Education in Russia

Higher education overseas offers an opportunity for growth and development that only a few other experiences can provide so intensely. What does a young professional need to compete in today's job market? High-quality, prestigious education recognized all over the world. Russia, having the highest literacy rate in the world (99,6%), is rightly proud of having one of the best education systems in the world, as well as the greatest scientific and technological achievements, numerous Nobel Prize Winners, cultural and sporting figures of international status and the richest resources. Every year tens of thousands of students from all over the world come to study in Russia to get prestigious, globally recognized and affordable education.

Advantages of Russian higher education for foreign citizens

  • The Russian higher education system consists of more than 650 state universities where about 9 million people study; more than 210 000 of these come from about 200 different countries. 
  • Russian higher education offers a wealth of choice from more than 300 medical, engineering, economic and humanities specialties. 
  • Russian higher education is based on the world-renowned school of fundamental and applied science, at the base of which lie the great discoveries of Russian scientists, which determined the course of developments in world science for many centuries ahead.
  • Russian higher education gives the possibility of access to the most modern laboratories and scientific-technical centers.
  • The highly qualified teaching personnel of Russian state universities (on average 80% of professors hold Ph.D. degrees) guarantee top-quality education.
  • Russian higher education consists of prestigious universities with more than 100 years of history and globally respected degrees which are recognized all over the world. 
  • The study of foreign citizens at Russian state universities is up to 80% subsidized by the Government of Russia, making it affordable (the average cost of an academic year, including accommodation in a student hostel, is 2500-4000 USD). 
  • Russian higher education is an excellent opportunity to get to know a country which has a lot to offer – a unique cultural and historical heritage, the incomparable beauty of its natural landscapes and climatic zones, the diversity of architectural styles in its biggest cities, and the rich traditions and customs of more than 160 nationalities living in Russia.

The Russian system of higher education

Higher professional education (engineering, economic, humanities specialties):

  • “Bachelor of Science” degree: course duration – 4 years;
  • “Master of Science” degree: course duration – 2 years;
  • “Specialist” or “Engineer-specialist” qualification: course duration – 5 years;
  • Post-graduate studies (leading to PhD): course duration – 3 years.

Higher professional medical education:  

  • General medicine: course duration – 6 years;
  • Sports medicine: course duration – 6 years;
  • Pediatrics: course duration – 6 years;
  • Dentistry: course duration – 5 years;
  • Pharmacy: course duration – 5 years;
  • Clinical psychology: course duration – 5 years.

Postgraduate medical education: 

  • Internship: course duration – 1 year;
  • Clinical residency: course duration – from 2 to 5 years (depending on the specialty and the doctor’s wishes);
  • PhD: course duration – 3 years.

One academic year in Russian Universities lasts for 10 months (September 1st – June 30th). The academic year is divided into two semesters: the first semester is September 1st – January 25th; the second semester is February 9th – June 30th. At the end of each semester (January and June) students take tests and exams in the disciplines that they have studied. Between semesters students have vacations: winter vacation (2 weeks: from 25th January to 9th February), and summer vacation (2 months: from 1st July to 30th August). During winter and summer vacations students may either stay in Russia or travel home.

Grading system in the Russian Federation:

«5» – excellent; «4» – good; «3» – satisfactory; «2» – unsatisfactory; – «pass» and «not pass». The lowest passing score is «3» or «pass».

Mode and language of study

In Russia different modes of study exist, though for international students only full-time, face-to-face mode is available (students from the CIS countries who are fluent in Russian may also study via distance learning).

Studies in Russian universities are carried out in Russian language. In some specialties the training is also delivered in English (about 20 specialties) and French (general medicine, pharmacy). Candidates choosing the training in English or French must have an interview to check their language competency upon arrival. The results of international language tests (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, DALF, TCF etc.) are not required. Irrespective of medium of instruction, a Russian language course is an integral and important part of the curriculum. Knowledge of Russian language is essential for international students in Russia for everyday life, communication in and outside the university, and for comprehensive use of the millions of pieces of educational literature available throughout the whole period of study. If a student chooses to study in Russian, he/she spends the first year on a foundation course, where for 7-10 months he/she studies Russian language and other major subjects of the future specialty: medical & biological stream – chemistry and biology; economic and engineering stream – math, physics and information technology; humanities stream – history, social science, literature etc. The university may include other subjects in the curriculum of the foundation course.

Degrees

Upon successful completion of university, graduates receive higher education degrees of the Russian national standard confirming the obtaining of higher education and indicating the degree/qualification (“Bachelor of Science”, “Master of Science”, “Specialist/Engineer-Specialist”) and specialty. Graduates also get an additional document upon request – a “European Appendix” that allows them to get equivalence of the degree in any of 47 European and other countries signed to the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Bologna declaration on the creation of a European Higher Education Area; this enables graduates to continue their education or find work in these countries. The recognition of Russian degrees all over the world is guaranteed in accordance with concluded intergovernmental and international agreements. At the present time all Russian state university degrees are recognized all over the world.

Admission requirements for Russian state universities

Applications for study on a foundation course are accepted from 1st March until 1st October. Classes start from 20th September (subject to there being enough students to start a group). It is recommended that students arrive no later than 15th November for study on foundation courses.

Applications for study on main courses (first and subsequent years) are accepted from 1st March until 15th August of each year for passport-holders of visa-free countries and from 1st March until 15th July for passport holders of countries requiring a visa. Classes start from 1st September.

A foreign citizen can be admitted to Russian state university if the following requirements are met:

- for Bachelor’s or Specialist’s programs, if:

He/she has a document of complete secondary education or any other equivalent document;

- for Master’s program, if:

He/she has a “Bachelor’s degree” or a “Specialist’s degree” with the course duration not less than 4 years;

- for postgraduate studies (PhD), if:

He/she has a “Master’s degree” (with the course duration not less than 2 years) or a “Specialist’s degree” with the course duration not less than 5 years

- for postgraduate medical studies (internship, clinical residency), if:

He/she has a degree of higher medical /dental/pharmaceutical education.

The requirements for educational documents of foreign citizens are based on the requirements and legislation of the country that has issued these documents. If a foreign citizen has educational documents that permit him/her to enter university in his/her country in a desired specialty, he/she is also able to apply to a Russian university.

All foreign citizens who enter Russian universities through RACUS are enrolled to study on the basis of entrance assessments (interview, testing), but on a non-competitive basis and without entrance examinations. Exception is made for the specialties of culture and art, where students are required to present artwork and/or demonstrate creative ability.

Life and Health insurance

Life and health insurance is obligatory for any foreign citizen arriving to the Russian Federation for studies. The cost of life and health insurance amounts from 160 USD to 250 USD for one year and depends on the chosen program of insurance.

So, the choice is yours. You have the opportunity to get an in-demand profession, build your future career, to make lifelong friends and to broaden your cultural, intellectual and personal horizons. Surely everyone dreams of these things? You only need to understand who you want to become and where you want to study; then you are ready to make your first step towards high-quality and affordable higher education with RACUS! 

Don’t miss your chance! It’s all in your hands! It’s time to study in Russia!

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Universities

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Here you will find information about leading Russian state universities – members of the "RACUS" group.

Specialties

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We are glad to provide you with a wealth of choice from more than 200 medical, engineering, economic and humanities specialties.