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Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies Program
Requirements for
A Master of Arts in International Studies Degree

Language Requirement:

Including the two years required as a prerequisite for entry, students must have completed by graduation four years of relevant language study meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Completion at this University through the fourth year of a language relevant to their geographical area of focus (either Russian or an East European or Central Asian language) OR equivalent documented proficiency.

  • For those not focusing on Russia, completion at this University of two years of a second language relevant to their geographical area of focus OR equivalent documented proficiency.

Students must also use sources in the language(s) of the REECA-region in their thesis. 

Required Course Work 

Core Coures

  • JSIS A 508/Introduction, Methodology and Bibliography
  • Introduces the history of the REECAS region as well as bibliographic and other scholarly resources in field and development of research techniques. Emphasizes critical thinking skills, methods of accessing and evaluating information over the broad range of disciplines encompassed by the interdisciplinary major, hands-on acquaintance with resources; and critical e valuation and discussion of analytical writing.
    Offered Autumn Quarter of the first year. 5 credits (Decimal grade)

  • JSIS 511/Research Design and Methods for International Studies (5)
  • Review of the approaches to posing and answering research questions in the disciplines affiliated with international studies. Explores epistemological approaches and associated methodologies to prepare students to effectively read across the literature of international studies, develop their own research design based on a research question, and write a research proposal.
    Offered Spring Quarter of the first year. 5 credits (Decimal grade)

  • JSIS A 515/Thesis Seminar
  • Seminar focused on thesis writing. Students will complete a 40 to 70 page draft thesis by the end of the course.
    Offered Winter Quarter of the second year. 2 credits (Decimal grade)

Other Course Work:

25-30 credits divided between a Discipline of Concentration and a Minor Discipline (with a minimum of 10 credits for the minor) must be completed. While this course work may be focused on one geographical region, it also may be divided between two or more regions with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

At least two of these courses must be at or above the 500-level. 

These courses must be taken for numerical grades and, in most cases, at the 400- to 500-level. Courses at the 300 level can be counted only with written approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

  • Major and Minor Discipline
  • Typically, the choice of disciplines would include history, economics, geography, political science, or literature and culture. With the approval of your adviser, there is some flexibility to design your own concentration.

Thesis and Oral Exam:

No later than the first quarter of the second year in the program, and earlier if possible, each student must select a committee of at least two faculty members representing the two fields.

  • JSIS 700 /Master’s Thesis
  • The thesis is written under the principal guidance of the Chair of your committee, although you are also expected to consult the other member(s). All members of the committee must approve and sign your thesis. The finished thesis will be given to each member of the student’s committee by the seventh week of the final quarter and the oral examination will be scheduled at that time.
    Available all quarters. Minimum of 9 credits.

  • Oral Examination
  • Interdisciplinary exam given by all members of your committee. Generally, sixty percent of the Oral Examination will devoted to presentation of and questions about the thesis, and forty percent to a general examination of the major and minor fields.

Further details concerning procedures for completion of these final requirements are provided in the program handbook.

Last Updated 7/2014

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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax

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