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Programs / Arts / European and Russian Studies

Program Summary

The Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS) offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Europe, Russia and Eurasia. You will be able to build a program according to your specific interests, combining subjects such as history, politics, economics, language and culture. You will examine issues such as international security, nationalism and ethnic conflict, crime and corruption, the effects of globalization, migration and multiculturalism, environmental and social policy, democratization and civil society, collective memory and national identity, market reform and European integration. In your third or fourth year, you may choose to take part in an academic exchange in a European country or in Russia and/or co-op employment. In addition to the core academic program, the Institute hosts a number of special lectures by high-profile experts, foreign visitors and embassy personnel throughout the year. An internship program is available to qualified fourth-year students.

The university has a long-established reputation in the field of European and Russian Studies.

Established in 1970, Carleton’s Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS) offers you a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Europe, Russia and Eurasia. Not only was Carleton the first Canadian university to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the study of Central/East Europe, but now our Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) program allows you to focus your studies on any part of the geographical expanse from the British Isles to the Russian Far East and the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia.

At Carleton, you will be taught by experts and experienced professors in a wide range of disciplines including art history, business, economics, geography, history, international affairs, law, philosophy, political science, sociology and various languages.

Carleton research and resources

You will find active research centres right on campus that launch innovative research initiatives in Europe and Russia, and that operate large-scale international assistance projects in post-communist countries.

Our Centre for European Studies, a recipient of funding from the European Commission, sponsors a variety of student-centred activities to further your knowledge about the European Union.

EURUS sponsors a wide range of lectures involving high-profile experts, foreign visitors and embassy personnel. Particularly popular is our Ambassadors’ series. In addition, we regularly organize a Russian tea group and Russian movie night (with subtitles). We welcome BA (Honours) students to these events.

In 2012, EURUS moved to its new home in the state-of-the-art River Building. Our EURUS student lounge/computer room, located next to the faculty and departmental offices, offers a great spot to study, chat or relax while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Rideau River.

The university’s MacOdrum Library has one of Canada’s best collections of books and periodicals relating to the countries studied at EURUS, and is a Documentation Centre for the European Union.

EURUS also brings together specialists on Western and Eastern Europe for joint projects, lectures and meetings with the European diplomatic community. In addition, visiting professors from the region often join our faculty to teach senior students in the BA (Honours) program.

Internship program

Qualified fourth-year BA (Honours) students from EURUS are eligible to apply to the Institute’s internship program. This is an excellent opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience while earning academic credit.

Co-op opportunities

EURUS offers a co-operative education (co-op) option to qualified students in the BA (Honours) program in European and Russian Studies. The co-op program will allow students to gain applied knowledge in the workplace in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental organizations inside and outside of Ottawa. Students who are accepted into the co-op program will begin their placements during the fall term of their third year of study, and must complete at least three work placement terms.

Study abroad

As a student in EURUS, you have an exciting opportunity to study abroad in your third or final year.

Through the International Student Service Office, you have access to study opportunities in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Wales. Summer opportunities abroad include the EU Study Tour and Internship program, available for course credit. In addition, Carleton’s Russian language program provides assistance to students of all levels who are interested in spending four to six weeks of the summer studying Russian at the University of St. Petersburg. By participating in this program, you could earn up to 2.0 credits towards your degree.

Ottawa is home to many embassies, consulates, nongovernmental organizations and federal government departments, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency, that maintain direct relations with the regions that are of interest to EURUS students. EURUS regularly organizes events for students in co-operation with these organizations.

You will also have access to research materials located at Library and Archives Canada and the European Union Library.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Carleton University offers a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in European and Russian Studies. You will need 20.0 credits for the degree, usually completed over four years of full-time study.

Required credits for the program include courses in European and Russian Studies, History, Political Science and Economics.

Language proficiency

To fulfill the degree requirements, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in a European language other than English.

You may select one of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish (all of which are taught at Carleton) or Polish. The language you choose depends on your geographical area of interest. The language requirement can be met by passing a language examination or by completing a specified third-year language course.

Combined degrees and minors

The Institute’s degree program can be combined with other BA (Honours) programs in political science, law or history or with the Bachelor of Journalism program—for students already accepted in the Journalism program—resulting in a combined degree. It can also be combined with minors in other departments, including European languages.

Minor program

EURUS offers a 4.0 credit minor program in European and Russian Studies. By adding this minor to your program, you can make the strengths of Carleton in the area of European and Russian studies part of your degree.

First-year experience

First-year BA students are strongly encouraged to include a First-year Seminar (FYSM) in their first-year course load. Our First-year Seminars will get you away from the lecture hall and give you the chance, in a small class of no more than 30 students, to discuss and debate topics with your classmates and your professors. You will also work on research, writing and study skills, and get early and frequent feedback on class assignments. Although some FYSMs count as courses leading to a major, you do not have to choose a FYSM in your major discipline and students are limited to one FYSM. EURUS does offer its own First-year Seminar entitled Literature and Political Change in Europe (FYSM 1601) and co-sponsors a First-year Seminar with the Department of Political Science entitled Social Impact of Transformation in the Post-Communist Era (FYSM 1002).

The workplace

A degree in European and Russian Studies is valuable preparation for careers in government service, business, finance, the media or non-governmental and international organizations. Many of our students work abroad, at least for a period of time, while the majority find jobs in Canada.

Graduate studies

Graduates of our program are generally well qualified to go on to graduate studies in a variety of fields including history, political science, international affairs, cultural studies and area studies programs (e.g., European Studies, Russian Studies).

Carleton University offers a Master of Arts in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. Like the BA (Honours) option, our MA program now features a co-op option. If you think that you may wish to pursue an advanced degree, you are encouraged to investigate graduate programs early in order to ensure that your program is suited to meet the relevant graduate-level requirements.

Professional programs

Many professional programs, including law, teaching and business, are interested in attracting well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds. European and Russian Studies provide a strong foundation for such programs, and you are encouraged to pursue interests you may have in these fields after completing your undergraduate degree.

What students are saying about European and Russian Studies


Being a EURUS student means being part of a unique community. Unlike in larger programs, I can interact more with other students and professors, and the interdisciplinary nature of the program provides me with a comprehensive understanding of this fascinating region (from the economic to the historical, and everywhere in between). Also, I am always in the know about exciting events featuring speakers from all sectors who discuss the contemporary issues affecting Europe and Russia today. There are many opportunities for students to get directly involved, including going on exchange, the EU Study Tour or being part of the various conferences the Institute is known to organize.
Simona Zarbalieva, European and Russian Studies and Political Science student