Russian and East European Studies (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Certificate Map

Explore the vast and culturally diverse region of Russia, East Europe and Eurasia. A multifaceted plan of study offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture. Students are encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities to learn an in-demand but less commonly taught language such as Persian, Turkish or Ukrainian.

Program Description

The certificate in Russian and East European studies encourages students to develop competency in Russian or another East European or Eurasian language as well as the culture and politics of the region.

Coursework leading to the certificate is offered by outstanding faculty in diverse fields of study including architecture, economics, film studies, geography, history, international business, literature, music, political science and religious studies.

A one-credit, student-led capstone course is completed in the student's junior or senior year; with the support of an advisor, students can write a research paper on the Russian and East European studies topic of their choice, prepare a writing sample or a graduate school application, or work on a creative project.

A student with a major in any school or department may pursue this certificate and develop a personalized plan of study in cooperation with an advisor at the Melikian Center.

Program Requirements

The certificate in Russian and East European studies requires a minimum of 20 credit hours, of which at least four must be a language course and at least 12 must be upper division. A grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher is required in all courses used toward the certificate.
Language Requirement -- 4 credit hours
Students may complete one 4-credit hour language course from BCS, PLC, ROM, or RUS, or they may complete the Albanian, Armenian, BCS, Kazakh, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Uzbek courses offered by the Critical Languages Institute to fulfill the language requirement.
NOTE: Native speakers of a language must complete four credit hours in a different language to fulfill this requirement.

Required Certificate Electives (choose two) -- 6 credit hours
Area-Related Electives -- 9 credit hours

Students complete the minimum 12 credit upper-division requirement with at least six credit hours of electives selected from the above list. Arranged honors theses and upper-division colloquia with Melikian Center faculty affiliates may also be used toward this requirement. An additional required or area-related elective OR an additional language course must be used toward the fulfillment of the 20 credit-hour requirement.
Capstone Project -- 1 credit hours
In their junior or senior year, students will complete the 1-credit REES Certificate Capstone. This can be in the form of a reading course offered by the Melikian Center OR a project chosen in cooperation with a Melikian Center faculty affiliate. The project should represent an extended, research-based focus on some dimension of the region's languages, cultures, religions, histories, and/or politics. It may take the form of an extended research paper, honors thesis, translation project, research assistantship, or internship.
Other courses may be used with the approval of the certificate advisor.
Prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment Requirements

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a high degree of competency, defined as the ability to use language in real world situations in a manner deemed appropriate by native speakers and instructors of the language, in a REES language.
  • Analyze or examine a current or historical issue in Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia; utilize and evaluate sources of information on the issue; and construct an argument or produce a creative project about the issue.

Career Outlook

Students who complete the Russian and East European studies certificate enhance their prospects for highly competitive study abroad scholarships, including Fulbright, Boren and Critical Language Scholarship Program, and for selective graduate programs. Certificate holders may also qualify for distinct internships and entry-level government employment opportunities at agencies such as the State Department and the National Security Agency.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Business Intelligence Analysts

  • Growth: 35.2%
  • Median Salary*: 103500
  Bright Outlook

Community Health Workers

  • Growth: 14.1%
  • Median Salary*: 46190
  Bright Outlook

Customs Brokers

  • Growth: 4.6%
  • Median Salary*: 71690
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 3.1%
  • Median Salary*: 64540

History Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Growth: 1.3%
  • Median Salary*: 79400


  • Growth: 7.5%
  • Median Salary*: 135740
  Bright Outlook

Political Scientists

  • Growth: 6.6%
  • Median Salary*: 128020
  Bright Outlook

Social and Community Service Managers

  • Growth: 9.1%
  • Median Salary*: 74240
  Bright Outlook

Interpreters and Translators

  • Growth: 4.3%
  • Median Salary*: 53640

Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Growth: 1.4%
  • Median Salary*: 76030

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

The Critical Languages Institute at Arizona State University's Melikian Center is a national training institute for less commonly taught languages. It offers summer intensive courses and study abroad programs around the world. Languages taught include Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hebrew, Indonesian, Kazakh, Macedonian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Russian, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian and Uzbek.

Specially designed summer intensive programs on ASU campus prepare students --- even beginners --- to function competently in the language they are learning when they go abroad. Once overseas, students live the language as they participate in family life, join sports and gaming clubs, sing in choirs, participate in neighborhood projects and otherwise actively immerse themselves in the culture.

Program Contact Information

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