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
– 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              4096 eur/per year
for Non-EU students                           4096 eur/per year

Admission and financial support

Deadline for Admission:

  • June 1stfor applicants from non-EU/EFTA countries.
  • July 15th for applicants that are not required to obtain a national visa for arrival to Lithuania, as well as for non-EU/EFTA applicants with Lithuanian Embassies in their home countries.

Submit the online application via https://apply.vu.lt/ 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: check specific requirements for the following countries: 

Azerbaijan | Bangladesh | Cameroon | China | Denmark | Egypt | Estonia | France | Georgia (Sakartvelo) | Germany | Ghana | India | Ireland | Italy | Kazakhstan | Latvia | Lebanon | Netherlands | Nigeria | Norway | Pakistan | Poland | Russia | South Korea | Spain | Sweden | Turkey | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Academic assessment and recognition 

After you have successfully uploaded all necessary documents via our online application system https://apply.vu.lt, your educational documents will be processed for the academic assessement and recognition. International Admissions Office can verify the authenticity and accuracy of the documents you provided. We might contact the document issuing authority and/or Centre for Qualitty Assessment in Higher Education for more information about your qualification. More information on recognition of foreign academic qualifications you can find here. Final admission results will be announced within 30 working days after the submission of the completed application. An application is considered to be completed when all of the documents are submitted and the application is under the status “Submitted”. 

Successful applicants will receive acceptance letters. 

If you are applying for several programmes at the same time, you can be admitted only for one programme according to your priority list and you receive only one acceptance letter. 

Acceptance letters or rejection notifications will be sent via the online application system https://apply.vu.lt. 

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 to full-time Master’s degree students who are the nationals of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, the State of Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Ukraine and foreigners of Lithuanian origin from non-EU and EFTA countries. (Each of the above countries nationals are allocated certain amount of places within the total of 70 grants provided by this scheme). 

Read about deadlines, conditions, eligibility requirements and application procedure here.
For more information, please contact by e-mail: or by phone +370 5 261 0592. 

Please note that the application for a grant is a separate procedure: we highly recommend you to apply for full-time Master’s degree, afterwards – for the Lithuanian State scholarship. 

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. You may apply for accommodation via the Online Admission System at apply.vu.lt. More information.  

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.  More information.  

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 vu@esnlithuania.lt
  • 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 Vilius Mickūnas

After arrival

Student Card

All international students are supposed to have a Lithuanian Student Card (LSP). You have to apply for it upon arrival at https://lsp.lt/en. If you have any questions regarding the ordering procedure of LSP, do not hesitate to contact lsp@vusa.lt. 

Educational Documents

You must bring the original copies of your final diploma with supporting documents when you arrive to study at Vilnius University. Please also note that you may be requested to post the original copies of your final diploma with the supporting documents by regular (air) mail before the final decision on your admission is made. If our admissions advisor indicated to mail the original copies of your documents, please send them to our official address: 

Vilnius University 

Office of International Admissions 

3 Universiteto street 

LT-01513 Vilnius 


Visa D/Temporary Residence Permit

All international students from non-EU, EEA, EFTA countries coming for studies to Lithuania are required to get a national visa for multiple entries D.

The application documents for the issue of visa D should be submitted to the closest Embassy, Diplomatic mission or Consular post of the Republic of Lithuania before arrival. The decision on the issue of visa D shall be made within 15 days after the receipt of application. Visa D allows students to travel via Schengen area countries 3 months in each period of 6 months. A multiple entry visa (D) may be issued for the period not exceeding one year (12 months)! 

More information regarding migration formalities.  

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 http://www.migracija.lt 

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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