Master’s Degree Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Program offer financial aid?

The European Studies Council awards some financial aid packages of various amounts, usually for partial tuition. ALL students admitted to the E&RS MA program are considered for all available financial aid, without further application (except in the case of student loans, which require separate application through Graduate School Financial Aid.) Students may apply for additional funds as available for summer and academic year research and language study, and for student employment once they matriculate and come to New Haven.

How long is the degree program?

The European & Russian Studies (E&RS) degree is a two-year (four semesters) terminal Master’s program administered by the European Studies Council at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

How many students are in the E&RS MA program?

There are a total of 20 students in 2018-19, eight first-year and twelve continuing. They are a very diverse cohort: 7 US, 3 from China, 2 from Japan, and 1 each from the UK, Mexico, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Russia. Twelve students graduated in May 2018 and one will graduate in December 2018, our 13th E&RS MA class, and 12 will graduate in May 2019.

How many students apply? How many are admitted?

The program usually receives 20-40 applications per year and admits 12-18.  The cohort size generally ranges from 5-12 each year.

Is the GRE required? What is the page length for the writing sample of the application?

Absolutely, yes. There is no minimum score required; each application is considered individually on the basis of all the required submittals, including the writing sample.
Please see for complete admission instructions and application, course and degree program information, financial aid, forms, deadlines, and procedures.

What is the page length for the writing sample of the application?

A maximum of 25 pages.

Can the MA degree be done jointly with any of the professional schools?

Joint degrees are possible with four of Yale’s professional schools—the Law School, the School of Management, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the School of Public Health. Taken together, they offer a strong connection between two demanding courses of study while also fulfilling the requirements of each separate school. Students may pursue a joint degree with only one professional school and E&RS. A joint degree requires three years of study: one in E&RS, one in the professional school, and one to complete all the remaining requirements of both.
See for details.

Where\What are the courses?

Of special note about the E&RS MA is that there is no definitive course list.  The MA is an interdisciplinary program designed so that students build an individual course of study with a national or thematic focus, with courses from history, political science, literature, law, and the social sciences.  As such, and with the advice and approval of the DGS (Director of Graduate Studies) students propose course schedules each semester that meet their goals and interests, and fulfill the disciplinary distribution and foreign language requirements of the degree.  The courses are listed across all related departments of the university, including the professional schools, and the resources at Yale related to the study of Europe are vast.  You can start at and follow links to all related departments to see a sampling of graduate course offerings.

When does the language proficiency requirement have to be met?

The requirement for L4 proficiency (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in two European non-English languages is a requirement for GRADUATION, not for admission.  Students can demonstrate their language proficiency in a variety of ways, including taking Yale language classes or testing in the Yale language departments.  The tests are administered once or twice a year by the relevant language departments – if their regular tests do not include all four components then special arrangements must be made for a complete test. Many students arrive with proficiency in one language and acquire their second language by taking courses throughout their two years.

What languages are taught for credit at Yale?

Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.  The course level is indicated by the middle digit of the course number, i.e. FREN 110 = L1, FREN 120 = L2, etc.

Can I demonstrate proficiency in a European language not taught at Yale for credit?

Students who want to take proficiency tests in European languages not taught at Yale for credit may be able to make special arrangements with an examiner from the Center for Language Study.

Are there additional requirements for international students?

If you are an international student/non-US citizen, you should also consult the web site for the Office of International Students and Scholars, at

Tell me more about the European Studies Council.

You can find general information about the European Studies Council and our affiliated programs, the MA degree, and the other councils at the MacMillan Center, by following the links on the our web site, at The Council has been repeatedly designated a National Resource Center for the study of Europe by the US Department of Education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act.

Can I visit\where are you located?

Our office is located in The MacMillan Center in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave., Room 242, second floor.  You are most welcome to visit, just email for an appointment.