Russian and Post-Soviet Studies
Russian and Post-Soviet Studies (RPSS) is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to culture, history and politics of a vast region spanning from East-Central Europe to Siberia and Central Asia. The curriculum for the RPSS concentration and the RPSS minor includes courses in politics, history, literature, film, and media of the region, and the Russian language. Russian and Post-Soviet Studies concentrators and minors are strongly encouraged to combine their academic study at William & Mary with study abroad. The concentration prepares students culturally and linguistically for professions in the public and private spheres in the US and in Eurasia, as well as for graduate study.
Majors are required to complete 33 credit hours. All courses with the RPSS designator (see below) fulfill major and minor requirements for the concentration. Please consult with a faculty advisor about specific lines the course fulfills. The rest of the courses for the major and minor are selected from those available in the curriculum of the various departments. See the requirements for the RPSS major and RPSS minor.
The Global Studies Programs
Students who major in Global Studies (GBST) design an interdisciplinary sequence of courses together with an advisor in one of the following area concentrations: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. Through coursework in the culture, history, languages, literature, politics, and religions of major world regions, students explore the specificity of a given region, the ways in which global forces are realized in and through local contexts, and the interconnections between global regions. Majors often combine their program of study with service learning, internships, or study abroad. Familiarity with a specific region provides a foundation for grappling with the emerging possibilities and the ethical responsibilities of living in an interconnected world.
In general, a major in Global Studies includes courses from at least three departments. Detailed descriptions of the degree programs are provided below. Additional information about courses and requirements is available from area concentration faculty advisors.
Language Requirement. Degrees in Global Studies include a modern foreign language component which exceeds the College’s proficiency requirement. Students meet the requirement by completing a specific level of language instruction as detailed in their concentration.
Major Writing Requirement (MWR). The major writing requirement may be satisfied in Global Studies by (1) completing the appropriate senior seminar of the individual program, or (2) fulfilling the major writing requirement for a department contributing courses to your selected concentration or (3) completing a writing project designed to meet the MWR with special permission from a faculty member. Students should consult with their area concentration advisor on how best to fulfill this requirement.
Major Computer Proficiency Requirement (CPR). Global Studies majors may satisfy the computing proficiency requirement by (1) fulfilling the computing requirement for a department that offers a course in the student’s major (2) completing a course that counts for the CPR for a student’s area concentration or (3) completing CSCI 131 or higher. Concentrators in AMES fulfill the CPR by completing AMES 493 with a grade of C- or better.
Study Abroad. Students are strongly encouraged to seek overseas opportunities and pursue summer and semester-long programs of study, scholarship, and service in all areas of Global Studies, or at approved institutions in the United States. Contact the Global Education Office at the Reves Center for International Studies for information on William & Mary study abroad programs and on programs offered by other institutions. With prior approval, courses taken abroad may be applied to the major or used for other requirements. Funding for independent research projects may be available from the Charles Center for Interdisciplinary Study; students should also investigate scholarship opportunities available through the Reves Center’s Global Education Office for language study.
Major Declaration. Prospective majors in Global Studies should discuss their plans for study with an affiliated faculty in an area concentration by the end of the sophomore year. Declaration forms and instructions for majors and minors are available at the Global Studies website and at the Registrar’s Office.
Minors. In Global Studies students may complete a minor in Comparative and Diaspora Studies of Asia and the Middle East, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, or South Asian Studies.
Senior Honors Students who wish to conduct an honors project must apply for admission to the Departmental Honors program, which is administered by the Charles Center. As part of the application, students must get the approval of an honors project by a faculty member of their area concentration. Application, which includes a faculty signature and a prospectus, should be made to the Charles Center by the end of classes in the academic semester before the project is to begin. A prospectus includes: (1) a clear statement of the problem to be researched; (2) a brief, critical review of scholarly literature on the research topic; (3) a description of the methodology to be employed; (4) and an approximate schedule of work. Eligible applicants must carry a 3.2 grade point average in Global Studies and must also meet the College eligibility standard of 3.0 overall or in their junior year. For further information and an application, contact the Charles Center.
Students admitted into the Honors program in Global Studies will enroll in the honors courses (495-496) appropriate to their concentration during both semesters of their senior year. Honors candidates are responsible for (1) formulating and completing a program of study in consultation with a faculty advisor; (2) preparation and presentation, by two weeks before the last day of classes in the spring semester, of an honors essay; and (3) satisfactory performance in a comprehensive oral examination which focuses on the subject matter of the honors essay. For College provisions governing admission to the Senior Honors program, see the discussion of major honors elsewhere in this catalog and the Charles Center web site.
Programs and Course Descriptions