Slavic and East European Studies



Program Overview

No one would dispute the enormous global significance of the political transformation of Eastern Europe during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Democratization and the opening up of the region to foreign investment have created unprecedented opportunities for American business to expand its trade contacts and overseas markets into that area, particularly in the banking, aviation, natural resource development, computers, mass media, and telecommunications industries.

Central Connecticut State University offers an interdisciplinary major program in Slavic and East European Studies designed to help students take advantage of job opportunities created by these increased business contacts, or to prepare them for more traditional jobs in the federal government and/or graduate study in the languages, culture, history, and politics of Eastern Europe. Students with a specialization in Slavic and East European Studies can pursue careers as business facilitators and consultants, federal government researchers (analysts, foreign language specialists, and national security experts), educators, interpreters, journalists, and more. Firms which do business in Eastern Europe have an ongoing need for employees with knowledge of regional languages and culture. This specialization can be usefully combined with training in many other professional areas.

Like other regional studies programs at CCSU, the Slavic and East European Studies program is housed within the International Studies program: majors receive a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Slavic and East European Studies. Similarly, the Master's of Science program deepens this focus as a graduate program, regardless of one's undergraduate major.

The Russian studies program is part of the area studies program in Slavic and East European Studies. Students in International Studies may opt for the broader focus in Slavic/East European Studies, which takes advantage of the University’s strong program in Polish Studies, or for a more concentrated focus on Russian Studies.

Polish language courses are offered by the Modern Language department in support of the undergraduate and graduate programs. It should be noted that Russian language courses are no longer offered at CCSU, but could be taken through the university’s Consortium agreements. Additionally, several opportunities for international exchanges and courses abroad make further language learning, cultural immersion, and special projects possible.


NOTE: The Slavic and East European focus is in the process of merging with the West European focus into one common European Studies focus that will allow students to look at issues or specific sub-regions from across Europe, including the Eurasian region dominated by the Russian and Soviet states in recent times. The curriculum revision process could take until mid-2015 or perhaps even a little longer. Until then, the separate existing specializations continue to be offered.


Coordinator (Currently advising on EE, but also running a new Committee on Global Studies)

Dr. Matthew Ciscel

Department of English

Central Connecticut State University

1615 Stanley Street

New Britain, CT 06050

Phone: (860) 832-2749



Slavic and East European Studies Committee (merged with EU Studies Committee, curricular revision in process)

Matthew Ciscel, Ph.D., English - Slavic and East European Studies Program Coordinator (

Richard Benfield, Ph.D., Geography (

Jay Bergman, Ph.D., History (

M. Biskupski, Ph.D., History (

Paul A. Karpuk, Ph.D., English (


Minor in Slavic and Eastern European Studies

18 credits, including at least 9 from the following: ANTH 426; GEOG 448; HIST 348, 356, 379; or PS 435. Study of Russian, Polish, or another East European language to an intermediate level of competence is also strongly recommended.


Study Abroad Opportunities

Through the University’s partner institutions around the globe, CCSU students are presented with exciting opportunities to discover the world through overseas study. Living and learning in a new culture prepares students for the increasingly integrated and interdependent world around them. Students in the Slavic and Eastern European Studies program can apply to study abroad at any of the institutions listed below. For more information about studying abroad and for a full list of CCSU’s partner and affiliate universities worldwide, please visit the CIE's website.


Russian Studies majors have the option of fulfilling their study abroad requirement by attending any one of a number of programs in Russia, such as the CIEE, ACTR, or University of Arizona summer, semester, or academic year programs.


University of Pecs (Pecs)


Wroclaw University of Technology (Wroclaw)