The undergraduate certificate program in Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies seeks to provide undergraduate students with area knowledge of the societies and cultures of the peoples of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, drawing on the disciplines of anthropology, communication arts, economics, folklore, geography, history, language and literature, law, political science, and sociology. The certificate can be a valuable addition to a major in business, economics, education, geography, history, international studies, political science, Slavic languages and literature, and other departments.

Applicants must fulfill the UW–Madison requirements for an established major in their school or college and achieve a minimum GPA of 2.500 in all courses they wish to count toward the certificate. Courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. At least two years of a Slavic, East European, or Central Asian language are strongly recommended for the certificate, but are not formally required.

(For information on the major in Russian, the major in Polish, and/or the certificate in East Central European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, see German, Nordic, and Slavic+.)

How to Get in

Students interested in declaring the undergraduate certificate should contact the advisor.


Seven courses are required, at least one from each of the following three groups. 1

Interdisciplinary Courses (group 1)

Complete at least one course:

Russia: An Interdisciplinary Survey
Eastern Europe: An Interdisciplinary Survey
An Introduction to Central Asia: From the Silk Route to Afghanistan

History and the Social Sciences (group 2):

Complete at least one course from any of these areas:

Agricultural and Applied Economics

The Environment and the Global Economy
Globalization, Poverty and Development
The Growth and Development of Nations in the Global Economy
Economic Problems of Developing Areas


Ethnicity, Nations, and Nationalism


International Trade


Introduction to Geopolitics
World Regions in Global Context (Check with instructor to verify 25% or more regional content )


Europe and the Modern World 1815 to the Present
Eastern Europe since 1900
The First World War and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Europe
The Second World War
History of Europe Since 1945
The Cold War - From World War II to End of Soviet Empire
History of Russia
History of Russia
History of Soviet Russia
Russian Social and Intellectual History
The Soviet Union and the World, 1917-1991
History of Poland and the Baltic Area
American Foreign Relations, 1901 to the Present
Holocaust: History, Memory and Education

Political Science

Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics (Honors)
Islam and World Politics
Russian Politics
The European Union: Politics and Political Economy
The Russian War on Ukraine: Causes and Consequences
Nuclear Weapons and World Politics
The Challenge of Democratization
Comparative Legal Institutions
The Politics of Human Rights
The Comparative Study of Genocide
Socialism and Transitions to the Market
Politics and Policies in the European Union
Politics and Society: Contemporary Eastern Europe


Class, State and Ideology: an Introduction to Marxist Social Science
Population and Society

Literature and the Arts (group 3)

Complete at least one course from any of these areas:

Asian Language & Culture

Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters
Islam: Religion and Culture

Communication Arts

Avant-Garde Film

Comparative Literature

Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Literature
Problems in Comparative Literatures and Cultures


Vladimir Nabokov: Russian and American Writings


In Translation: Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore
Sami Culture, Yesterday and Today
Slavic and East European Folklore
Folk Epics

German, Nordic and Slavic

Folklore of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe
Cultures of Sustainability: Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe
Introductory Topics in GNS
Literatures of Central Asia
Readings in Turkish: Contemporary Turkey through Literature and Media
Advanced Topics in East European and Central Asian Languages and Cultures

Jewish Studies

Elementary Topics in Jewish Literature
Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe

Literature in Translation

Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation I
Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II
Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation I
Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II
Women in Russian Literature in Translation
Slavic Science Fiction through Literature and Film
The Writings of Vaclav Havel: Crtitique of Modern Society
Love and Death: Introduction to Polish Literature & Culture
Polish Literature in Translation: Late 19th and 20th Centuries
Chekhov: The Drama of Modern Life
Russia's Greatest Enigma: Nikolai Gogol
Dostoevsky in Translation
Tolstoy in Translation
Representation of the Jew in Eastern European Cultures
Russian Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (to 1917)
Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)
Soviet Literature in Translation
Literatures and Cultures of Eastern Europe
Topics in Slavic Literatures in Translation
Elementary Special Topics in Russian Literature & Culture
Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe
In Translation: Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore
Living at the End of Times: Contemporary Polish Literature and Culture
Intermediate Special Topics in Russian Literature & Culture
History of Serbian and Croatian Literature
Modern Serbian and Croatian Literature in Translation
Polish Literature (in Translation), Middle Ages to 1863
Polish Literature (in Translation) since 1863

Scandinavian Studies

Sami Culture, Yesterday and Today
Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore

Slavic Languages and Literature

History and Ethics on Film: Polish Cinema
Literature and Revolution
Performance and Power
Literatures and Cultures of Eastern Europe
Contemporary Russia: History, Politics, and Culture
Topics in Slavic Literatures
Slavic Culture in Context: An Honors Course
Study Abroad in Poland
Polish Culture and Area Studies on Study Abroad
Russian Area Studies on Study Abroad
Topics in Russian: Study Abroad
Introduction to Serbian and Croatian Literature
Intermediate Special Topics in Slavic Languages and Literatures
Women in Russian Literature
History of Russian Culture
Contemporary Russian Culture
Soviet Literature
History of Serbo-Croatian Literature
Modern Serbo-Croatian Literature
Advanced Readings in Russian Literature & Culture
Advanced Special Topics in Slavic Languages and Literatures
History of Polish Literature until 1863
History of Polish Literature after 1863
Capstone Seminar in Russian Literature and Culture
Directed Study

 Theatre & Drama

In Translation: Slavic Drama in Context

Residence and Quality of Work

  • Minimum 2.500 GPA on all certificate courses
  • At least 11 certificate credits must be completed in residence



A course that is listed in more than one group will only apply to one group.  A course that is more than minimally required in one group may apply to a different group.

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  1. (Regional Understanding) Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, political, economic, social, and historical factors that have shaped the development of societies in Eurasia, Russia, and East and Central Europe.
  2. (Multi-disciplinarity) Analyze the historical, political, economic, social, and cultural realities in the region from at least two disciplinary perspectives, including both humanities and social sciences approaches.

Advising and Careers

Advising for the certificate is administered by the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS). The IRIS Assistant Director for Students and Curriculum can assist you in developing your plan of study for the certificate, track progress toward your certificate, explore study abroad and international internship options, and begin the career-exploration process. We offer walk-in advising, advising workshops, and scheduled appointments. We strongly encourage students to begin career exploration early on and to make use of the many resources available on campus.


L&S Career Resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Faculty: Borowski, Castañeda Dower, Ciancia, Dale, Danaher, DuBois, Erbil, Evans-Romaine, Gerber, Glowacki, Hanukai, Hendley, Herrera, Hirsch, Karpukhin, Kinzley, Kydd, Livanos, McDonald, Michels, Miernowska, Neville, Ospovat, Radeloff, Reynolds, Shevelenko (director), Stoychuk, Tishler, Tumarkin, Walter, Wodzyński, Yudkoff.

For a full list of CREECA faculty and staff, visit this link

Wisconsin Experience

As a regional center within the Institute for Regional and International Studies, we support and enhance international and global awareness in our student communities and inspire informed thinking about the complexities of our world. We encourage our students to connect to international networks and our regional communities through our program’s lecture series, film screenings, and varied outreach events and activities. We encourage our students to study abroad, do international internships, learn foreign languages, and expect them to gain an interdisciplinary grounding in global and regional affairs. We provide resources and expertise on our world area to students, and prospective students, and more broadly to K–12 teachers and students, postsecondary educators and graduate students, businesses, the media, the military, the community at large, and anyone else who is interested.

Resources and Scholarships

Information about resources, scholarships, and other funding through the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia is available from our website on the Resources tab. We also encourage our students to explore funding options available through the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) Awards Office.