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Core curriculum

Core requirements of a Master of European and Russian Affairs

You will enroll in two years of full-time study comprised of 6.0 full credits, and also:

Take courses offered through CERES and our affiliated departments (including required courses ERE2001H & ERE2000Y)
Conduct original research and write your Major Research Paper under the supervision of a CERES-affiliated faculty member
Gain regional experience through a CERES-approved internship or academic exchange in Europe, Russia, or Eurasia
Fulfill your foreign language requirement and improve your language skills
Maintain a minimum B+ average to remain in good standing and be eligible for funding
Choose a major field by completing 2.0 credits in a single academic discipline

Credit requirements

You will complete 6.0 credits during your degree at CERES. Please note that a full-year course is equal to 1.0 credit, whereas a half-year course is equal to 0.5 credit.

Credit breakdown
  • 0.5 credit – ERE2001HF – Gateway Proseminar in European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (This course is required in your first fall semester at CERES).
  • 1.0 credit – ERE2000Y1 – Core Interdisciplinary Research Seminar. (This course will begin in the winter semester of your first year and will continue over the following semesters until the completion of your Major Research Paper.)
  • 0.5 credit – Approved internship and/or earn up to 3.0 credits on an approved academic exchange. (The internship is usually completed in the summer after your first year. If you choose to do an academic exchange, this will usually occur in the fall semester of your second year.)
  • 4.0 credits – Courses of your choosing (with the approval of the instructor and CERES Graduate Coordinator) from CERES-affiliated departments at the University of Toronto. Please note that 2.0 of these credits must be in a single discipline, which will be your major field.

    Visit our courses page for detailed course listings
Enrolment information

All students enrolled in the CERES MA will:

  • Complete our two required courses (ERE2001HF and ERE2000Y).
  • Participate in our program’s regional component through either an international internship (ERE1165H1) and/or international exchange at a CERES-approved institution.
  • Choose courses from a wide array of offerings through other departments at the University of Toronto. Among these courses, you must:
    • Complete 2.0 credits in a single discipline as your major field.
    • Choose the remaining credits from other disciplines.

As a CERES student, you can take courses throughout many different departments at the University of Toronto. Please note that the enrolment process can vary depending on department and discipline.

Please read the following information carefully:

  • Select and enrol for your courses through ACORN. Here you can also search for courses, join wait lists, and check class capacity and enrolment numbers.
  • You will be automatically enrolled in the two required courses, ERE2001H (fall semester of your first year) and ERE2000Y (begins winter semester of your first year and continues until the completion of your Major Research Paper).
  • All course selections must be approved by the CERES Graduate Coordinator. Please make an appointment to discuss your course selection with the CERES Program & Internship Coordinator prior to enrolment.
  • All courses offered through CERES begin with the ERE course code. You do not need permission to enrol in these courses – simply add them on ACORN and they will be automatically approved by CERES administration.
  • For all courses in external departments, you must complete an ADD/DROP form, which requires signatures (either in person or electronic) from yourself, the course instructor, CERES Graduate Coordinator, and the Graduate Coordinator of the department that offers the course. Please reach out to these individuals directly to attain the required signatures. For the ease of enrolment and in cases of limited course capacity, it is best to begin this process before the start of the semester, but you are also encouraged to attend courses and speak to course instructors on an individual basis. Some seminars are heavily enrolled, and it is your responsibility to check enrolment on ACORN and reach out to course instructors to express your interest in taking their course. It is not guaranteed that you will receive a place in every class in which you wish to enrol. The ADD/DROP form can be downloaded and/or printed here:
  • Enrolment dates vary per department – please pay attention to emails from the CERES Program & Internship Coordinator and consult the list of courses below to check the dates that you can begin to enrol.
  • You are welcome to take courses from a wide array of departments, however, it is required that your final essays and research projects are related to Europe, Russia, or Eurasia.

Please note:

  • Courses with a “Y” suffix (example ERE2000Y) are full-year courses that are worth 1.0 credit. They run from September to April.
  • All other courses are half-year courses and worth 0.5 credit. They run either in the fall semester (September to December) or winter semester (January to April). Those with an “F” suffix (example ERE2001HF) run in the fall and those with an “S” suffix (example SLA1220HS) run in the winter.
  • For courses with a dual undergraduate/graduate code, you must enrol using the graduate code. Failure to do so will result in the loss of credit for the course.

Important Dates:

Foreign language requirement

The foreign language requirement is a key component of your degree at CERES and must be fulfilled in order to graduate.

  • You must pass a 200-level foreign language course – or its equivalent (proficiency test or external certificate).
  • If you have some previous knowledge of a foreign language, you may schedule a placement test with the relevant language department at the University.
  • If you wish to start learning a new foreign language, you will begin with a 100-level language course in your first year and continue with a 200-level in your second.
  • Your language requirement can be waived in some circumstances. For example:
    • If you have already taken your foreign language at a 200-level or equivalent and have a passing grade.
    • If you can provide an original language certificate from a recognized institution such as Alliance Française, Goethe Institute, or Cervantes Institute (for example: DELF Level B2 or equivalent)
    • You have passed a proficiency test within the University of Toronto. For more information on scheduling placement tests contact the relevant departments:
      • Slavic Languages and Literatures
      • Germanic Languages & Literatures
      • Hungarian Studies
      • Italian Studies
      • Spanish & Portuguese
      • Modern Greek

Please note: The French Department no longer offers placement exams. If you are interested in taking French through the French Department, you must enroll in FSL6000H Reading French for Graduate Students or opt for FSL6000 (exam only option).


Course Enrollment

When do I need to fill out Add/Drop forms?

You need to fill out Add/Drop form for all non-ERE courses.

I would like to take more courses than required and in disciplines not related to CERES? Can I do this?

As a graduate student at U of T you can register in as many courses as you would like to.

Can I take undergraduate courses while at CERES?

Yes, you can. When taking undergraduate courses and any other non-graduate courses for graduate students, the graduate grading scale will apply. Any grade below 70% will be converted to FZ (failure). Graduate students taking undergrad courses must follow the undergraduate deadline to drop a course (not the SGS deadline). Undergraduate credits do not count towards your CERES MA degree requirements.

Workshop and Event Attendance

During your 2 year program at CERES you are required to:
  • Present at and/or attend CERES Student Conference
  • Attend the Safety Abroad and Exchange program information session in September
  • Attend the Workshop on writing research proposals for SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) in the fall (the workshop  is open to all students, however, the attendance of those who qualify for grants is mandatory);
  • Attend three professional development workshops in October, November, and January (mandatory attendance for students planning on doing an internship through CERES). The sessions will be followed by a networking opportunity with CERES alumni.
  • Attend three CERES internship information sessions in September, October, and March (mandatory attendance for students planning on doing an internship through CERES).
  • Have mandatory attendance of four events organized by CERES per year (two per term) such as conferences, public lectures, etc. Please inform the Program Coordinator about your choice in advance.
  • Actively participate in the CERES Graduate Student Union’s activities and the publication of Eurasiatique, CERES student annual magazine, is very much encouraged.


What is the MRP?

The Major Research Paper or MRP is your Master’s essay and a part of ERE2000Y, a required course which you will start at in the second semester of your first year in CERES. Is based on original, primary, and secondary research, and draws on sources in the original language/s.

How long should be my MRP?

Your MRP should be between 30-50 pages in 11 point font and double spaced in length, excluding references. It should conform to all standards of an article in a refereed academic journal with respect to citations, bibliography, etc.

When is the deadline to submit my MRP?

For example, if you want to graduate in the June convocation, you need to have the final version of the paper in by 1 April 2023. If you plan to graduate in the November 2023 convocation, the final version of the paper must be turned in by 31 August.

When do I have to submit my proposal?

You need to submit your signed ERE2000Y Paper Research Proposal Form, along with your research proposal by the beginning of October at the very latest. The proposal should be approximately 7-10 pages in length, excluding bibliography.

How do I choose my supervisor?

You can start identifying potential supervisors by looking into their publications and CV/profiles on their graduate program's website; taking classes with them beforehand; and asking for the advice of the Graduate Coordinator. 

Choose someone you feel comfortable with and who you think you would work with best. The professor must then agree to supervise you. Once this process is complete you will have them sign the ERE2000Y Paper Research Proposal Form.

By when do I have to select my supervisor?

You should approach your supervisor during the second term of your first year. During September of your second year, you should have your supervisor selected and the proposal form signed.

In consultation with your supervisor, you should establish a regular schedule of meetings to discuss progress and review drafts.

How many regional (non-English) language sources do I need?

It depends on the topic. Please discuss this with your supervisor early on in the project.


When I will receive my CERES graduate funding?

If you were offered graduate funding by CERES, you will receive it in two equal installments. The first installment will be paid out in September (any time during the month), the second part will be paid out during the month of January.

Will I receive my award through a cheque or through a direct deposit?

If you have provided your banking information in ACORN, you will receive your award via a direct deposit. Otherwise, it will be sent as a cheque to your current address. Setting a direct deposit is highly recommended.

Language Requirement

In what cases the language requirement could be waived?

It could be waived if:

  • You have taken your foreign language at the 200 level and have a passing grade
  • You can provide an original language certificate (such as DELF LEVEL B2 or equivalent) from a recognized institution such as Alliance France, Goethe Institute, Cervantes Institute
  • You have passed a proficiency test within U of T. For scheduling the test please contact:
    • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures: Julia Mikhailova (
    • German Department: Prof. John Noyes (
      • MA students interested in taking German in the German Department must be enrolled in GER6000H F Reading German for Graduate Students via ACORN
  • Hungarian Studies: Dr. Eva Tomory (
  • Italian Department:
  • Spanish and Portuguese Department: Professor Nestor Rodriguez at
  • Modern Greek: Dr. Themistoklis Aravossitas (

NOTE: The Department of French no longer offers placement tests or proficiency exams. MA students interested in taking French in the French Department must be enrolled in the FSL6000H Reading French for Graduate Students via ACORN. If you think you do not need to take the course, you can opt for FSL6000 for exam only option.

Please send your request along with any past evidence of language knowledge to André Tremblay, Graduate Counsellor, at You will need to register via ACORN  in FSL6000H Exam-Only option. Once enrolled, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to find out the date, time, room number and tools allowed for the final exam.

When should the language requirement be fulfilled?

It must be fulfilled by the beginning of the first semester of the second year.

I have previous knowledge of a foreign language but no certificate. Whom should I contact before registering in a language course?

Please contact a relevant language department to schedule a placement test. Your placement will depend on the test results and the instructor’s recommendation.

I would like to start learning a new European language while at CERES? Is it still possible to fulfill the language requirement?

Yes, it’s possible. For example, you can start your first year with taking Russian on 100 Level and continue with Russian 200 level during your second year. Please note, taking a language course cannot be counted towards 6 full course credits requirement for graduation.

Internships and Professional Development

Where do I get a list of CERES internship placements?

You will be given CERES Internship Handbook at the first internship orientation session.

Does CERES offer any opportunities for professional development and networking?

While at CERES, you will be offered three mandatory professional development workshops in your first year, as well as various opportunities to network with CERES alumni/professionals. Please use your time wisely: attend events, come prepared with your questions, and follow up to build relationships.


I want to go on an exchange/summer school at the UofT’s partnering institution. Where should I start?

Please check exchange opportunities for graduate students and the application deadlines.

Attendance of an orientation session with the Safety Abroad Office and Centre for International Experience in October is mandatory, as well as applying for CIE funding.


What do I have to do to graduate?

You must complete six full credits of coursework, a minimum of 10-week regional placement (internship and/or exchange) and fulfill the language requirement.

When can I graduate?

As soon as you have met the requirements stated above. Most students complete the program within two years. The maximum length to complete the degree is three years.

Many CERES students opt for graduation in November as it allows more time to work on their MRPs.

More information about convocation and graduation can be found here.

General Information

Will I have space to study at CERES?

Yes. You will have access to shared students space at the Centre.

I am struggling with academic writing/speaking? Who can help?

The Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC) offers five types of support designed to target the needs of both native and non-native speakers of English: non-credit courses, single-session workshops, individual writing consultations, writing intensives, and a list of additional resources for academic writing and speaking.

All of GCAC programs are free. While the workshops function on a drop-in basis, writing centre consultations require an appointment, and courses and writing intensives require registration. You can also consider joining Graduate Writing Group, that offers small, informal and encouraging atmosphere for you to focus on your work and discuss your writing goals.

I require medical help/counseling? Where should I turn for help at U of T?

For general and mental health issues please contact Health and Wellness Centre. If you require disability documentation to obtain academic accommodations, visit the Accessibility Services website. 

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Katia Malyuzhinets, Program and Internship Coordinator.

She will either be able to answer your questions and/or put you in contact with someone who can. She can be contacted at: or 416-946-8962.