Officially the Russian Federation, Russia is home to more than 144.5 million people. Russia is the largest country in the world, spanning more than 17 million kilometres. It covers more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land, and contains nine time zones, after decreasing from 11 in 2010. Because of its size, the terrain in Russia is extremely varied, and incorporates a wide range of environments. Russia shares land borders with 14 other countries, which makes it the country with the second highest amount of land borders, behind China.

Russia has a long and turbulent history, and continues to be a fascinating place. The culture is very different to that of many Western countries, being influenced by more than 170 ethnic groups living in Russia. The country is renowned for their traditions in literature, folk dancing, ballet and cinema, among many other fields.

Why Russia

Russia has a long tradition of education, and has a highly educated population. Entry into Russian universities can be highly competitive, and there is a strong emphasis put upon gaining technological and scientific degrees. In 2003, Russia signed the Bologna Declaration, which allowed them to streamline their higher education, moving from 5 year degrees to 4 year degrees at undergraduate level. Universities in Russia offer courses at three levels; bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral.

There are 15 of Russia’s universities in the 2019 QS World University Rankings top 500. The highest ranked of these is Lomonosov Moscow State University, which is placed at 90th. The next highest ranked is Saint Petersburg State University, which is placed at 235th. Each year, Russia welcomes students from more than 170 countries around the world.

Education System​s

Universities offer several types of education. Firstly, there is full-time attendance, when you need to be present at the university classes during the day. Secondly, there is the evening option, when you attend classes in weekday evenings and weekend days. Thirdly, you may choose part-time enrolment, where students listen to introductory lectures and subsequently study at home in accordance with a specially developed curriculum, and then come to the university to pass tests and exams. There are several levels of higher education: You can study in programme that award a Bachelor's, Specialist, Master's, or Postgraduate Degree as well as professional training programme or career advancement programme, or you can simply come to study Russian language.

Cost of Living & Studying

Russia uses the Russian Ruble (RUB) as its currency.

The tuition fees you pay will depend on where you choose to study and at what level. As well as this, many international students are eligible for scholarships that cover their tuition fees, accommodation and health insurance. If you are not eligible for a scholarship, you should expect to pay between $3,500/€3,000 and $8,000/€7,000 per year. Your institution will be able to provide guidance about scholarships if required. Students are able to get part-time work during their studies in Russia. In order to get a job, you will need to apply for a work permit.

Your living costs will also depend on where you choose to live, with bigger cities costing more than smaller cities and towns. On average, you should budget for between $3,000/€2,500 and $5,000/€4,500 per year. Another cost that students need to consider is health insurance. It is recommended that you have a valid health insurance policy for the duration of your stay in Russia. If you already have insurance in your home country, you should ensure that it will be valid in Russia, as medical care can be expensive.

Courses and Universities

Russia has 766 universities located in 82 regions from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. There are classical universities which provide training for various professions, from engineer to philologist, and specialised universities focused on technology, humanities or medicine.

3,600 education programmes offered by best Russian state universities. Courses like undergraduate, specialist's degree, graduate, PhD or clinical internship major, as well as the minor (Preparatory Department, summer/winter school, Russian language courses etc) are avilable.

Eligibility Test Requirements

Since many courses in Russian universities are taught in Russian at the undergraduate level, it is likely that you’ll need to learn the language first and provide proof of your proficiency, possibly through writing the Unified State Entrance Examination (EGE). If you need to learn Russian in order to tackle the EGE, opportunities abound to learn Russian outside of Russia. 

Entrance exams in Russia play a huge part in determining whether a student will get accepted into their chosen university or not. The Unified State Examination (EGE), like the SAT used in the United States, is a standardized test used for university admissions across the country. Top universities require the highest scores on the EGE for candidates to be eligible for consideration, making them the toughest to get into.  

If you are applying for advanced degrees (M.A./M.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc.) you will need to have proof of have your previous degree(s), like your Bachelor’s or Specialist’s degrees, in the same (or a very similar field) to the program you’re hoping to pursue. This requirement is rather strict, especially in comparison to the US or the UK. Unlike undergraduate programs, there are a larger quantity of courses offered in English after the undergraduate level.

Admission and Application Procedure

The entry requirements for Russian universities can vary, depending on the university and study program you are applying to, your previous grades, and the results of your entrance exam and interview, with the former being a major component of the selection procedure. Follow these five strategies for getting into an international university in conjunction with the information below specific to applying to Russian universities to make your application shine!

The 5 Steps to Applying to Russian Universities Include:

  1. Choosing your program or university.
  2. Learning about the financing and scholarship opportunities available to you.
  3. Preparing your document package, specific to the university and program you’re applying to.
  4. Undergoing competitive selection, including tests, interviews or academic competitions.
  5. Get your invitation to study at a Russian university and make your application for a student visa!

Visa Process

Student Visa is issued to Indian citizens, citizens of other countries and stateless persons who seek to enter the Russian Federation for purpose of studying at educational institutions, and is granted on the basis of an invitation issued by Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (FMS of Russia) or a visa directive sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Student visa can be single-entry or double-entry.

Subsequent extension of the student visa is granted by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (FMS of Russia) at the place where the foreign citizen resides and is registered with the local FMS branch. The foreign citizen is issued a multiple-entry visa valid for the period specified in the study contract entered into in accordance with educational legislation of the Russian Federation, but no more than for one year for every subsequent visa.

Pupils, students, PhD candidates and accompanying teachers who are going to the Russian Federation for studies or internship (including participants of exchange and other educational programs) may submit a letter of invitation*, confirmation of enrolment from the receiving university, academy, institute, college or school, or a student ID card, or a confirmation of enrolment for the academic course to be attended.


In 2019, the Russian government provided 15,000 state-funded places to international students studying at Russian universities. To qualify for government scholarships, international students must pass the same exam taken by Russian secondary school students, the Uniform State Examination (EGE). If you do qualify for a scholarship from the Russian government, it will include:

  • Free tuition for the duration of your study program;
  • A small maintenance allowance;
  • Dormitory accommodation (if available).