advanced language course upon returning from abroad and are encouraged to take more than one. Students who, upon declaring the IGS major, have been determined proficient in Russian will continue to take the language at the advanced level and are strongly recommended to take one year or equivalent of another language.  The additional language should be chosen in consultation with the advisor.

Study Abroad. Students must study a the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad in Russia. Students who study abroad for one semester may count up to two courses toward the major and those who study abroad for a full year may count up to four. Major credit will be granted, pending approval, upon the student’s return from abroad. For regional courses, approval is granted by the track director and for global courses by the IGS director. Students should share the syllabi and all written work for all courses they wish to count with the track or program director, respectively,

For the class of 2022 and 2022.5 only: in lieu of study abroad, students will take a minimum of two additional language courses at the 300 level and above.

Senior Program. The senior program consists of: (1) a senior IGST seminar at 400-level or with permission of IGS director, a thematic senior seminar in a department  and (2) an upper-level course, preferably two, in Russian. The Russian department determines which courses fulfill this requirement, in consultation with the program director.

Honors. Students who seek to graduate with Honors may elect to write a two-term senior honors thesis. Students are eligible to write an honors thesis if they have a 3.5 GPA or better in all courses that count for the major. These include all language courses, all regional courses, all global courses, all courses taken abroad, and all courses with an IGST designation. Thesis grades do not count in the calculation of the GPA for honors. Thesis guidelines and procedures can be found at go/igsthesis.

To assist you in tracking the completion of your requirements, please meet with your advisor to complete and submit the advising wizard for your track.