Transatlantic MA Program in East-Central European Studies (US-EU Atlantis project)

The Transatlantic MA Program in East-Central European Studies is designed as a dual-degree, two-year program consisting of 60 U.S. credit hours, or 120 ECTS of European credits. Students completing the program earn half of these hours/credits at West Virginia University and the other half at Collegium Civitas and the University of Tartu. Although students are expected to spend a minimum of one semester at all three institutions, only two Masters degrees can be earned—in History at WVU, and in either International Relations at Collegium Civitas or Social Science at the University of Tartu. Moreover, the International Relations degree at Collegium Civitas requires the successful completion of an approved internship.



Students from West Virginia University will normally spend their first year of studies at WVU and, following pre-departure language training and cultural immersion, their second year at Collegium Civitas and the University of Tartu. During the year in Europe, WVU students are normally expected to spend their final semester at the institution from which they will earn their second MA degree. In this regard, defense of the joint MA thesis will be held on the premises of the degree-granting European institution, with participation of both European and WVU faculty.



Students from Collegium Civitas and the University of Tartu, on the other hand, will spend a minimum of one semester at the other’s institution and a full academic year at West Virginia University. Although European students are expected to have language competency sufficient to achieve success in an English-language instructional environment, they will also engage in cultural immersion activities both before and after departure to the United States. Following their first three semesters in the Atlantis program, European students return to their home institutions for a final semster to complete and defend the joint MA thesis, with participation of both European and WVU faculty.



All requirements of the dual-degree program must be met and credits transferred between and among the institutions before either the U.S. degree from WVU, or the European degree from Collegium Civitas/University of Tartu can be issued. In other words, the two degrees, though coming from separate institutions, are awarded simultaneously.



General Curriculum

The Atlantis consortium has developed a unique joint study program that emphasizes multidisciplinary learning. At West Virginia University, the curriculum is focused on the study of the modern history of east-central Europe while familiarizing students more broadly with the historiographies that have defined the discipline. At Collegium Civitas, students take courses primarily in the area of international relations while developing practical skills and career profiles by taking advantage of a wide range of internship opportunities. At the University of Tartu, students focus on the history, culture, politics, economics and societies of the Baltic region within a larger global perspective. Students thus acquire interdisciplinary knowledge beyond the specific disciplines of History, regional and ethnic studies, or international relations which allows them to comprehend and analyze issues beyond their immediate thematic, definitional or geographic context. Ultimately, the goal of the Atlantis curriculum is to increase student understanding of human diversity though studies of the multiethnic, multicultural nature of the east-central European region and, by extension, to raise awareness of the commonalities of needs and desires of people in a shrinking world.




Students from WVU will spend the equivalent of one academic year, or a minimum of two full semesters, in Europe; one at Collegium Civitas and the other at the University of Tartu. During this academic year abroad, student travel and living expenses are supported by $12,000 scholarships and are divided into two roughly equal payments, with the second payment dependent on academic performance and progress during the first semester. Similarly, students from CC and UT receive 12,000 Euro stipends to support their travel to and study in the United States for two full academic semesters. In both cases, Atlantis students will be responsible for payment of regular tuition and fees at their home universities only—insomuch as such payments are not covered by other, non-Atlantis scholarships in whole or in part—and will be exempt from any additional payments while studying abroad at the Consortium’s host universities. This tuition arrangement also applies to the one semester that CC and UT students spend at each other’s institutions. To support their studies at their home institutions beyond the one-year funding provided by Atlantis grant, students accepted into the program should seek out additional scholarship opportunities available through their home institutions.



For more information about this program, please visit its website.