Study and Research Opportunities in Russia

Long and short-term academic programs are available in Russia across many universities and educational centers. International students and researchers may apply to BA, MA, Ph.D., and postdoctoral research programs in Russia. Moreover, summer schools and conferences are other excellent academic activities that make Russia an attractive destination for scholars and scientists. Many programs also come with fully-funded scholarships and fellowships as well as travel grants and financial aid, thus every student, researcher, and professor can always find a suitable program in Russia and apply.

Scholarships and Fellowships in Russia

Summer Programs in Russia

Winter Programs in Russia

Russia as an academic destination

Russia, the largest country on the planet, has to offer you a huge variety of cultural and historic places, as well as a powerful educational system with many competitive advantages. 

The country is a preferable academic spot for international students because it offers diplomas that are recognized worldwide, while most programs cost up to 3 times less than the European ones. 

Generally, approximately 600 worldwide accredited Russian universities host up to 1,7 mln international students yearly. Those are the results of the country's educational system's reform strategies. 

First of all, Russia didn't have bachelor's and master's degree subdivisions back in Soviet Union times and a while after it. That breakdown of higher education came later, as the country's attempt to make Russian education compatible with the world standards. This contributed both to Russian graduates' competitiveness in foreign job markets and the Russian universities' attractiveness for the international students. 

However, the country's postgraduate education system is still unique. Russia and most post-Soviet Union countries have 3 academic degrees after the Bachelor's: Master's, Candidate of Sciences, and Doctor of Sciences. Master's and Candidates of Sciences take 2 years each to complete. The highest Doctor of Sciences degree may require 3-4 years to complete. 

We have a more detailed description of the Russian graduate education structure topic, which you can explore here.

Where to study in Russia?

Generally, higher education providers in Russia include:

  • Universities, where you can find a broad range of programs for all degrees
  • Academies, where the education is mainly focused on creative areas such as art
  • Institutes, which are the independent branches of the above two, and also offer professional educational courses

As already mentioned, in Russia, you can find universities that are honored worldwide. This is the result of the country's "Project 5-100" program, which is under the Russian government's curation and is purposed to increase the number of Russian Universities in the global university rankings. 

To give you a hint which universities you can choose for your studies in Russia, here are the top 10 Russian universities according to U.S News Global University Rankings

Among the universities in this list, you can find the oldest educational institutions in Russia founded in the 19th century, mainly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The two oldest Russian universities are Lomonosov Moscow State University (1755, Moscow) and Saint Petersburg State University (1724, Saint Petersburg). 

International Student expenses in Russia

Tuition fees in Russia depend on whether you choose to study in public or private universities. Private universities are more expensive, with the average yearly fee being around 14,000 USD. Public universities are more affordable. The estimated tuition fee range in public universities and for international students is usually as followed:

  • Bachelor’s degrees - 1,500 - 11,000 USD/year
  • Master’s degrees - 1,770 - 5,540 USD/year
  • PhD degrees - 1000 - 5500 USD/year

In the above list of the scholarships, you can find the link to Russian Government Scholarships, the largest education funding opportunity for domestic and international students. You can apply for the scholarship after passing the entrance exams. There are around 15,000 state-funded academic places for international students every year, which cover the tuition fee and Maintenance allowance for the academic program's whole duration, regardless of the scholar's academic success. The scholarship may also cover dormitory accommodation. However, travel and living costs and voluntary health insurance are not the responsibility of the government scholarships. 

Student Visa

Russia is not an EU/EFTA member country, which means the visa is required from most foreign countries except for the CIS countries.

The visa application procedures should be started after a student is accepted into a Russian university and around 45 days before the country's planned arrival. The typical duration for receiving a Russian visa is 2-3 weeks.

After successfully receiving the student visa to Russia, there is a need to extend it for all the consecutive years (1 year at a time) after an initial validity period of 90 days. 

With the Student visa, international students can work in Russia during the holidays or at the hosting university. Otherwise, students need to have a work permit from the Federal Migration Service, which should be refreshed every year. 


Though Russia is truly huge, it's a monolingual country. The vast majority of the Russian citizens speak Russian. So, even if you choose an English academic program, you'll probably need to have at least basic conversational Russian knowledge to communicate with locals. 

The majority of the leading Russian universities offer preparatory department services, where a student can learn Russian for one year and get acquainted with the general culture and lifestyle of Russians. 

There are options to choose English language courses, for which you don't need to pass TOEFL or IELTS tests if you are a native speaker. However, the majority of the programs are taught in Russian, consequently, require language proficiency tests. 

Russian version of SAT is the Unified State Entrance Examination (EGE), which plays a huge role when deciding on the student's admission to the university. A small research will show you that the best universities set high entry EGE scores for admitting students. 

In case you need more information on Russia's studies, visit the Official website on higher education in Russia for international students. We hope this article will contribute to your academic and maybe even career success in Russia.