International MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies (IMARES)., European University at St. Petersburg

IMARES is the oldest of the three international MA programs currently offered by the European University in Saint Petersburg, and has been available to students since 1998. Like its core subject of study - the post-Soviet space - IMARES has changed and developed over the past 16 years. The programme not only examines the past, but also interprets the most up to date events unfolding in this fascinating region. By combining analyses of past and present, our students gain a deep understanding of the political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics of the post-Soviet space.



Why Study Eurasia?

In its various forms (the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the post-Soviet space), Eurasia has been the scene of some of the world’s most spectacular dramas during the last three centuries, including the rise and fall of empires and the successes and stagnations of strikingly different political and economic systems. It has followed a path from one of the world’s largest empires to the birth of nation states. It has been the battleground for the Napoleonic War, Civil War, and the horrors of two World Wars. During a turbulent history, the people of Eurasia experienced the contrasting forces of autocratic monarchy, socialism and fragile democracy, atheism and religious fundamentalism, and multiculturalism and ethnic conflict. Russia, Central Asia, the South Caucasus and Russia’s western neighbours have been testing the ground for political and economic theories, which left legacies that are still felt today. IMARES enables students to learn about the geopolitical space, the path of its development, the theory and the practice of different political and economic regimes throughout its history, and the ways in which these past experiences continue to influence developments today.



The IMARES Program

Through a combination of lectures, seminars, and self-study, our students learn, talk, and read about a variety of topics, including revolutions in Saint Petersburg, Islam in Russia, democracy in Kyrgyzstan, reforms in Georgia, nation-building in Ukraine, foreign policy dilemmas in Armenia, economics in Belarus, border control in Tajikistan or security issues in Azerbaijan. Students will also have the opportunity to experience Russia’s history and culture first hand, through a trip to the medieval Russian town of Veliky Novgorod and a two-week study module in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan on the Volga River. The mosques and churches of Kazan are a testament to the history of Kazan as a city famous for Christians and Muslims living peacefully side-by-side. Thus, Kazan provides the ideal setting for the study of crucial aspects of Russian and Eurasian cultures, imperial and post-imperial history and contemporary moderate Islam.



Extra-Curricular Benefits of IMARES

In addition to its core academic content, the IMARES course offers extra-curricular benefits: the IMARES workshop series introduces expert guest speakers, with whom IMARES can discuss specialist topics. Previous speakers include businessmen from the Russian Forbes list, the President of the European Council, the former head of the Belarusian state TV and Radio, a variety of researchers and decision-makers from both Russia and abroad.


Furthermore, all IMARES students are offered a course in Russian language, tailored to suit their ability, from beginner to advanced. Combined with the experience of living in Russia, the development of Russian language skills gives IMARES students a far greater understanding of contemporary Russia. Such a level of understanding can only be gained by actually spending time here in Russia, and experiencing the country for yourself.



IMARES Students

In terms of their backgrounds and prior experience, IMARES students are often as diverse as the topics they study at the EUSP. Whether you are a historian, political scientist, sociologist, or language specialist, studying at EUSP will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and gain new perspectives on your course of study. While our course modules are accessible to students of all backgrounds, the chance to engage in academic discussions with other students from different countries, cultures, and academic fields will offer fresh perspectives on the topic at hand. To find out more, please read the testimonials of previous IMARES students.



IMARES – An Investment in Your Future

The IMARES faculty members spare no effort in making sure that all the IMARES courses are both informative and interesting. The extra-curricular workshops, course of Russian language study, and experience of living here in Russia all add to the value of the IMARES course for your future career. Our alumni have gone on to further courses of academic study (including PhD programmes), and careers in NGOs, business, politics, journalism and the private sector. Whatever your career aim, the experience of a year in Russia studying on the IMARES programme will significantly enhance your CV and offer you a unique personal experience.



The program starts twice a year.  The fall semester starts in the beginning of September. The spring semester starts in the beginning of February. You may choose whichever starting point you prefer.



We accept students on a rolling basis, so early admission is possible.



To learn more about IMARES, please visit the European University at St. Petersburg website.