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PhD in Eurasian Studies

The Doctorate in Eurasian studies from Nazarbayev University’s School of Sciences and Humanities is a full-time doctoral program and enrolled candidates take a minimum of four years to complete the program. The program is also the first interdisciplinary program delivered strictly in the English language in the entire humanities and social sciences degree programs in Central Asia.

PhD program in Eurasian Studies is designed to train versatile and internationally competitive scholars by combining a core curriculum of key concepts in the humanities and social sciences, with practical training in necessary writing and research techniques, as well as rigorous subject-specific training across at least two disciplines.

Students have the space, time and flexibility they need to write a doctoral thesis that makes an original contribution to the field. Funding opportunities for research abroad and co-supervision by NU and non-NU experts enables our students to develop a truly international profile.

Coursework ranges from three to four semesters for most students, but the crucial element of the syllabus is the doctoral thesis, supervised by an external supervisor and an internal supervisor from Nazarbayev University.

Candidates who successfully pass the qualifying exams will write a dissertation on their research, which features theories, methodologies, and acquired knowledge from the curriculum and those related to their selected fields. The curriculum is taught by a faculty composed of practiced and experienced intellectuals from around the world.


General information: 

Campus: Astana, Kazakhstan

Language: English

Delivery mode: Full time, on-campus

Duration: 4 years

Total ECTS credit: 240



Year 1

  • EAS 700 Introduction to Eurasia
  • EAS 701 Critical Issues in Eurasian Studies
  • Discipline 1 Elective A
  • Advanced Academic Writing
  • EAS 708 Proseminar in Eurasian Humanities OR EAS 709 Proseminar in Eurasian Social Sciences
  • Discipline 1 Elective B
  • Discipline 2 Elective A
  • Open Elective #1
  • EAS 716 Dissertation Research in Eurasian Studies

Year 2

  • EAS 711 Doctoral Seminar in Eurasian Studies I
  • Discipline 2 Elective B
  • Discipline 1 or 2 Elective C
  • Open Elective #2
  • EAS 712 Doctoral Seminar in Eurasian Studies II
  • EAS 713 Qualifying Examination
  • Open Elective #3
  • EAS 716 Dissertation Research in Eurasian Studies

Year 3

  • EAS 716 Dissertation Research in Eurasian Studies

Year 4

  • EAS 716 Dissertation Research in Eurasian Studies
  • EAS 717 Viva Voice Examination

This program is a generic template for a 4 year Ph.D. for a typical student. Some students may have sufficient advanced credits and training to complete the coursework in less than 4 semesters. Students will not be allowed to take a partial or full 3rd year of coursework except in unusual circumstances and only upon a petition by the candidate’s adviser. The program is designed to allow students to be able to complete a Dissertation within a period of four years. We consider that this is a realistic proposition for most doctoral students who are admitted with an M.A. degree in a relevant field.



Graduates can readily pursue careers in the industrial and academic environment in the positions of university faculty members, senior researchers, engineers, and product developers.

  • Academia
  • Research
  • Government
  • International organizations


Strategic partner

The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Admission requirements
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