As one of the oldest pedagogical universities in Russia, MPGU holds a special place in history.
Pre-revolutionary period (1872-1917)
On November 1, 1872 Russian historian V. Gerye established «Women’s Courses of Higher Education» — the first educational institution in Russia for women with the endorsment of Alexander II, the Emperor of Russia. Prior to that women could pursue higher education only abroad. Starting from 1874 women took 3-year courses in the following disciplines: Russian and foreign literature and history, physics, mathematics, ancient and modern languages. In 1900 2 Departments were established: the Department of History and Phylosophy and the Department of Physics and Mathematics. In 1906, the Department of Medicine was established.
In 1912 the post – graduates of WCHE were given permission to do research work that was scientifically relevant and emphasized the role of women in science. Four years later diploma issued by WCHE was equal to the one of the Moscow State University — the oldest and the biggest university in Russia. The following eminent Russian scientists worked in WCHE: N. Zelinsky (the inventor of the activated charcoal gas mask), Pr. P. Minakov (one of the founders of forensic medicine expertise), M. Shaternikov (the founder of the physiology of nourishment), A. Kots (the founder of Darwin Museum of Natural History) and many others.