FAQ Application & admissions process

With the exception of the application fee, all materials should be sent directly to HLS Graduate Administrative Services. A complete application file consists of the following:

  • Graduate School Application for Admission and Financial Aid.
  • Statement of Purpose (300-500 words) describing your interests and aspirations.
  • Three letters of recommendation (forms supplied, but not required).
  • One official transcript from each college or university previously attended.
  • Official copy (sent electronically) of the Graduate Record Examination General Test. (You may submit a photocopy with your application to ensure that your file is completed in time.)
  • Application fee of $70.00 paid by credit card online.

Apply online

There is no formal language requirement for applying to the program, but most successful applicants will have completed at least two years of coursework in Russian or another East European language or will have equivalent experience. One of the degree requirements for the MA is that students achieve an ACTFL OPI exam score of Intermediate Mid or better in their primary foreign research language. Applicants who do not already have strong language skills should discuss in their application their plans for acquiring the required proficiency before the end of their course of study at REEI  (i.e. intensive summer language study at the IU Language Workshop, continuous language study during academic coursework, and/or other).

No. International students must apply to the International Admissions office. The deadline for international applications is December 1. For more details and application information contact International Admissions at newtoiu@iu.edu or (812) 855-9086.

You are able to submit many of your materials, such as your personal statement, within the electronic application system. If you need to send materials separately, HLS Graduate Administrative Services will accept them via email (hlsgrad@iu.edu) and our mailing address:

HLS Graduate Administrative Services
Global and International Studies Building
355 North Eagleson Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-1105

Application materials

An official transcript is one that comes to HLS Graduate Administrative Services from the Registrar’s office of your university or college. These transcripts often come in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal. We can accept a transcript in a signed envelope with an unbroken seal either from the applicant or directly from the conferring university or college. Note that the signed seal must be unbroken for us to accept the transcript.

If electronic transcripts are considered official by your university or college, then we will accept them. In this case, HLS Graduate Administrative Services must receive the e-transcript directly from your university or college to hlsgrad@iu.edu.

REEI does not require that applicants submit a writing sample or resume/CV. These items may be submitted, if an applicant chooses, and there is no required format or minimum or maximum length. There is also is no guarantee that the admissions will read these documents.

Read about the requirements


Domestic applications: The deadline for domestic applications is January 1 for admission the following fall, and September 15 for admission the following spring.

International applications: The deadline for international applications is December 1 for admission the following fall, September 1 for admission the following spring.

Spring admission is an exceptional circumstance. Please address this in your personal statement.

The application must arrive at HLS Graduate Administrative Services on or before the deadline. Late supporting materials that arrive before the admissions committee begins to meet (usually a week after the deadline) may be added to applicants' files if staff time allows. It is to the applicant's advantage in being considered for admission and fellowship awards to have all materials in before the deadline.

To check your status, please send the hlsgrad@iu.edu an e-mail. We will respond as soon as possible.

We will accept e-mailed materials for temporary use, at hlsgrad@iu.edu. Originals should be sent soon after.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

When registering, be sure to record the GRE institute code as 1324, and the department code as 2606. You can register for the GRE online or request application materials at the official GRE website. If you are unable to designate a department code, be sure to record IU’s institution code (1324). As long as your scores are sent to IU, we will be able to retrieve your scores.

GRE scores must be received by REEI before your file can be reviewed for admission. We suggest that you take the GRE as early as possible, preferably one or two months before the application deadline to ensure ample time for scores to be reported to REEI. An applicant whose GRE scores arrive late cannot be considered for financial aid, but the applicant may still be considered for admission. The GRE must be taken before the admission deadline (January 1st for fall).

We realize that not everyone tests well. We encourage our admissions committee to consider the application as a whole, including GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. Students are not accepted or rejected solely on the basis of their GRE scores.

As ETS transitions from the older test and score scale to the new versions, REEI will continue to accept the old scores as long as they are valid.

Learn about the new exam and score scale

Application fee

The application fee must be paid online with a credit card.

Yes, fee waivers are granted under exceptional circumstances in cases of financial hardship. Direct your appeal to the University Graduate School at grdschl@indiana.edu.

Recommendation letters

Select three appropriate people to recommend you. They should be familiar with your academic abilities and potential. We accept recommendations from employers, but you may want to consider whether they would be the best individuals to evaluate your abilities as a scholar. If you have significant professional experience related to the REEI region (Peace Corps, NGO work, etc.), then a letter from an employer would be appropriate and may even make you more competitive for assistantship funding.

The online application will ask you to enter the email addresses of your recommenders. The system will then send an email message to your recommenders explaining how to fill out a recommendation online. 

Your Statement of Purpose should stay within the length guidelines (300-500 words) and focus as much as possible on your specific study goals and how a master's degree in REEI fits into your plans for a professional career. You can also explain how you first became interested in Russian and/or East European studies, but primary attention should go to your current study goals and career aspirations.

Yes, but an application file will not be created in your name until receipt of the application form. If an application form is not received within two years, application materials will be discarded.

The best way to contact us is via email at hlsgrad@iu.edu.

The length of time depends on the individual schedules of the members of the admissions committee. Students are notified by email as soon as admissions decisions have been made, typically eight weeks past the application deadline. Unfortunately, we are unable to release admissions information over the phone.

Financial aid

As a graduate student admitted to REEI, you may be eligible for federal loan and work-study programs through the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). The application priority date is March 1, with award notification starting in June. Late applications are accepted.

Yes. REEI provides numerous funding opportunities for excellent students. These include departmental grants, awards, fellowships, assistantships, and U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for both the academic year and for summer programs. Most REEI fellowships and assistantships are funded through the Title VI program of the U.S. Department of Education (deadline Jan 31st). Only U.S. citizens are eligible for federally funded fellowships.

No. REEI M.A. and dual degree students compete against graduate students from other departments and professional schools for FLAS fellowships. A FLAS recipient must be enrolled in a graduate program.

Typically, about half of our M.A. students receive funding. Second year students, who have established a strong record at IU garner more of the funding than do entering students.

For most funding opportunities, indicate your interest on the online application form by answering the fellowship and funding questions. However, the most commonly awarded fellowship for new students, the FLAS, requires a separate application. For more details and application information contact flas@iu.edu.

Several IU departments affiliated with REEI offer opportunities for funding. These include The Center for International Business Education and Research program for those interested in business study, The Polish Studies Center, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Institute for European Studies, Center for the Study of Global Change, and the schools with which REEI offers dual degree programs. For more details and application information contact each department directly.

The GradGrants Center assists graduate students in locating funding and regularly posts announcements for university wide graduate assistantships.

The fellowship committee begins to review files after all admissions decisions have been made. You will be notified by email as soon as recipients have been identified, generally in mid-to-late March. Unfortunately, we are unable to release funding information by phone.

Those initially offered funding must notify us of their decision (usually by April 15th) to decline an award or before the offer can be extended to alternates. This process can be lengthy. You will be notified by email at the time you are selected for funding or once all funding offers have been accepted. Notification is usually made after April 15.

Financial aid for international students is very limited. Only under exceptional circumstances does REEI have funding for an international student seeking the M.A. degree. However, international students are eligible for some scholarships, research assistantships and other financial aid opportunities offered by other IU schools and doctoral programs.

The Office of International Services has some funds available to help international students, especially students who are close to graduation. If your department is not able to provide assistance and you are having financial difficulties, you should speak with an advisor at International Services. Available funding includes short term loans, fee assistance awards, and on campus employment. For more information on these opportunities, check The International Student Aid website.

Beginning your studies + campus life

Students from the U.S. entering the university for fall semester should plan to attend the REEI new student orientation, which includes academic advising and class registration and begins one week prior to the start of classes. At least one month in advance, they will receive a packet that includes the schedule for orientation.

International students should plan to attend orientation beginning two weeks before the start of classes. Contact International Admissions for more information. International students beginning study in the spring semester should plan to arrive at least one week before the start of classes.

New students register online during new student orientation held the week before classes begin. Detailed information on academic advising and how and where to register will be provided during orientation. New students must receive advising prior to registration.

Classes listed in the brochure have been offered within the last ten years and are expected to be offered again. While course offerings change each semester according to faculty availability and interest, the scope of coursework represented remains the same. On rare occasions, when an absolutely critical course for an individual student’s desired program is not available, institute students may also take an independent readings course if they are able to find a faculty member willing to work with them on this basis.

Yes. You may apply for a dual degree program either at your initial application or at any time later in your M.A. program. If you are considering completing a dual degree, you should keep in close contact with the REEI advisor to ensure that you take appropriate classes.

IU is home to a wide range of student organizations. Groups of special interest to our students include the Hungarian Cultural Association, the Baltic and Finnish Studies Association, the Romanian Studies Association, the REEI Graduate Student Association, and the South Slavic Language Club. These organizations sponsor cultural and academic events meant to encourage and support inquiry into their regions of specialty. Students also hold weekly conversation hours for most of the languages taught at IU and even a few that are not.

Yes. Students may buy health insurance through IU. For more details and application information contact the Student Insurance Office. Paid health insurance is provided to students with academic appointments or fellowships.

You can prepare for your studies by reading some of the books included on the recommended M.A. reading list, which is a compilation of books recommended for the well-educated M.A. student in Russian and East European studies. Included are key books that have influenced the field and books of synthesis that provide an overview of developments. Also included is a list of important journals and reference works in the Russian and East European area.

What next?

A majority of REEI graduates gain employment in their field of interest within three to six months of graduation. The interdisciplinary nature of the REEI degree opens the door to many careers, and REEI alumni can be found in a variety of occupations.

REEI graduates are working in the United States and dozens of foreign countries. They are employed by the U.S. Department of State and other government offices, in non-governmental and nonprofit organizations, business, university administration, international exchange agencies, refugee assistance programs, and other fields. Job placement is a high priority in our program.

REEI regularly sends current domestic and international internship and job announcements to its students and alumni. Students receive individual assistance from an advisor, when researching internship, study abroad and employment opportunities. Other career resources include an online subscription of employment opportunities in the fields of conflict management, human rights, international development, law, government and the nonprofit sector.

REEI has several programs to help students prepare for advanced graduate study. They include a public lecture series, workshops and conferences, the REEI newsletter, and outreach speakers. These programs benefit students by providing opportunities to present research, network with colleagues, form mentoring relationships with accomplished scholars, write and publish articles, and give lectures in their field of study.

In addition, the university offers a program designed specifically for students considering a career in academia: Preparing Future Faculty. The PFF Program sponsors activities throughout the year to prepare aspiring college teachers, including monthly meetings, selection of and work with a faculty mentor, colloquium presentations, brown bag lunch presentations, campus visits, and participation in a campus PFF conference.