Russian History Graduate Programs
Students can earn a graduate degree in Russian history by completing a number of different required courses. Learn more about these courses and general admissions requirements for these programs in the article below.
Earning a Graduate Degree in Russian History
Obtaining a graduate degree in Russian history can be done by completing either a master's degree program that should take students around two years to complete or a PhD program that can take roughly four years to complete. Regardless of the level of the program chosen, students may take classes like introduction to Russian history and civilizations, imperial Russian history, history of Europe, and more.
Introduction to Russian History and Civilizations
Learning about the history of society, politics, and the culture of Russia could help those in this class to understand what sets the country apart from Europe and Asia. To aid in the understanding of Russia and its people, students might learn about the different determinants of culture including topics like Christianity, which is the main religion in the country, and multi-nationalism. Contemporary issues in Russian society along with topics like art, music, and literature may also be covered in this course.
Imperial Russian History
A course on Imperial Russia might cover the late 1600s to the early 1900s, and could include topics from the rule of Peter the Great up to the revolutions that took place in 1917 along with the abdication of Nicholas II. Additional topics that might be explored in this type of course include autocracy, Catherine the Great, Russia's stand against Napoleon and his rule, and the Russian Empire. By the conclusion of this course, students should be able to understand Russia and its history from cultural, political, and social perspectives.
Eastern-Central European History
The countries of focus typically covered in an Eastern-Central European history course include Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Major discussion points in a course like this may include World War I, World War II, the rise of nationalism, the European Union, and many others. Typically, this course will cover topics starting in the 18th century up to the present day.
The Soviet Union
The time period covered in a class on the Soviet Union will span the 74 years from 1917 to 1991. The Russian Revolution in 1917 and the rule of Nicholas II was the starting point for the formation of the Soviet Union and the major communist rulers that were to follow. In addition, students will also learn about the role of the USSR and the events that lead up to the fall of communism in 1991.
Learning about common literature in Russia from the 19th and 20th centuries can help to paint a picture of the people, their culture, and their values. Some of the major writers that may be discussed in a course like this include Turgenev, Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. Through learning about this authors and reading their works, students will be able to discuss big questions of life that are a common and reoccurring theme in these works.
History of Europe
This course will teach students about social, cultural, political, and intellectual history and historiography. Major areas of study can include the Renaissance and European expansion, the French Revolution, the reformation of the Catholic churches across Europe. Students will be able to understand how European history related to the history of the rest of the world, and the relationships between the different countries within Europe.
The first common requirement for both master's and PhD programs is for students to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and the transcripts to provide proof of completed coursework. Most schools also require students to have taken classes in the Russian language prior to application. Some master's degree programs may require students to hold a 3.0 GPA in their previous coursework. Depending on the schools that students plan to apply to, additional documentation may be needed such as GRE scores, letters of recommendation, or writing samples.
Students working to earn a graduate degree in Russian history usually spend between two and four years in school taking classes like Imperial Russian history, the Soviet Union, and the history of Europe. Before entering into one of these programs, students will need to meet set admission requirements like holding a bachelor's degree and having knowledge of the Russian language.