Elite Graduate Program for East European Studies
The interdisciplinary Elite Graduate Program for East European Studies is run jointly by Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München and Universität Regensburg. It is funded by the Elite Network of Bavaria, an initiative of the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art. Numerous East European research institutes in Bavaria are involved in the degree program. Many events of the Elite Graduate Program take place in cooperation with the Graduate School.
Analyzing Eastern Europe
The graduate program promotes and inspires regional competence for Central Eastern, South Eastern and Eastern Europe. Students study forms of analysis, applying them to situations and developments in Eastern Europe and placing them in their respective political, social, legal, economic, historic and cultural contexts. Besides specialist knowledge and linguistic competence, the course furnishes students with key skills needed for highly responsible positions in politics, culture, business and academics. Special features of the degree program include a project-based course and an annual summer school.
In cooperation with the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, the annual summer school focuses on contemporary Eastern European questions. It offers students the opportunity to engage in intensive, interdisciplinary and communal learning. Naturally, it is also hosted at a special location with a strong connection to the respective annual theme. Every year, the summer school is organized by a different discipline within the degree program. Experts from the respective country are invited to attend and support the course. This format is modelled on the successful summer academies run by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.
Preparation for Doctoral Studies
Another opportunity for joint scientific dialogue are the study groups of the graduate school, which are open to students of the degree program. In this way, the cooperation between the Graduate School and the Elite Graduate Program prepares students for a doctoral degree. Since its establishment in 2012, the Graduate School has so far welcomed nine graduates of the study program with a doctoral project. The graduates of both programmes keep in touch, no matter if they pursue a scientific career or not. A forum for this is provided by the joint Alumni Association AMUROst e.V., which was founded in 2014. Taking place every winter semester, the forum is an opportunity to network, particularly welcoming new students and doctoral students.
Concerning the scientific staff, both projects are closely intertwined. Many professors involved in the Elite Graduate Program are also members of the Graduate School. The professorships established in the course of the graduate school—Russian/Asian Studies and Social Scientifical Eastern European Studies at LMU and Social Anthropology, with a focus on Southeastern and Eastern Europe as well as European History of the 19th and 20th century, at the University of Regensburg—have greatly expanded study offerings. In addition to that, the curriculum offered by the Elite Graduate Programme benefits from the classes offered by the postdocs and doctoral students of the Graduate School. The weblog of the Graduate School, "Erinnerungskulturen. Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik im östlichen und südöstlichen Europa" [Memory Cultures], offers students of the Elite Graduate Programme the opportunity to publish essays. Some of those essays are a result of the summer school program, a seminar or a project course. (The latter is attended by all students and focuses on putting a specific scientific topic into practice.) In addition to the expanded curriculum, plenty of lectures, workshops and conferences of the Graduate School have significantly increased the appeal of studying Eastern European Studies in Munich and Regensburg.
For further information see the website of the Elite Graduate Program for East European Studies.