The diverse peoples and cultures of both Russia and the non-Russian states of the former Soviet Union will all play a determining role in the future economic and political development of both Eurasia and the world at large. For this reason, the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies offers programs of study that are intended to develop a critical awareness of both Russia and Eurasia and to provide the linguistic and intellectual tools necessary for sustained engagement with this area of the world.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, it has become ever easier for students to study and work in Russia and the neighboring countries of Eurasia. Students wishing to focus on Eurasia will find that mastery of Russian and a grasp of Russia’s historical role on the Eurasian continent are essential to developing a deep understanding of regions where native non-Russian peoples lived under Russian and Soviet rule. Students who major in Russian literature and culture or Russian studies will also gain a background in Eurasia, where such concerns as global energy resources and the influence of Islamic culture are at the forefront.
The revitalized post-Soviet Russia offers a wealth of new areas to explore. Whether interest lies in Russia or one of the other independent states that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States, a wide range of careers is available for individuals with ambition, energy, and imagination. Employment opportunities for students trained in Russian and Eurasian studies include work in business and international trade, journalism, national resources management, environmental protection, nongovernmental and charitable organizations, peace and security. In fact, alumnae can be found in a wide, and diverse, variety of positions—from U.S. consulates in Russia and Eurasia to the oil fields of Siberia.
For students who do not choose to major, the experience of recent alumnae has shown that study in the field can be profitably combined with majors in history, economics, international relations, environmental studies, or the natural sciences.