Master studies

Tuition Fee Waiver Offered by the Institute of International Relations and Political Science

Tuition waiver will be awarded to the most motivated and competent international non-EU/EEA student applying for the Master’s degree programme of Eastern European and Russian studies. This scholarship only covers the full cost of the tuition fee.


  • Candidates must be non-EU and non-European Economic Area citizens who apply for Eastern European and Russian studies master programme.
  • Candidates cannot have other financial support covering tuition fee from other Lithuanian or Foreign organizations.

How to apply:

  • Application deadline for a tuition fee waiver is 1st of July. Applicants must submit a written request, together with a motivational letter by e-mail
  • The final list of students who receive tuition waiver will be announced no later than 15th of July.


General admission:

All international students wishing to take the Master’s degree programme in Eastern European and Russian studies must apply online using the University Admission website.

More information about admission procedure can be found here.

To apply for this programme, you need a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and English level of B2*. The selection criterion is based on the weighted average of all grades recorded in the transcript of your academic report (50%) and the evaluation of your motivation (motivational essay) (50%).

*In order to apply for Master’s degree program, you are not required to submit a certificate of English language knowledge (IELTS or TOEFL scores), nevertheless, you will need an official English language certificate to apply for state/University grants.






PhD studies

Full-time PhD studies


Selection of candidates is based on an evaluation of a short description of a prospective research project. Prospective research project (appr. 20 000 symbols) in the area of political science includes:

1. A prospective topic of scientific research
2. Assessment of originality, the relevance of the topic as well as major research in the area;
3. Aims and purposes of the research, preliminary hypothesis, if applicable;
4. Research methods;
5. Major literature sources (10 positions appr.).


The prospective research project is evaluated by the Admission commission. The Commission makes a decision concerning the admission of a candidate on the basis of evaluation of the research project and interview with a candidate. During the interview, a candidate may be asked to comment on his/her research project and answer the related questions and remarks.

Detailed information on the admission to VU doctoral programs and deadlines for submission of documents will be published soon.

Submission of the documents and admission to the doctoral program will take place until August 20.

Research projects with an appendix must be submitted through email ( to the doctoral committee by 20th of August, 2020. The admission interview will take place on August 27th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in room 119, IIRPS VU (remote participation will also be possible).

External PhD studies


To apply for the external doctoral studies, a candidate has to:

  1. Have a master’s degree or its equivalent;
  2. Have published two articles with the main results of his/her research (articles have to be published or submitted to press in the publications as identified by the Government of Lithuania;
  3. Have prepared a doctoral dissertation.

Application and admission

The application with all required enclosures must be mailed via regular (air) mail or by an international courier service. E-mailed or faxed applications or enclosures will not be processed. Detailed information on the admission to VU doctoral programs and deadlines for submission of documents will be published later.

Applicants will have to submit the following documents to the Office of Doctoral and Postdoctoral Studies:

  1. an application addressed to the Rector;
  2. a copy of the passport or valid identification card;
  3. copies of the Master’s diploma or of a higher education diploma equivalent to it and their supplements;
  4. Curriculum Vitae;
  5. a completed questionnaire with a photo;
  6. a short description of a prospective research project;
  7. a list of research works and their copies, conference presentations, works awarded at academic competitions (if there is any);
  8. recommendations by two academic referees from the topic of the relevant field of science;
  9. a certificate of assessment of academic qualifications issued by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (if it is asked);
  10. 15 Eur instalment cheque.

The decision concerning the admission is made by the faculty of Vilnius University, responsible for the implementation of the doctoral study program, to which a candidate applied. The faculty decides whether the submitted dissertation meets the requirements and can be defended without corrections/amendments or with minor amendments, as well as to which doctoral exams a candidate has to pass before the defence. If more substantial amendments are necessary, the faculty decides whether the dissertation can be finalized within one year. A supervisor is appointed to guide the finalization of the dissertation. If the faculty decides that the dissertation cannot be finalized within one year, the application to external doctoral studies is rejected.

The following topics of doctoral dissertations in political science at the IIRPS VU were approved by the Doctoral Committee (protocol No. DK-2020-01) on March 2nd, 2020:

1. Changing nature of Lithuanian/Baltic states external interdependencies [trade, migration, cyberspace, information and others]: causes and impact on foreign policy  (consulting scientist prof. dr. Ramūnas Vilpišauskas)

The aim of the study is to assess the structure, nature (asymmetry) of Lithuania’s external relations, links between areas, foreign partners and analyze the reasons for their change (membership in international organizations, domestic policy decisions to change external relations, etc.) and discuss their impact on Lithuanian foreign policy. The study could be based on the EU-STRAT methodology of the Horizon 2020 project applied to the analysis of the external dependencies of Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries.

2. Emotions as mobilising power in international politics (consulting scientist prof. dr. Dovilė Jakniūnaitė)

This research topic aims to problematize the role of emotions in polarizing international political processes by revealing the mechanisms of emotion construction, focusing on the nature of emotions as a collective phenomenon. The proposed research projects are expected to focus on the analysis of emotions, either in the context of international conflicts or on the role of emotions in climate change policy.

3. Impact of significant public policy events on changes (consulting scientist prof. dr. Vitalis Nakrošis)

For this research topic, candidates are invited to describe and explain the most significant successes and failures of public policy regarding the benefits of comparative research. To achieve these goals, it may be appropriate to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Candidates will be selected on the basis of an evaluation of specific research projects proposed by them, which would help to critically examine the identified issues and carry out theoretically and empirically significant research work.

4. Application of synthetic control methodology to assess the impact of Soviet occupation on the Baltic states (consulting scientist assoc. prof. Vytautas Kuokštis)

The idea of this research topic is to apply the synthetic counterfactual method to issues of the political economy, which have not been considered from this perspective yet. One of these questions is the impact of the Soviet occupation on the Baltic States. This is a crucial issue for political and historical memory. In scientific terms, it poses major causal challenges – it is not clear what the development of the Baltic economies (or other social indicators) would have been if they had not been occupied. The synthetic counterfactual approach could provide a more reasonable and quantitative answer to this counterfactual question.

5. Nationality in the political regimes of XX-XXI c: ideology, pragmatics, rituals (consulting scientist assoc. prof. Nerija Putinaitė)

The aim of this topic is to encourage research that analyzes the relationship between nationality and political regime from the history of ideas, conceptual history or cultural and political philosophy, looking for new tools to analyze nationality, its different forms and relationship with politics, its impact on collective political identities and identifying possible alternatives to political community solidarity for national solidarity.

6. Problems of contemporary politics (consulting scientists prof. dr. Dovilė Jakniūnaitė, prof. dr. Alvydas Jokubaitis, prof. dr. Vitalis Nakrošis, prof. dr. Ainė Ramonaitė, prof. dr. Gediminas Vitkus)


For detailed information about admission to VU doctoral programs and deadlines for submission of documents, please visit VU page.

Application for doctoral studies and scanned copies of necessary documents should be uploaded online. The request may be corrected by the enroller. Scientific projects should be sent Arenida Glušinskienė by the email The date for the interview for doctoral studies will be announced soon.