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Russian and East European Studies

Since its establishment in early 1989 the Waterloo-Laurier Centre for East European and Russian Studies has provided a forum for the activities of scholars at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University who specialize in the field of Russian and East European Studies. A significant dimension of the Centre's academic objectives is its link with the Interdisciplinary Option in Russian and East European Studies. Through a wide selection of courses whose primary focus includes Russia, Ukraine, the former Soviet Union, and the countries of Eastern Europe, this Option integrates the study of history, politics, geography, economics, and culture, together with language and literature, in a coherent area studies program designed for the undergraduate student. In addition to the formal coursework, students in the Russian and East European Studies Option benefit from a variety of conferences, symposia, workshops and special lectures sponsored annually by the Waterloo-Laurier Centre for East European and Russian Studies. There are also travel possibilities and fully accredited study abroad opportunities offered by several participating departments.

A university background in Russian and East European Studies can provide the student with a useful basis for a career in government service in Canada and abroad. In addition, the continuing expansion of East-West economic and trade relations has increased the demand for specialists in the business and financial sectors. At the secondary school level, a new emphasis on regional studies and international relations has made a knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe an asset for university graduates who choose to enter the teaching profession. Finally, a familiarization with an important and rapidly changing part of our world acquired at the undergraduate level will not only provide for a better understanding of future developments but will also constitute a basis for more specialized professional and academic training.


  1. This Option may be taken in combination with any General or Honours program.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of ten term courses selected from at least three of the following subject areas: (i) History, (ii) Political Science,(iii) Economics and Geography, (iv) Culture, and(v) Language and Literature Studies. Furthermore,
  3. No more than three term courses which are used to fulfill a student's major program may count toward the Option requirement.
  4. To meet graduation requirements a student must maintain a minimum overall average of 65% in the courses selected to fulfill the Option.
  5. Although students normally enrol in this Option in Year Two, it is highly recommended that a language course in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, or Croatian be taken in Year One.

Approved Courses

History (HIST)

130 The Modern World in Historical Perspective
208 American-Russian Relations Since November, 1917
355 Russian History to 1900
356 20th-Century Russia
402A Senior Reading Seminar in Russian and Soviet History
402B Senior Research Seminar in Russian and Soviet History

Political Science (PSCI)

365A Politics in the Soviet Successor States 1
365B Politics in the Soviet Successor States 2
451 Comparative Political Systems: Eastern Europe
452 Comparative Civil-Military Relations: Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Economics and Geography

ECON 461A Comparative Economic Systems
ECON 463B The Soviet Economy
GEOG 206 The World Regions and World Issues
GEOG 204 Geography of Post Soviet Union
GEOG 423 Central and Eastern Europe
GEOG 424 The Soviet Union


RUSS 271 Russian Thought and Culture (to 1905)
RUSS 272 Russian Thought and Culture (1905 to the Present)
UKRAN 271 Ukrainian Civilization (to 1800)
UKRAN 272 Ukrainian Civilization (1800 to the Present)
FINE 351 Central and East European Film
RUSS 371 Masterpieces of Russian Literature and Opera
RUSS 381 Peoples of the Soviet Union 1
RUSS 381 Peoples of the Soviet Union 2
CROAT 371 Croatian Culture and Literature

Language and Literature Studies

a) Language Courses

RUSS 101/102 First Year Russian
RUSS 251/252 Russian Composition and Conversation
RUSS 351/352 Intermediate Russian
RUSS 451/452 Advanced Russian
UKRAN 101/102 Beginners' Ukrainian
UKRAN 201/202 Intermediate Ukrainian
POLSH 101/102 First Year Polish
POLSH 201/202 Intermediate Polish
CROAT 101/102 Introductory Croatian
CROAT 201/202 Intermediate Croatian
CROAT 301/302 Advanced Croatian

b) Literature Courses:

RUSS 261/261 Introduction to Russian Literary Movements
RUSS 341/342 Russian Drama
RUSS 361/362 Russian Short Story
RUSS 391/392 Great Russian Novels
UKRAN 301 Introduction to Ukrainian Literature
UKRAN 302 20th Century Ukrainian Literature

For further information contact:

Professor Robert Karpiak
Director, Russian and East European Studies
Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Modern Languages Bldg., Room 222
Ext. 3118

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