Eastern European and Russian studies

Programme description

The objective

The Eastern European and Russian Studies Programme is devised to provide with deep and comprehensive knowledge about the region – its political, economic and cultural particularities, and develop your academic and analytical skills that will enable students to analyse, evaluate and assess key political and social processes within this dynamic and exciting region. Vilnius University as the the oldest institution in the region provides a solid base upon which to build your knowledge of the region.

Career opportunities and access to further studies

Our graduates work in a number of different fields; some pursue their career as civil servants in public administration institutions and diplomatic service, others work as analysts and experts in the international organizations, academic and research institutions, as well as in the private sector in Lithuania and abroad. For those who wish to spread their knowledge and gain further insight into the Eastern and Central European studies there is access available to the third cycle studies (doctoral studies).


Program Description


During the first semester of studies, students start with four compulsory courses that introduce them to the economic, historical and cultural context of Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as research methods of political science, which will be crucial in preparing their MA thesis. These courses take up to 10 ECTS credits each. Students will also have one elective course to deepen their knowledge in the most common language of the region – Russian, or different methods of Political Science.

The second semester offers students the opportunity to build their own extensive knowledge and expertise in their preferred field of interests by choosing two elective subjects from the list of courses open to all Master level students at the Institute. Students will also attend Master’s seminars to further develop their MA thesis research design and two compulsory courses dedicated to providing in-depth knowledge of economic and political particularities in Russia and also Eastern European Security.

During the third semester, students work on their Master’s thesis and continue attending Master’s seminars. Additionally, they can extend their knowledge by attending one elective subject based on their academic or professional interests. Moreover, students are offered the opportunity to build their resume by conducting a professional internship with non-governmental organizations or research institutions based in Vilnius.

Study trips

A unique opportunity to visit the countries studied is offered for the IIRPS for students of Central and Eastern European Studies programme. Such trips are organized in order to enhance the practical knowledge of the societal and governmental specifics of the region. During their last study trips, the CEE students visited Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Why choose Eastern European and Russian master studies program at IIRPS VU?

You will:

– Explore Eastern Europe from the base of cosy modern Vilnius
– Build your expertise by studying in one of the leading research institutions in the region
– Join a lively hub of field experts and practitioners
– Have an opportunity to experience Russia and Belarus within an hour’s drive
– Take part in study trips to different countries in the region
– Conduct an internship in leading foreign policy institutions and think-tanks

Join the hub of Eastern Europe experts!

Duration & Price

Qualification awarded                       Master in Social Sciences

Field of study                                        Political Sciences

Study area                                              Social Sciences

Length of the programme (years)  1.5 years (3 semesters)

Scope of programme (ECTS)            90 ECTS

Language of instruction                     English

Location                                                  Vilnius, Lithuania

Starting date                                         1st September

Tuition fee for EU students              1600 eur/per semester
for Non-EU students                           1600 eur/per semester

Admission and financial support

Deadline for Admission:

  • 1 August – for applicants from ALL countries

(Please note that the previous deadlines were extended because of the coronavirus outbreak).

Submit the online application via Create an account to complete the online application. This portal allows you to upload the required documents:

  • Graduation documents
    • university Bachelor degree certificate and its supplement (or its equivalent). If applicant is currently studying in the final year of high school/secondary school or University and his/her institution can’t issue final graduation diploma before application deadline, he/she should submit recent transcript of academic records and certificate where should be written the date of receiving final diploma.

Note: additional country-specific requirements are set only for the following countries:

Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bangladesh | Belarus | Cameroon | China | Egypt | Ghana | India | Italy| Kazakhstan | Kirgistan | Latvia | Nepal | Nigeria | Pakistan | Philippines | Poland | Russia | South Korea | Sri Lanka | Sweden | Tajikistan | Turkey | Turkmenistan | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States | Uzbekistan

  • Motivation letter
    •  The applicant is required to submit the motivation letter (1200-4000 characters)
  • Language certificates
    • English language proficiency – the level not lower than B2 (following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Internationally recognized certificate (TOEFL score 65+; IELTS score 5.5+) or Skype interview.If you are a native speaker and/or if you have a university degree in English, you will be exempt from providing an English language test score.
  • Application fee receipt (100 €)
    • Online application will be processed only after application fee is paid. Application fee is nonrefundable. You will receive bank information through online application.The applicants must cover all bank charges. Please indicate your name, surname and payment code in payment details.
  • 2 Recommendations (contacts of referees)
  • Certified copy of passport or ID card

Requirements for the documents

All documents issued in a language other than English, Lithuanian or Russian should be supplemented with an official translation. Translation is considered to be official when it is bound together with the certified true copy of the original document and is confirmed by the translator’s signature. Documents issued in English, Lithuanian or Russian must be certified true copies and do not require translation.

After you have successfully uploaded all necessary documents on-line your educational documents will be processed for the academic verification. Final admission results will be announced within 40 days after the submission of the Application. Successful applicants will receive the acceptance letters. Students are obliged to confirm if they accept our admission offer in 7 working days.

The selection criterion is based on the weighted average of all grades recorded in the transcript of your academic report and the results of an interview.

Tuition fee

If you have confirmed your decision you should transfer the tuition fee for the first study year of studies. The invoice will be sent via online application system. After receiving the tuition fee International Relations Office prepares documents necessary to apply for National visa (D) and sends them by mail to the student.

Tuition fee waiver

Every year IIRPS provides a tuition fee waiver for one of the most gifted students from non EU and EEA countries. You can apply for the waiver after your application has been approved by the faculty and university. Selected student is exempt from the fee for the whole study period.

State Scholarships For Full-time Master degree studies

  • A monthly scholarship and a grant covering the standard study cost is offered for the nationals of the Republic of Ukraine,the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Georgia and foreign citizens of Lithuanian origin (50 grants altogether, 40 of them – to the nationals of the Ukraine);
  • A monthly scholarship is offered for the nationals of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the State of Israel (10 grants altogether);

Visa to Lithuania

After receiving the necessary documents from Vilnius University, students must apply for National visa (D) at the nearest Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania.

Book accommodation at VU dormitory

Accommodation is one of the most important issues to arrange before your study period starts. As an international student you may apply for the accommodation in VU dormitories.

Arrange your arrival and get a mentor support

If you need some practical help at the beginning of your stay in Vilnius, you can apply for a mentor at Vilnius University. A mentor at Vilnius University is a student who will meet you at the airport or train station and will help you to get to know the University.

Before arrival

Make sure:

  • you have entry visa if necessary
  • your passport is valid not less than 1 year after the end of your intended study period of Vilnius University
  •  you have Health Insurance valid in Lithuania
  • you sent mentor form to the Student Representation at
  • you have a confirmation on accommodation reservation at Student Dormitory. If not, please contact the accommodation officer:
  • you have Health Insurance valid in Lithuania

Arrival days

Students are supposed to arrive 1 or 2 days before the beginning of studies. If you come earlier, please check availability of the Student Dormitory with the accommodation officer by e-mail.

Late arrival

If for some reasons you cannot arrive in Vilnius during the above mentioned days, you have to inform programme coordinator Benita Striukytė

After arrival

Student Card

All international students are supposed to have a Lithuanian Student Card (LSP). You have to apply for it upon arrival. Your main contact person in all LSP matters is your mentor.

Educational Documents

The students must bring the original educational documents and certified copies of the documents (in the original language and its translations in English, Russian or Lithuanian) upon arrival if it wasn ‘t submitted by mail before. The documents have to be submitted to Admissions Office by 8th of September. (Address: Saulėtekio str. 9, I building, room 101).

Visa D/Temporary Residence Permit

All international degree students from non EU/EEA countries coming for studies to Lithuania are required to get visa D. The decision on the issue of visa D is usually made within 10 days after the receipt of application. Visa D allows students to travel via Schengen area countries 3 months in each period of 6 months.

Students will apply for temporary residence permit to live in Lithuania after first semester spent at Vilnius University. For more detailed information, please visit the Migration Department website

Prospective students


Human of IIRPS VU

Morgana Daniele

"The major weakness of academia is its tendency to stagnate. <...> VU IIRPS is different in that sense – it's inquisitive and lively. This is where the spark of science lies."

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