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In 2014, Russia redrew the map of Europe by annexing Crimea; in 2016, Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election. Russia is a country we must understand. Given Russia’s increasingly vocal and visible presence in international affairs, there is a growing need for professionals who speak Russian and understand the politics, economics, and social dynamics of Russia and its neighbors. This is the time to major or minor in Russian and East European Studies (REES) at UVM, which boasts a comprehensive academic major and minor as well as numerous opportunities for students to study abroad in Russian-speaking countries or countries with sizable Russian-speaking populations including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgara, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

There are funding opportunities for students wishing to spend a semester abroad, which you can learn about by going to the links below:


The UVM REES Program, one of nine areas of study within the Global and Regional Studies Program, provides students with a broad-based, interdisciplinary major or minor that prepares them for a number of career opportunities in business, government, journalism, education, international development, and non-profit organizations. The major and minor also prepare students for the Peace Corps and graduate programs in international relations, human rights, and law.

The faculty consists of widely published scholars and award-winning teachers who have many years of field experience living, working, and travelling in Russia and other post-Soviet states as well as certain Eastern European countries like Poland. Disciplines represented include Russian Language and Literature, Political Science, Anthropology, Business, Economics, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Sociology.

To major in REES, beginning language students should enroll in Russian 001 in their first semester and continue courses in the language every semester thereafter. Incoming students with a previous knowledge of the language should consult a Russian instructor for placement at the appropriate level of language study. The two-track major in Russian/East European Studies or Russian/East European Economics/Business provides a firm foundation in language, literature (in translation or in the original), as well as regional/area information in economics, political science, sociology, and history for both Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet region.

See our requirements for the Russian & East European Studies major.

Beyond the classroom


Outside the classroom, many of our students undertake internships abroad or in the U.S. with direct relevance to their degrees in fields including businesses, government, media, international organizations like the United Nations, and international non-profit organizations. Explore our internship opportunities.

Study Abroad

The REES Program enthusiastically encourages students to spend a semester or more studying at a university abroad. Many students in our program make good use of this option by spending a summer, a semester, or an entire academic year at one of our approved study abroad programs in Russia and Eastern European countries. Of course, studying abroad is optional and not mandatory. Learn more about our study abroad programs.


A key part of your success at UVM will be your relationship with your academic advisor. Think of your advisor as your academic liaison on whom you can rely to clarify university policies and requirements, provide support, and help you navigate your undergraduate journey. As a REES major or minor, you will automatically be paired with program director, Michele Commercio. Learn more about advising.


  • Peace Corps
  • Foreign Service
  • Air Force
  • Russia/America Foundation
  • International law
  • Russian Television Network (RTV)
  • Higher education

Graduate Schools

  • Kings College
  • University of the Arts
  • Boston College
  • Peter the Great, St. Petersburg Polytech University
  • George Washington University
  • Boston University School of Law
  • UCLA School of Law
  • St. Petersburg State University
  • Loyola University
  • Tartu Ulikool

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