Departments & Programs

Central Eurasian Studies

Major in Central Eurasian Studies

The B.A. in Central Eurasian Studies provides students with the means to study in depth a region of specialization in Central Eurasia through mastery of one or more languages as well as the history, culture, religion and geopolitics of a given region in a multidisciplinary approach. The degree program combines two key features: (1) a Language of Specialization, which gives students access to the chosen civilization through the voices of its people; and (2) a Region of Specialization, which includes courses on various aspects of the chosen civilization.  Two- and three-year sequences are offered in the following languages: Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Mongolian, Persian, Tibetan, Turkish, Uyghur, and Uzbek.

Central Eurasian Studies examines contemporary and historical regions of critical significance, such as Tibet, Xinjiang, the Central Asian Muslim republics, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Hungary and the Baltics. Faculty in the Department conduct research and teach classes on such diverse topics as The Silk Road, the Mongol Conquest, Minorities in China, Russia's Neighbors, the Dalai Lamas, Iranian Kings and Prophets, Empire and Ethnicity in the Soviet Union, and Nation–Building in the Post-Soviet World. Required course work promotes a multidisciplinary training in the languages, histories, cultures, religions, economies, geopolitics and international relations of one or more Central Eurasian regions of specialization.


Students must complete department-approved courses, including:

1. One of the following introductory courses (3 cr.)

  • CEUS-R 290 Introduction to Central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet
  • CEUS-R 292 Introduction to Turkic and Iranian Civilization
  • CEUS-R 294 Introduction to Hungary, Estonia, and Finland

2. CEUS-R 491 Capstone Seminar in Central Eurasian Studies (3 cr.), to be taken during the senior year.

3. One of the following tracks:

Central Eurasian Studies

Students must complete at least 30 credit hours, including two years of a Central Eurasian language* through the intermediate level (8 cr.) and additional course work chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or academic advisor.

Language and Civilization

Students must complete at least 31 credit hours to include an introductory course (see item 1 above) that corresponds to the Language of Specialization and at least four courses (12 cr.) above the 100-level, chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or academic advisor. Students must also complete three years of a Language of Specialization* through the advanced level (16 cr.).

4. A minimum of 18 credit hours at the 300–400 level, including CEUS-R 491.

5. At least 18 credit hours of course work on the Bloomington campus.

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

*Language courses that may count toward the major are Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Kazakh, Mongolian, Persian, Tibetan, Turkish, Uyghur, and Uzbek. Students may complete Azerbaijani, Pashto, Tajik, Kazakh, Kurdish, or related Turkic and Iranian languages, only by exception—that is, only if they have transfer credits or pass a placement test in those languages.

Note: First-year language courses are not counted toward the major. Students may fulfill the language requirement of the major by completing or testing out of the intermediate or advanced level of a Central Eurasian language without taking the previous level(s) at Indiana University. In that case, no credit hours are counted toward the major for the levels not taken at Indiana University. The number of total credit hours required for the major remains the same; the missing credits must be fulfilled with elective courses in the department.