Master’s Degree

The European Studies Council promotes research programs about Europe’s culture, history, and current affairs. The geographical scope of the council’s activities extends from Ireland to Italy, and from Portugal to the lands of the former Soviet Union. The council’s definition of Europe transcends conventional divisions between Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and includes the Balkans and Russia.

The U.S. Department of Education has repeatedly designated the council a National Resource Center and a FLAS Center under its HEA Title VI program. Further information on the council and the Graduate Certificate of Concentration in European Studies is provided under Non-Degree-Granting Programs, Councils, and Research Institutes in the GradSchool Bulletin E&RS.

The council administers an M.A. program in European and Russian Studies. This M.A. program is unusual in its embrace of the entire spectrum of European nations and cultures. Its requirements allow students to choose a particular national or thematic focus, geared to their individual interests and language skills, but also ensure that students acquaint themselves with the traditions and issues associated with the other parts of Europe. Students specializing in Russia and Eastern Europe, for example, will concentrate their efforts in that area, but will also take courses that address Europe-wide problems or the countries of Central or Western Europe. The program is suited both to students who wish to pursue further academic studies and to students whose interests are policy-oriented.
Fields of Study

European languages and literatures; economics; history; political science; law; music; sociology and other social sciences.
How to Apply & Special Requirements for the M.A. Degree

Prospective applicants can find all information about Admissions including deadlines, procedures, applications, requirements, standard tests and other materials on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website here Grad School Admissions

When applying to the program, students will specify as an area of primary concentration either (1) Russia and Eastern Europe, or (2) Central and Western Europe. All students must complete sixteen term courses (or their equivalent) in various fields related to European and Russian studies. E&RS 900, Europe: Who, What, When, Where?, is required in addition to the sixteen courses and should be taken in the first year of the program. E&RS 900 is taken as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and may not be taken for audit.

Students are required to take at least one course in at least three of the four fields relevant to the program, that is, history (including history of art, history of science, and history of music), literature, social sciences, and law. Students can fulfill this three-field requirement by taking Europe-related courses from across the University. One of the sixteen term courses may be taken for audit. With special approval under certain circumstances, a course graded SAT/UNSAT, other than E&RS 900, can count as one of the 16 required courses. For students focusing on Russia and Eastern Europe, two of the sixteen required courses (excluding language courses) must concern the nations of Central and Western Europe. Conversely, for those focusing on Central and Western Europe, two courses must concern Russia and Eastern Europe.

For the purposes of this program, language courses in European languages count toward the sixteen required courses, even though they have undergraduate course numbers and undergraduate grade modes. If a student takes a language course to fulfill the 16-credit degree requirement, the language course may not be taken for audit. By the time the degree is completed, all students must demonstrate at least L4 proficiency in two modern European languages other than English. Those wishing to focus on Russia and Eastern Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of Russian or an Eastern European language; those focusing on Central and Western Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of one of the appropriate languages. In all cases, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in two European languages by the end of the third term at Yale. The only exception to this rule is completion of the appropriate full sequence of Yale language classes, certified by the Yale instructor or the director of graduate studies. Students with previous language preparation may in certain cases receive documentation of their language proficiency on the basis of this work. Students who wish to take Yale department examinations in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or other West European languages should register for a complete examination (with reading, oral, and grammar portions) with the appropriate Yale department. Students with Russian competence must receive the grade of 1+ or higher on the ACTFL/ETS Rating Scale as administered by the Slavic Languages and Literatures department at Yale, including reading, oral, and grammar portions. Students with competence in an East European language (such as Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, Hungarian, and others by special arrangement) or other European languages must take Yale department-administered examinations.

In all cases, students will comply with the Policies and Regulations of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, especially regarding degree requirements and academic standing. Any questions regarding these policies should be addressed to your assistant or associate dean. Please refer to GradSchool Programs-Policies and GradSchool Bulletin E&RS.

Through agreements negotiated by the MacMillan Center, the European Studies Council offers joint master’s degrees with the Law School, the School of Management, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the School of Public Health. Application for admission must be made to both the Graduate School and the applicable professional school, with notation made on each application that this is to be considered for the joint-degree program. Refer to and contact the European Studies director of graduate studies (DGS) for up-to-date information.
The Master’s Thesis

A master’s thesis is required. The master’s thesis is based on research in a topic approved by the DGS and advised by a faculty member with specialized competence in the chosen topic. M.A. students must register for E&RS 950, which may count toward the sixteen required courses. E&RS 950 may not be taken for audit. Students may register for an additional independent study to prepare topics and begin research. The master’s thesis must be prepared according to department guidelines and is due in two copies in the student’s second year on an early-April date as specified by the council.
Program materials are available upon request to the European Studies Council, Yale University, PO Box 208206, New Haven CT 06520-8206.

E&RS 900a, Proseminar in European and Russian Studies. Europe: Who, What, When, Where?
Bruce Gordon

An interdisciplinary seminar designed to provide broad exposure to key topics in modern European studies. Special attention is given to Eastern and Western Europe as well as the humanities and social science disciplines. The seminar is framed by some key theoretical questions, including: What are Europe’s boundaries? When and where is “Europe”? Is there a narrative to European history? If so, what is it? What makes a European? The seminar also focuses on developing academic writing skills and examining research methodologies. Seminar meetings are combined with the  Europe In\And the World Colloquia and feature speakers from the Yale faculty and from other academic institutions. The course is required of all first-year European and Russian Studies M.A. students but is open to all graduate and professional students. W 3:30–5:20
E&RS 940a or b, Independent Study
By arrangement with faculty.
E&RS 950a or b, Master’s Thesis
By arrangement with faculty.

E&RS 511 01 (12498) /PLSC139/GLBL693/GLBL290  (M 1.30-3.20)

United States and Russian Relations since the End of the Cold War

Thomas Graham

This course examines the factors—political, socioeconomic, and ideological—that have shaped U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, as well as specific issues in bilateral relations, including arms control, counterterrorism, energy, and regional affairs. The goal is to understand the way each country constructs relations with the other to advance its own national interests, and the implications of U.S.-Russian relations for global affairs.

E&RS 532 01 (14110) /ANTH325 (also listed in WGSS)

Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Russia

Cassandra Hartblay

This advanced seminar explores sociocultural aspects of gender and sexuality in contemporary Russia from a transnational queer feminist standpoint. Social theory emerging from transdisciplinary conversations in critical gender and sexuality studies is applied to the Russian context, and students engage ethnography and recent history to contextualize and interpret current events.