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Master of Arts in Eurasian Studies - Nazarbayev University

Venue: Astana, Kazakhstan
Application deadline: July 14, 2014



The MA in Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University (NU) is a two-year program designed to provide individuals with advanced skills qualifying them for work in higher education, research, policy-making, and other fields requiring high levels of expertise.  Students will receive training to the highest international standards in the history, culture, society, and languages of this region. This training is a solid foundation for any career that requires extensive knowledge of the Eurasian region and excellent research, writing and communication skills.


The MA is taught over two years (four semesters), with three credit-bearing courses per semester.  The first year program for all MA students involves three core courses:

  • Introduction to Eurasia (1st semester) – an overview of the major scholarly debates in the study of the region;
  • General Methodology (1st semester) – a team-taught interdisciplinary training in methods and epistemology;
  • Disciplinary Methodology (2nd semester) – a course in the methodology of the student’s chosen discipline, as part of the preparation for their MA dissertation.

In the second year, work towards the final dissertation will count as two credit-bearing courses in each semester.
The remaining courses will be elective, from a list offered by faculty in different disciplines.  A preliminary list of courses to be offered includes:

  • Anthropology & Sociology: Anthropology of Religion and Secularism, Post-Socialist Capitalism and Development, Social Problems and Issues in Eurasia, Gender in Eurasia
  • History: Land and Men in Russian Turkestan (ca. 1865-1915), Cotton, Irrigation, and Power, Introduction to Serial and Quantitative Sources for Central Asian History, Nations and Nationalisms in Russia and the USSR, 1900-2000, Marginality in Russia and the USSR, Social History of the Russian Empire, The Russian Conquest of Central Asia, 1814 – 1895, National Historiographies in Post-Soviet Central Asia
  • Literature and Culture: A History of Utopia in Soviet Literature, The Avant Garde in Russian/Soviet Arts, 1890-1930, Russian and Soviet Theatre, Survey of Central Asian Oral Literature, Ethnography of Oral Literature, Buddhism in Central Asia
  • Political Science: Politics of Eurasia, Public Policy of Eurasia, Russian Foreign Policy, Contemporary Russian Politics

Students with knowledge of at least one Eurasian language are not required to learn a second, but are strongly encouraged to do so.  Tuition is available in Kazakh as part of the course, and the program will arrange opportunities to study other regional languages through partner institutions in Astana.


Only graduates with at least 240 ECTS credits (equivalent to a four-year undergraduate program or a three-year undergraduate program plus a one-year Graduate Diploma) are eligible for admission to the graduate program.

Application Procedure

Every applicant to the M.A. in Eurasian Studies program is required to submit an application package online in English (or notarized English translation) before the deadline set by SHSS.

The application package should include the following:

  1. Three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on the abilities of the applicant in an academic or professional setting and are familiar with his/her achievements and future aspirations.
  2. A personal essay giving the reasons for seeking an M.A in Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University.
  3. Resumé/curriculum vitae;
  4. Notarized copy (-ies) of Bachelor's (or its equivalent) and/or other degree diplomas with transcript(s); Applicants who obtained Bachelor’s (or its equivalent) and/or other degree diplomas from foreign educational institutions must request their official transcript(s) to be sent to Graduate Admissions Departament directly.
  5. English language proficiency test reports (academic IELTS or TOEFL) valid as of the commencement of the M.A. in Eurasian Studies program for applicants whose native language is not English as determined by the Admissions Committee. The minimum score requirements for each exam are as follows: TOEFL paper-based test score – 600; TOEFL internet-based test score – 100 (with a minimum 21 in each); IELTS test score – 7.0 (with no score below 6.0 in any element) or evidence of native competence. Valid GRE Test Report (General Test) if available;
  6. Notarized copy of the applicant’s identity card or passport;
  7. Completed application form. The online application form will be available at

The Final Deadline for submitting applications is Monday 14 July 2014.

Successful candidates will be notified by email by Friday 1 August 2014 at the latest.


All students will receive a fee waiver, a monthly stipend (100 000 KZT), and if needed free accommodation on campus.


Information & contacts

School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Block 8, Room 8-201
53 Kabanbay Batyr Ave.
Astana 010000
phone: 8 (7172) 70-6638


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