Master’s Program

How many students are in the MA in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (MAERES) program?

The MAERES program usually has 30-40 students, of which most are full-time. About 12-18 students graduate each year.

How many years of post-baccalaureate work experience do incoming MAERES students have?

It varies. MAERES students enter the program with, on average, about 3 years of work experience. About half of MAERES students matriculate within a year of completing their Bachelors degree.

Why does MAERES require language study prior to entering the program?

We are committed to ensuring MAERES students have the best preparation possible for future professional and academic careers in Eurasian and East European affairs. As an integral and necessary part of this preparation, the program has 2 requirements for advanced regional language proficiency:

  • completion of 2 advanced-level language courses at Georgetown; and
  • use of regional language sources in students’ capstone research project.

In order to ensure students’ knowledge of a regional language is sufficient to complete classes and do research, we strongly urge them to demonstrate the equivalent of 3 years of university-level coursework in a regional language prior to coming in the fall.


What kind of applicant profile does the MAERES admissions committee look for?

As you can see from our student profiles section, MAERES students come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds and there is no such thing as a “typical MAERES student.” The basic qualifications are i) a Bachelors degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and ii) native proficiency in any regional language or the equivalent of three years of college-level study of one of the five languages taught at Georgetown.

How do I apply for the MAERES program?

To apply for the program, a prospective applicant must fill out the online application form. The Graduate School collects all the materials for the application – online form, personal statement, academic writing sample, GRE, TOEFL scores (when applicable) and recommendation letters. Applications are reviewed by the MAERES admissions committee. Applicants who have requested financial aid are considered at that time.

What scores do I need on the GRE to be admitted?

Competitive candidates for admission to the MAERES program should preferably have a 160 on the verbal, 148 on the quantitative and 5.0 on the analytical writing sections.

My GRE scores are below those indicated in the guidelines. Am I therefore ineligible for admission?

No, the guidelines are intended only to give applicants a general idea of the scores desired by the admissions committee. Every year, some applicants gain admission with scores that are a little below those indicated in the guidelines. The admissions committee considers all the elements of each application. Generally, the committee places greater emphasis on an applicant’s personal statement, writing sample, transcript(s), and recommendations than on the GRE scores. If you have questions about your score, please email Supervisor of Academic Programs Wesson Radomsky at

What should I write about in my personal statement?

You should convey to the admissions committee three things in a personal statement:

  1. how you came to be interested in Eurasian and East European Studies in general and in the MAERES degree in particular
  2. what you plan to study while in the program
  3. what you hope to accomplish in your career after graduation.

The actual structure of the statement can vary, but we should learn why you are applying and what makes you stand out as a candidate.

How can I prove that I meet the admissions requirement for regional language proficiency?

The easiest way is to show it on your transcript: typically, the admissions committee is looking for rigorous, graded courses in the study of Russian, Turkish, Persian, Polish, or Ukrainian. We also consider transcripts from study abroad or intensive summer language courses. If you were unable to study a regional language during undergrad, be sure to indicate when and how you did study it (for example, “I studied Russian three times a week for ten months with a private tutor in Chelyabinsk while I worked as a Fulbright ETA”).

What if I have had some language study, but not a full three years’ worth? Can I still get in?

Yes, if the admissions committee feels you will be able to satisfy the language requirement without completing a full three years’ worth of study prior to matriculation. To improve your language level, you might consider taking intensive summer language courses prior to starting the program, and CERES can provide funding to support language training in advance of matriculation. MAERES students have had success at Middlebury College’s Davis School of Russian and Indiana University’s Summer Language Workshop in the past. Additional scholarships are available for remedial language coursework at Georgetown during the academic year should you need it. If you have questions about your prior language study, please email Supervisor of Academic Programs Wesson Radomsky at

I am a native speaker of a regional language. What should I do to satisfy the language requirement?

If you are a native speaker of a regional language and can speak, read and write it at the university level, we will waive the MAERES language requirement. To indicate native language proficiency in your application, please briefly tell us how you came to know the language (e.g., “I grew up in Bulgaria and completed high school there”). Upon entering the program, we may test your proficiency.

What kind of paper should I submit as a writing sample?

Ideally, you should submit an academic paper on a regionally related topic in the social sciences or humanities as your writing sample. If you do not have an academic paper on a regional topic that fits the criteria, you may submit one that relates to a different part of the world. Papers not written on topics in the social sciences or humanities and non-academic writing samples are much less desirable, but will still be reviewed.

Whom should I ask to write my recommendations?

Typically, the admissions committee would like to see recommendations from professors who have had the applicant in a class at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Employers’ and supervisors’ recommendations can give a sense of your character, but they are less helpful in gauging your level of preparation for a graduate program. However, sometimes it can be helpful to have one professional recommendation if you have been out of college for more than 3 years, especially if you feel that your undergraduate record would not accurately reflect your potential in the program. For applicants who are not native speakers of a regional language, the admissions committee also prefers to have one recommendation from a language instructor who has taught the applicant and can assess his or her language abilities.

When are admissions decisions announced?

Admissions decisions for the fall semester are announced in late February or early March. Those for the spring are announced in late November or early December.

Tuition and Financial Aid

What is the tuition cost of the MAERES program?

Graduate tuition at Georgetown University is $2,065 per credit hour for the 2018-19 academic year. A full-time MAERES student typically takes 6 three-credit courses each year, resulting in a total tuition cost of $37,170 per year.

What proportion of students receive merit-based funding from CERES?

In the 2018-19 academic year, over 82 percent of MAERES students receive merit-based funding from CERES. Some of the awards are fellowships and named scholarships that pay for the entirety of the student’s tuition. The rest are partial scholarships that pay for a portion of the student’s tuition.

Does CERES award merit aid for the full two years of the program?

Starting with the class entering in Fall 2017, financial aid is awarded to incoming students for the full two years of the full-time program. Additional merit aid may become available after the first year, depending on students’ academic performance. Incoming MAERES students receive initial aid offers with their acceptance letter in late February or early March.

Are there funding opportunities for MA students other than scholarships and fellowships through CERES?

Besides applying for CERES merit-based aid, students may apply for external fellowships or need-based aid. Should MAERES students need additional language instruction at the beginner and intermediate levels, language scholarships provided by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences cover the cost of language courses. You can review a full list of financial aid sources on the MAERES Tuition and Financial Aid webpage.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

Yes, international students are eligible for all forms of merit-based financial aid administered through CERES.

Does CERES award FLAS fellowships?

No, CERES no longer awards FLAS fellowships. However, Georgetown University’s National Resource Center on the Middle East and North Africa does award FLAS fellowships for Persian and Turkish. Click here for more details.